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Category: Rooftop solar

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Top 5 Things You Should Consider Before Opting for Solar

Top 5 Things You Should Consider Before Opting for Solar

5 factors you should know before installing solar panels at your place:

Using solar energy is the most eco-friendly and sustainable way to reduce your ever-increasing energy bill.
But many consumers come across this prominent question “What to consider while buying solar panels?” or “What are the things to consider before installing solar panels at your location?”

Here in this article, we have tried to answer this question. 

Choosing a solar panel that will match your requirements and support your roof’s durability is an important decision since solar panels are going to be on your roof for 25 to 30 years.

  1. Types of solar energy systems-

    When it comes to the thinking of installing solar panels  the energy requirement and location become crucial tasks. 
    In key urban cities where there are minimal power cuts, an on-grid solar energy system is most suited which is connected to the power grid system and is the most common type used in residential applications.

    If the location is a tier 2 city where power cuts are common, a hybrid solar energy system (combination of on-grid and off-grid) would be a good option to opt for, thus ensuring a reduction in electricity bills and also catering for energy during power cuts as well.

    If the location is an isolated one with no grid connection, then an off-grid system is the best option. In an off-grid system, energy is stored in the battery during the daytime when the solar panel generates electricity, and the battery supplies power during nighttime (or cloudy weather).

  2. Rooftop feasibility-  To get maximum sunlight on the panels, the rooftop needs to be free from shadows. Trees, tank towers, and headrooms cast shadows over your solar panels which will hamper their performance. Hence, keep the solar panels clean from dirt and leaves to ensure maximum efficiency and keep nearby plants trimmed. Do not make any alterations to your roof which will cast shadows on the solar panels or damage the electrical connections or physically affect the solar panels. If the rooftop is used occasionally, opt for a high-rise elevated design structure which will provide more space.

  3. Modular technology- When going for solar installation, choosing the right type of solar panel is a crucial task to ensure the long life of the solar plant. Solar panels are responsible for converting solar radiation into the required electrical energy.
    Solar photovoltaic panels are generally available as full/half-cut monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels.
    For residential users, monocrystalline solar panels are the most preferred ones. 

    It’s a wise decision to go for the pro variant (half-cut mono/poly solar panel), as it offers higher efficiency compared to the conventional solar panel in the same size and area.
    In the market, one can find different types and brands of solar panels, and choosing the right type and brand of solar panels is a vital task.

    (Tip: Don’t just go by the brand name or buy the panel which your neighbor might have brought as the type of solar panel varies with the individual energy and space requirement)

  4. Manufacturer & Installer Solar panel typically is a long-term investment, with a lifespan of a minimum of 25 years. Servicing and maintenance will be done for the panels to ensure optimum performance and efficiency. Hence, it is essential to choose a well-established installer, who provides long-term customer service and a warranty.
  5. CertificationQuality certification and standards for Solar PV systems are essential for safe, high-performing, and long-lasting systems. It is also imperative to put in place an efficient and rigorous monitoring mechanism, and adherence to these standards. Hence, all components of a Solar PV system/ plant must conform to the relevant standards and certifications.

Once you’ve carefully paid attention to these factors, you can make an informed decision to approach the solar installer of your choice. 

With SunEdison, you can get this installed in 6 Simple Steps!

For more information on our products and services, please visit our SunEdison website.

More information on solar energy and its benefits can be found on SunEdison’s blog section.

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National Portal for Rooftop Solar

National Portal for Rooftop Solar

Reimagining the Solar Subsidy Programme of India

1. What is the most effective tool for successful implementation of decentralized solar in India?

2. How can India fastrack its pace to achieve the 40GW rooftop solar target by December 2022?

3. Is solar rooftop popular enough among the Indian households?

And the list of questions continues…

To solve for these and help scale rooftop solar among residential customers, the government of India has taken a historic step by reimagining the entire Solar Subsidy Program.

“Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, on July 30th, 2022, launched the New and Simplified Programme for Rooftop Solar Phase II under which a national solar portal has been created through which any Indian consumer can apply for solar net metering and subsidy.”

In the words of our Prime Minister, “Bijli Bachaana, Desh Sajaana!”.Let’s look at how we can save electricity for a decorated future of our country.

A brief overview of why we need this policy at all.

