Solar power is one of the most energy-saving and cost-efficient technology developed in order to benefit the environment. Most of the energy generated for our homes utilize fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. Solar power, on the other hand, creates clean and renewable power from the sun which can meet our everyday electricity needs. 

Electricity generated from fossil fuels is not only harmful but also quite expensive for the layman. Instead, solar power is cheap and easily accessible. In fact, if we could capture the sun’s power throughout the surface of the earth just a couple of hours, we would have free electricity for the entire year!

Why has Gujarat developed new solar power policies?

Gujarat was one of the first states to develop solar power generation capacity in India. It is currently the 4th leading state in our country, where its installed solar power generation capacity stood at 1637 MW in December 2018. This is the result of its efforts towards the importance of solar power, leading to the regular amendments to its policies. Thereafter, Gujarat is a fast-developing solar industry, given the fact that the large state is mostly arid. Huge amount of large scale solar power plants installed in recent years is a mark of hoping towards a cleaner and fairer future.

As we all know, climate change is real, and one man can’t make a difference alone. But like-minded individuals can make a huge difference when they join their hands and come together as one. Gujarat is gradually taking steps towards a future with renewable energy, for the country as a whole. Before we go in-depth of the new policies our state has been working on, let’s understand the purpose for doing so. 

Generating electricity by burning fossil fuels is one of the major factors contributing to climate change. It results in abundant harmful greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide. This affects the overall temperature of our planet, resulting in extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and ecosystem changes.  

By going solar, our country can move one step further towards a clean, fresh and breathable atmosphere. We can substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and shrink our carbon footprint. 

Widespread solar installations can significantly reduce various air pollutants like nitrous oxides, sulfur oxides, and particulate matter emissions. This will not only benefit the environment, but it will also relieve our health problems.

All in all, solar power will incredibly benefit us by making the world a cleaner place.

State Solar Policies

As of January 2019, Gujarat has an installed capacity of 7.645 MW of renewable energy, meeting only 28% of the total capacity. The Government plans to increase it up to 22,922 MW by the year 2022, making up 53%. This plan is has been put into action, aiming at increasing the solar power generation by 3000 MW annually, 

In addition, the state has also introduced a solar-wind hybrid policy, looking forward to establishing 4-5 parks with at least 2000 MW capacity. 

Residential Schemes

The solar rooftop policy established by the Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA) is the best created by any Indian state ever. It encourages residential homes to bear the initial investment costs of installing a solar rooftop, after which they would reap the benefits of being completely energy independent. 

This scheme is going to be an advantageous opportunity for more than 2 lakh families in Gujarat. Residents will be provided benefits if they adopt the solar power rooftops in the financial year 2019-20. Beneficiaries will receive a subsidy of 40% for a 3kW system, and 20% for 3kW to 10kW, 

The benchmark costs involved for a solar PV system are affordable prices for a costless future. One would have to pay Rs.54 per W up to 10W; Rs. 48 per W for 10-100kW; and Rs. 45 per W above 100kW when they install their solar rooftop system. 

Once installed, a beneficiary can avail a maximum subsidy of Rs 1,40,000 through this scheme supported by the central Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)

These provisions will push residential families to switch to renewable energy. In turn, this will aggregate the rooftop solar photovoltaic demand of residential, commercial and industrial sectors. 

So what are you waiting for? Install your own solar rooftop today by registering your interest by visiting the I-SMART website. Take your first step towards a greener future for your kids as you save money on your electricity bills too!

MSME Schemes

Amendments have been made in recent years to the Gujarat Solar Power Policy of 2015, now benefitting the medium and small scale industries (MSME). Solar power has been made easily accessible to these sectors, allowing them to use it to their benefits. They can install it with a capacity of more than 100%, as compared to the previous limit of 50%.

These phenomenal changes have been made by Saurabh Patel, the Energy Minister of Gujarat. He has created a win-win situation for the MSME units, satisfying their needs in every way. Earlier, they had to pay Rs.8 per unit of electricity consumption. Now, they will earn an additional profit of Rs.3.80 per unit in their own land; and Rs.2.75 per unit in leased lands.

They can even purchase solar power from third parties when needed. In the case of excess solar energy, they can easily sell it to the government for Rs.1.75 per unit. Only the electricity and duty wheeling charges are the same as before.

Future Plans

Gujarat is planning to cover 8 lakh households by the year 2020 under the solar rooftop policies. Also, further changes made to the state policies covers 33 lakh MSME units. Thus, with every passing year, each citizen is encouraged to produce and use green and clean energy. 

Our has already taken very large steps to ensure a bright future for the younger generations. As it continues along its path, it benefits the environment as a whole, returning it to its former, purified stage. 

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