India needs to prioritise solar rooftop among two key users, says report

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India needs to prioritise solar rooftop among residential and industrial users for achieving its 100GW solar energy target by 2022, a report said.

Demand aggregation mechanism' could help accelerate energy efficiency and scale up the deployment of solar power in residential apartment complexes and MSMEs, according to the World Resource Institute (WRI) India.

"For India to achieve its 100 GW solar energy target in just two years, by 2022, and to emerge as a leader in climate action, it needs to prioritise solar rooftop photovoltaic (PV) among two key users residential buildings and the industrial sector," the WRI India said in a statement.

The institute released two research papers -- Assessing Clean Energy Opportunities Through Demand Aggregation in Bengaluru's Apartment Buildings; and Implementing Demand Aggregation for Rooftop Solar Systems in Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Clusters -- that are based on case studies in Bengaluru's fast developing residential hubs, and the industrial clusters of Gujarat and Maharashtra.

The paper based on research conducted in 10 existing residential apartment complexes in Bengaluru between June 2017 and December 2018 uncovered that significant energy consumption was built into the provision and maintenance of the common area facilities' of such complexes.

Common areas include public areas in residential societies, like building compounds, playgrounds, gyms, society offices, floor landings, etc. Residents in apartment complexes use these common services that run on electricity.

In a way, common services represent aggregated demand'' for energy in the complex. Since these services are managed by a collective of residents, there are opportunities for these entities to introduce solar energy generation and energy efficiency measures in common areas.

During the study, the Technology Informatics Design Endeavor (TIDE) and WRI India worked with 10 housing societies. To get a broader perspective on the barriers to implementing clean energy projects in apartment complexes, the study also engaged with EE and solar rooftop vendors and service providers, through semi-structured interviews, meetings and interactions on different platforms.

The analysis showed that the housing societies or similar residents' groups could play a major role in ensuring the uptake of rooftop solar in residential complexes in cities like Bengaluru.

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