Harnessing solar energy using rooftops can help Delhi in bridging the ever increasing gap between demand and supply of energy, says a new Greenpeace report.

By using just 1.6 per cent of the total available roof-space in the city, India’s national capital Delhi could meet one third of its power demand, says a new report released by Greenpeace. The report, titled ‘Rooftop Revolution: Unleashing Delhi’s Solar Potential’, said that Delhi can generate 2-Gigawatt (GW) by tapping its solar power potential.

According to the experts present at the launch of the report in New Delhi, the price of electricity generated through solar energy might be higher compared to that produced from other sources currently, but in near future the price of power produced from conventional sources is bound to go up making the tapping of solar potential not only viable in terms of cost efficiency but also a necessity for power hungry cities like Delhi.

The prospect of solar energy is going to be different in future compared to what it was in the past, said Dr Tobias Engelmeier, Managing Director of Bridge To India, a consulting company focusing on the solar market in India and co-author of the report.

Engelmeier said that solar energy is going to be driven not by the government but by the people. “In future, solar energy will be viable because of the rising cost of power from other sources which is only expected to go up with the diminishing resources,” he added.

The report not only maps the potential and viability of the various building types falling under different tariff categories but also details business models and scenarios under which solar rooftop is advantageous. “The largest potential for solar power rests with residential buildings at 1.2 GW or 49 % of the total solar potential, followed by industrial buildings at 15 %, government buildings and public facilities at 13 %,” the report highlights.

Anand Prabhu Pathanjali, Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace India, believes that the report is a clear road map for a city like Delhi and many other cities for harnessing solar power through rooftops and ensuring energy security. “This report provides an alternative pathway. The need of the hour is political intent to convert this vision into a reality,” he said.

Another Greenpeace campaigner, Manish Ram, said that Greenpeace report launched as part of its ‘Switch on the Sun’ campaign would serve as a stepping stone for ushering in a solar energy revolution in the country. “Delhi like all big cities has been experiencing exponential growth of energy demand. Strong financial incentives and innovative policy mechanisms for tapping solar power can help the city in addressing its energy shortage in a cleaner and sustainable way,” he said.

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