To popularize rooftop solar amongst homeowners and achieve the set target, residential consumers are offered financial assistance in the form of subsidies for which the state electricity utilities/DISCOMs had been appointed as implementation agencies. Under the grid-connected Rooftop Solar Subsidy Programme, residential consumers were eligible to avail a capital subsidy of 20/40% for system sizes up to 10kW. The subsidy was disbursed via state DISCOMs/state nodal agencies through periodic empanelment tenders where rate discovery was also done. Final price of the system was determined by reverse L1 rate bidding.

However, there were several implementation challenges owing to which many consumers have not been able to take advantage of the subsidy scheme. A summary of the key challenges that led to slower growth in residential solar segment despite the very attractive capital subsidy scheme is given below:

  1. Subsidy disbursement capped at the price of the system discovered through solar rooftop tenders/MNRE benchmark rates (whichever is lower): Solar rooftop tenders led to the discovery of extremely low selling prices for the rooftop solar systems due to various reasons. One such reason was the capping of rooftop solar system rates by the rates determined by MNRE as benchmark rates for various system sizes. The rates determined by MNRE did not represent the current system costs as these were fixed for around a year while the costs of materials in a system kept increasing in the same period. Thus, vendors quoted very low selling prices and indulged in malpractices such as invoicing customers separately outside the tender rates. All the above also led to high occurrences of poor-quality systems getting installed and many projects not being completed to the awarded capacity.
  2. Lack of Consumer Choice: As with other “consumer products”, residential rooftops should also be offered with an array of features for the customer to choose from. For example – string inverter versus microinverter, height of the system, rooftop can be designed as a Pergola to make the terrace space useful and aesthetic, water proofing of the rooftop system so that the space can even be used in rains, use of Solar Tiles, etc.

To solve the above problems, National Solar Portal has come as a game-changer for the residential sector. Let’s look at the “How” of it…

Let’s first look at the details of the policy:

  1. Under the national simplified subsidy scheme, subsidy amounts have been fixed by the government as per the following slabs which are standard across all states and UTs of India.
  2. The CFA/subsidy will be released after clearance by the inspecting authority (DISCOM) on successful commissioning and installation of the metering system as per specified procedure.
  3. The CFA/subsidy would be calculated based on total solar module capacity/ solar inverter capacity/ capacity approved by DISCOM, whichever is lower.
  4. DISCOMs need not invite tenders, discover rates, and empanel vendors. In addition to this, the vendors need not wait for the release of subsidy from the Ministry, rather they can get the full amount from the consumer as the consumer will be getting subsidy directly into his bank account.

A revolutionary step for the solar industry and its stakeholders…

  1. The scheme is a Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme wherein consumers will get the subsidy credited to their bank account within 30 days after installation and commissioning of their rooftop solar system.
  2. Some of the benefits of this scheme include hassle free online applications, freedom to consumers to choose any solar company which is empaneled in their DISCOM under the DBT scheme, track the progress of application on the national solar portal in real time, direct disbursement of subsidy to consumer’s account within 30 days of installation and commissioning of solar system, provision of 5 years of after-sales and maintenance services to their consumers by the solar company, etc.
  3. Special focus by the government to protect the interests of the consumers. A vendor will have to get registered at the DISCOM and maintain the rooftop solar system for at least 5 years.
  4. The new scheme offers enhanced choices for the customers with the removal of ceiling rate for the selling price. Customers can now customize their rooftop solar solutions and opt for better quality components.
  5. Simplification of getting empanelment and working under subsidy schemes for the solar companies:
    a) Any solar company can now pay Rs. 2.5 Lac Bank Guarantee to get registered in a DISCOM. With this, the company gets eligible to install subsidized rooftop solar systems for consumers in that DISCOM under the National Subsidy Scheme.
    b)  Vendors will also get access to provide their information and rates on the National Portal so that any consumer willing to install rooftop solar can contact them and get the rooftop solar installed through mutually agreed rates.

A glorious moment for the Indian Solar Industry for achieving a public policy tool that will:

  1. Accelerate market driven growth for the solar industry.
  2. Improve consumer choice.
  3. Ensure better quality and performance of the solar systems installed.

It is, thus, the Aladdin’s magic lamp for the solar industry- with more solar companies willing to get empaneled, states will be able to meet their allocation targets and consumers will get better and enhanced choices.