Central and state governments the world over have several schemes in place to promote the use of rooftop solar power among citizens. For your solar systems in India, there are some key government policies and regulations that will prove useful before and after the installation process:

· Subsidies: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has a provision for financial assistance in place, in the form of either capital or interest subsidy, or both. It divides applicants into four identifiable categories, with defined maximum capacities, and provides interest/capital subsidies on this basis.

· Accelerated Depreciation: Under the Income Tax Act, an accelerated depreciation limit of 80% is available for rooftop solar plants. This translates to significant cost savings for developers that are taxable under the law, and have adequate profits to be charged depreciation against.

· Subsidized Loans: Low or zero interest rate loans from banks, governments and other organizations are sometimes available, usually for a limited period of time.

· Feed-in-Tariffs (FiT): While not yet available in India, Feed-in-Tariffs are incentive mechanisms provided by the utility to the consumer where he is paid for every unit of electricity fed into the grid. This scheme has seen successful implementation in mostly Western countries such as Germany, UK, USA etc.

· Net Metering: This is a model which uses the excess power generated by a rooftop power plant, on occasions such as national holidays and weekends, is pumped into the grid. The generator is then eligible for receiving credits based on the number of units that are pumped to the grid as against the number of units received from the grid. Different states sometime use different policies to calculate the final number of credits.


Source: The Hindu Businessline

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