The Financial Express

Govt moves to frame policy for promoting rooftop solar power

| Updated: October 25, 2017 03:05:25

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Govt moves to frame policy for promoting rooftop solar power

The government has initiated a move to conduct a study on framing Net Metering Policy aiming to promote rooftop solar energy across the country, reports UNB.

According to the official sources, users of rooftop solar power under the proposed policy can sell their unconsumed electricity to the government or adjust the bills of conventional electricity use through an exchange arrangement.

"This means a user of a rooftop solar panel can sell his extra or unused electricity to the government when he/she does not consume power from solar panel," said a top official of the Power Cell, a technical wing of the Power Division.

Experts said "Net Energy Metering", or "NEM", is a special billing arrangement that provides credit to customers with solar PV systems for the full retail value of the electricity their system generates.

The Power Cell recently appointed a consultant to conduct the study to determine the potentials of Net Energy Metering across the country and frame a policy as to how and in which rate the trade of electricity could take place between the government and the consumers.

"Actually, the aim of the study is to determine the potentials of rooftop solar and outlining a policy under which a rate of buying electricity could be fixed," said Shahriar Ahmed Chowdhury, the Consultant of the Power Cell.

He noted that as per terms and condition, he will complete the job within 90 days.

As part of the national programme "Vision:2021," the government outlined to generate 3,168 MW power from renewable energy sources by 2021.

Of this, officials believe, about 1000 MW electricity can easily come from the rooftops of buildings in Dhaka city.

They said huge rooftops of the government office buildings, schools, garment and other factories could easily be used for rooftop solar power generation while rooftop of cold storage, textile and other mills outside the capital could be used for the same purpose.

They said once a Met Metering Policy approved by the government, the power distribution entities like DESCO, DPDC, REB and PDB would be obliged to buy electricity from their own consumers, specially the rooftop solar users.

Under the present condition, if any new consumer wants to take electricity connection, he has to mandatorily install rooftop solar panel to generate a certain small portion of power from the rooftop plant.

But due to absence of any Net Metering System or policy, many of the consumers allegedly install fake solar panels only to get connections.

"But once there is a policy in place, the consumers will be encouraged to install genuine solar panels for their own consumption as well as to sell extra power to the government power distribution companies," said Power Cell director Mohammad Hossain.

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