Mangaluru: The district administration held a discussion with banks, solar panels suppliers and the public on Use of Roof Top Solar Energy Units at the DC office here on December 5.
Describing the need for the city to be self reliant in the power sector, Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim said that it is important for the city to invest in renewable sources of energy and the most suitable type for Mangaluru is solar energy since it witnesses sunny days for almost 11 months. Solar technology has come a long way. Before it was a costly endeavor with less efficiency; but today, this technology has become more efficient and popular, and the cost for it has also become comparable, even cheaper, than coal based electricity obtained from the grid. The government is also promoting use of renewable and clean energy, offering various benefits to the people who use it.
He further said that the administration has made plans to use solar energy for the present DC Office building, making it self-reliant. “By using solar energy for many of our government and residential structures, we have to become a model for our districts,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion MLC Ivan D’Souza said that a discussion on use of solar energy for residential and government roof tops was held at the Vidhan Soudha and it was pointed out that governmental offices should begin using renewable energies first to set an example to others. “Our district has many sunny days and so tapping solar energy is the best for us as far as renewable energy is concerned. This will also be profitable for schools and educational institutions, since they will be generating more electricity for the grid during vacations. Many institutions like Nitte, Father Muller, Yenepoya, Mangalore University have already come forward, affirming their commitment to install solar panels. If we can apply solar energy and water harvesting techniques, our district will be a national asset and model for others to follow,” said Ivan.
MESCOM MD, Chikkamanjappa, explaining the use, advantages and benefits of using solar energy, said that the government will provide a subsidy of 30% for residential and government buildings while it was 15% for commercial ones. After receiving a suggestion, he assured to set up dedicated divisional cells for solar power so that consumers can complete their application in one place.
Lead Bank Manager Raghava said that residents who would like to install solar panels can also avail loans with interest at base prices, and although banks currently have a scheme only for off grid power generation, according to the guidelines issued by the RBI including renewable energy in the priority sector, they will have to provide on-grid schemes too. He also said that banks would be asked to take no collateral for solar energy loans upto Rs 10 lakh. He asked all bank representatives to make action plans to meet the targets set by the government by April 2016.
When asked if the rumors of reduction in energy selling price by the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) from the current 9.56 Rs/unit to 5-6 Rs/unit were true, MLC Ivan replied that if the price is changed, it will be effective only for those who make their Power Purchase Agreement from January 2016. “The rates for those who already have a PPA will not change until the term of the 25-year contract ends,” he added.
ZP CEO Sreevidya also spoke on the occasion. MCC Commissioner Dr Gopalkrishna, Nabard AGM Prasad Rao, KCCI president Rammohan Pai Maroor and others were present.