Delhi’s solar policy faces hurdle as LG suspends its implementation

Delhis solar policy

New Delhi: The Delhi government’s ambitious solar policy, which promised to slash electricity bills and reward solar power generation, has hit a roadblock as Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena has ordered to halt its implementation. The LG’s decision comes as a setback to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who had announced the policy last month as a game-changer for the capital city.

The Delhi Solar Policy 2024, which was approved by the Cabinet and was supposed to be notified within 10 days, offered several incentives and subsidies to the consumers who install rooftop solar panels at their homes or workplaces. Under the policy, residential consumers would get Rs 3 per unit for energy generation up to 3 kW and Rs 2 per unit for energy generation from 3 kW to 10 kW. Commercial and industrial consumers would also get Rs 1 per unit for the first 200 MW of installations. Moreover, the policy mandated that all government buildings with an area of 500 square meters or more should install rooftop solar panels within three years.

The policy aimed to reduce air pollution and combat inflation by providing substantial benefits to consumers who opt for rooftop solar panels. The policy also claimed to build on the success of the previous solar policy of 2016, which had resulted in the deployment of over 250 MW of rooftop solar plants and 1,250 MW of utility-scale solar plants, meeting 7.2 percent of Delhi’s annual electricity demand.

However, the LG has put the policy on hold, citing some procedural and legal issues. According to sources, the LG has sought clarifications from the Delhi government on the financial implications of the policy, the role of the power distribution companies, and the regulatory framework for the solar sector. The LG has also asked the Delhi government to consult the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the Ministry of Power before implementing the policy.

Delhis solar policy

The Delhi government has expressed its disappointment over the LG’s move and accused him of acting against the interests of the people of Delhi. The Delhi Power Minister Atishi said that the policy was drafted after extensive consultations with all the stakeholders and that it had the potential to make Delhi a solar hub. She also said that the policy was in line with the central government’s vision of promoting renewable energy and that the LG’s intervention was unwarranted and unjustified. She urged the LG to reconsider his decision and allow the policy to be implemented at the earliest.