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PM’s Muft Bijli Yojana ignites solar craze in Kashmir

3390 registrations pour in 2 weeks
01:23 AM Mar 14, 2024 IST | MUKEET AKMALI
pm’s muft bijli yojana ignites solar craze in kashmir

Srinagar, Mar 13: In a significant stride towards promoting renewable energy sources, the government’s ambitious 'PM-Surya Ghar: Muft Bijli Yojana' scheme has received a positive response from the people of Kashmir.


According to the Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL), within just two weeks of its launch, a staggering 3390 prospective beneficiaries have registered for the scheme from the Kashmir division, with 564 formal applications already submitted.


The scheme, envisioned by the Centre, aims to facilitate the adoption of solar energy by offering households the opportunity to switch to solar power without bearing high installation costs.
This move aligns with the government’s thrust towards transitioning to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources.

Under the ‘PM-Surya Ghar: Muft Bijli Yojana’ scheme, beneficiaries can avail a substantial subsidy of Rs 78,000 on the installation of solar rooftop systems with a capacity of 3KW and above.


This incentive has proven to be a major driving force behind the scheme’s popularity, as it significantly reduces the financial burden on households seeking to embrace solar energy.


Officials are optimistic that the PM Surya Ghar scheme would spark renewed interest among residents of J&K for solar power.


J&K has been a laggard in tapping its solar power generation capacity.


As of April 2020, J&K boasted a total solar power installed capacity of 40.63 megawatts (MW).

However, the latest figures, covering the period from April 2020 to October 2023 reveal a meager addition of just 15 MW, bringing the cumulative solar power capacity to 55 MW by the end of October 2023.

The comparative analysis of J&K’s solar power growth against other states underscores the need for a more robust and accelerated approach within J&K.

While J&K recorded a modest increase of 15 MW in solar power capacity from April 2020 to October 2023, neighbouring Himachal Pradesh demonstrated a remarkable advancement, surging from 40 MW to 111 MW during the same period, reflecting a substantial 71 MW increase in solar power generation.

The union cabinet under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved PM-Surya Ghar: Muft Bijli Yojana with a total outlay of Rs 75,021 crore for installing rooftop solar and providing free electricity up to 300 units every month for 1 crore households.

The PM launched the scheme on February 13.

The scheme provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) for Residential Rooftop Solar of 60 percent of the system cost for 2 kW systems and 40 percent of additional system cost for systems between 2 to 3 kW capacity.

The CFA would be capped at 3 kW.

At current benchmark prices, this would mean Rs 30,000 subsidy for 1 kW system, Rs 60,000 for 2 kW systems, and Rs 78,000 for 3 kW systems or higher.

The households would apply for subsidy through the national portal and would be able to select a suitable vendor for installing rooftop solar.

The national portal would assist the households in their decision-making process by providing relevant information like appropriate system sizes, benefits calculators, and vendor ratings.

Households will be able to access collateral-free low-interest loan products of around 7 percent at present for the installation of residential RTS systems up to 3 kW.

According to officials, through this scheme, the households will be able to save electricity bills as well as earn additional income through the sale of surplus power to DISCOMs.

A 3 kW system will be able to generate more than 300 units a month on average for a household.

The proposed scheme will result in the addition of 30 GW of solar capacity through rooftop solar in the residential sector, generating 1000 BUs of electricity and resulting in a reduction of 720 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions over the 25-year lifetime of rooftop systems.

It is estimated that the scheme would create around 17 lakh direct jobs in manufacturing, logistics, supply chain, sales, installation, O&M, and other services.

The government has launched a massive campaign since the scheme was started to raise awareness and generate applications from interested households.

Households can register themselves on to avail of benefits under the scheme.

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