Nearly ₹29 Billion Allotted for Off-Grid Renewable Generation in Last 3 Years

New building construction laws in place to help achieve energy sufficiency in urban areas


A corpus of ₹29.37 billion (~$0.43 billion) has been provided for off-grid renewable energy generation sources in the past three consecutive budgets, beginning with the financial year (FY) 2016-17 and ending FY 2018-19.

Off-grid renewable energy generation sources, coupled with new laws and codes for building construction, will help in ensuring energy efficiency and energy sufficiency in India.

Minister for Power, R. K. Singh, informed the Rajya Sabha that the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has been implementing the following off-grid programs in the last three years: National Biogas and Manure Management Program, ‘Biogas Power (off-grid) Generation Program, Biomass Gasifier Program, Unnat Chulha Abhiyan (UCA) Program, Off-grid and Decentralized Solar Applications Program, Atal Jyoti Yojana, 7 million Solar Study Lamp program, and Concentrating Solar Thermal Program.

Mercom recently reported that a corpus of ₹6.88 billion (~$0.10 billion) had been provided in the current fiscal’s budget for off-grid renewable energy generation sources.

Off-grid renewable energy sources are crucial for a country with as diverse a geography and topography as India. Mercom recently reported that according to the latest Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGo) Market Attractiveness Index (MAI), India had achieved a high score in the overall numbers, demonstrating a relatively robust performance in the off-grid solar sector.

Moreover, to meet the increasing power demand in urban areas, the government has formed laws for setting up rooftop solar PV projects in newly constructed buildings. Singh also informed the House that the ‘Model Building Bye-Law 2016’ issued by the Ministry of Urban Development, stipulates the norms for group housing for rooftop solar installations. It provides that the generation requirement will be a minimum of 5% of connected load or 20 W/sqft for the available roof space, whichever is less. This is a model law which can be adopted by any state.

According to Singh, so far, the state governments of Haryana, Chandigarh, and Uttar Pradesh have issued mandatory notifications on the installation of solar rooftop PV projects for group housing societies.

Energy efficiency and sufficiency are one of the primary concerns of the Modi government. In January 2019, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) signed a memorandum of understanding, kickstarting their cooperation to promote energy efficiency in buildings.

The government also launched ECO Niwas Samhita 2018, which is the ECBC for residential buildings, to push for energy efficiency in the residential sector. The code aims for promoting design and construction of homes including apartments and townships to give the benefits of energy efficiency to the occupants.

Back in 2017, Mercom had reported on the launch of the ECBC-2017 guidelines. Then in August 2018, Mercom reported about the BEE and Alliance for an Energy-Efficient Economy (AEEE) releasing a State Energy Efficiency Preparedness Index.

Saumy Prateek Saumy is a senior staff reporter with covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.