Delhi can meet one-third of its current power demand by using just 1.6 % of Delhi’s roofspace: Greenpeace

Greentech Lead India: Delhi can produce solar power at 2GW using 1.6 percent of the city’s roof space, says Greenpeace India in its report “Rooftop Revolution: Unleashing Delhi’s Solar Potential” that details the solar potential in the state to meet its growing energy demands.

The report charts a green and viable path for Delhi to move towards energy security. It says the city can generate 4500 million kilowatt hours of solar power every year, meeting 16 per cent of its electricity needs.

The report comes at a time when the national capital is facing serious energy crisis and soaring tariff, said Anand Prabhu Pathanjali, energy campaigner, Greenpeace India. “This report provides an alternative pathway. What is required is political intent to convert this vision into a reality.”

The largest potential for solar power rests with residential buildings at 1.2 GW or 49 percent of the total solar potential, followed by industrial buildings at 15 percent, government buildings and public facilities at 13 percent. In 2012 alone, power tariffs in Delhi increased by about 20 percent and are expected to rise by 25 percent in the next five years.

The report not only maps the potential and viability of the various building types falling under different tariff categories but also details business models and scenarios under which solar rooftop is advantageous. For solar rooftop is still very complex and needs some fiscal support.

In cities like Delhi, solar installations can be cheaper due to their proximity to each other and large roof space, facilitating bundling of projects that can enable large project sizes to the tune of 2000 kilowatt power. Large solar systems reduce the per kilowatt cost considerably making solar already viable for government buildings.

The report thus finds there is clear viability for solar power in Delhi without long-term capital subsidy as the scenarios in the report illustrate.

Greenpeace has been running a campaign “Switch on the Sun” to promote renewable energy as a sustainable and viable solution to Delhi’s power crisis.

“A city which aspires to be a world class city needs to secure its energy through clean energy sources. Solar rooftop offers a locally available energy generation choice. Implementing this roadmap can ensure that the second richest state of the country becomes a progressive city at the forefront of a modern energy system,” added Pathanjali.

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