Reality Check: Solar PV Subsidy

The distribution of solar PV subsidy has started the adoption of solar PV solutions at the household level on a good note. The claimed benefits of solar PV along with the added incentives of central and state government subsidies has made the overall solution quite attractive for every household. MNRE has fixed the price at INR 69,000 / kW. Central government gives 30% subsidy on the mentioned price. A couple of state governments have also added state specific subsidies on top of the central government subsidy.

All this well said and done, there are a couple of things that the end users must understand and take care of.

1 kW or 5 kW, there are some tasks that the installer has to do irrespective of the size of the installation which leads to some fixed costs to the installers for installations of all sizes. This might possibly mean that for smaller sizes, the installer might use comparatively low quality components out of compulsion. The end user can always choose to pay slightly extra to get better components which will give much better results. This will be fair for both the end users and the installers.

Most of the end users are unaware about the correctness of components to be used in a solar PV system. They are more interested in the subsidy being offered rather than considering the possibility of paying slightly extra for getting better components which might be a much better investment option financially as the output will be better and long lasting.

Taking help of consultants in such scenario of confusion might not be a bad option. The consultant might act as a bridge between the understanding of the end user and the sales efforts of the installers. In layman terms, it is better to invest INR 5,00,000 with payback period of 3.5 years instead of investing INR 4,00,000 with payback period of 6 years.

The solar PV has a long way to go. Let’s take this forward on a positive note with imparting proper knowledge and implementing it with much needed transparency.

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