Urban solar energy – Subsidy plan awaits govt nod

Urban solar energyKATHMANDU, JUN 24 – City-dwellers planning to install solar panels at their houses will have an opportunity to cash in by selling off surplus energy to the Nepal Electricity Authority’s national grid if the guideline for the programme is approved by the Cabinet, said officials at the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC).

The officials said they finalised the Urban Solar Energy System Subsidy and Loan Mobilisation Guideline last month and are awaiting Cabinet approval. If the guideline is approved, any urban household can apply for the government subsidy up to Rs 15,000 for the installation of the 500 kilowatt solar power system. Under the programme, the AEPC also plans to allow net metering, a billing mechanism that would allow the solar energy system owners to credit from the surplus electricity generated from their house added to the grid supported by the NEA. Net metering is widely used in various countries, including Germany, where consumers using solar systems feed the daytime power to the dedicated grid and get paid for the surplus power.

AEPC officials said the price for installing net metering and cost of per unit electricity sold by the solar energy system users will depend on the agreement between the AEPC and the NEA.

In the 2014-2015 budget, the government had announced a separate initiative to promote the installation of solar panels in urban households to mitigate the acute energy crisis.

Source : eKantipur