BENGALURU: The Centre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP) on Wednesday launched a web-based tool that would use LiDAR-based aerial imagery to identify shadow-free rooftops in Bengaluru to help the government design policies to tap solar power at household level.
“For Bengaluru city, BESCOM (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd ) has set a target to achieve 1.06 GW (giga watt) through rooftop solar power by 2022. However, it has added only 140 MW (mega watt) rooftop solar capacity,” Jaymin Gajjar, Research Engineer at CSTEP said.
CSTEP says installation cost for rooftop solar installation is around ₹45,000 per kilowatt or ₹4.5- ₹5 per unit.
Karnataka has installed less than 10% of its 2.4 GW solar power target. The state, like most others in the country, depends more on conventional sources of power. However, the southern state’s renewable energy infrastructure remains higher than its counterparts, officials say.
Around 70% of Karnataka’s power needs in the last few months was met by renewable energy sources since most large industries were shut during the covid-19 induced lockdown, senior officials in the state power department said.
Mahendra Jain, additional chief secretary, energy department, Karnataka government, over 50% of the state’s installed power capacity of around 30,000 MW is renewable energy which up to 18,725 MW, if hydel power generation is included.
Jain said solar power target achievement has been “a little below par” in the state despite its advantages. Large scale storage of solar generated power is a problem that does not make it economically viable but this problem could be mitigated in smaller settings like rooftop, he added.
He listed lack of information and technical viability as some of the other non-economic challenges to wider adoption of renewable energy.
But the ratio of renewable energy will remain below 40% as against 60% from conventional sources due to issues such as shortage of power storage infrastructure, seasonal and non-consistent nature of solar and wind-based generation.
“It would not be viable if the dependence on renewable energy is more than 60% in the pursuit of round-the-clock power supply,” said one senior government official, requesting anonymity.