Soon, individual households and enterprises in the State that generate their own solar power on their rooftops and share any surplus with the State grid can expect to reap monthly cash returns from their energy utility — or at least a slashed electricity bill, according to senior government officials.
The State is refining its solar energy policy to encourage households and entrepreneurs to partly or fully generate their own requirements.
The refurbished policy will ensure that State power utilities buy every unit of solar energy produced thus and pay the mini contributors as per a fixed unit rate, Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee and Energy Secretary Amita Prasad said at the concluding session of the CII Partnership Summit here on Wednesday.
Dr. Prasad said, “The government will purchase every single unit generated from any source in the State. The consumers will get a cheque delivered to them in case of supply to the grid.”
A meter installed in these solar power generating homes would measure the internal usage and contribution to the grid.
Neighbouring Tamil Nadu has a similar plan. Mr. Mukherjee said that this was one of the power-starved State’s attempts to mitigate the hole its huge farm energy subsidy was creating, currently at Rs. 4,500 crore and heading towards Rs. 7,000 crore in the coming years.
Dr. Prasad said that the State planned to have 2,000 MW of solar energy capacity by 2020. The policy was ironing out many practical elements of implementation. The State would be self-sufficient in power by 2016 and it is now in the process of adding new capacity of 3,000 MW to the grid.
To a query on the Western Ghats, Mr. Mukherjee said that the State would retain its ecological balance while trying to project it as another Euromountain of Switzerland or Germany’s famous Black Forest.
Karnataka as partner State for the three-day event is also using the event to invite investments into its regions. Mr. Mukherjee said that the next Global Investors’ Meeting slated for October would focus on promoting micro, small and medium enterprises.
Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda told industry that food processing industries would be promoted and classified as agriculture activity. Tumkur and other places were identified for starting large food parks.
Tushar Giri Nath, Secretary, Mines and Geology, highlighted the investment opportunities in the gold mining and iron ore sectors.
Over 1,000 delegates from over 25 countries participated in the annual summit.