Historic Hyderabad can be a clean energy champion while benefiting from cheaper power and reduced air pollution

HYDERABAD | April 11, 2018|  The historical city of Hyderabad has the potential to be a solar champion, according to a Greenpeace India report, titled, Rooftop Revolution: Unleashing Hyderabad’s Rooftop Potential [1],  released today. The report finds that the total rooftop solar potential of this city is 
1730 MW. If realised, this can help the city reduce the power demand by almost 15 percent. For residents, solar makes for a solid investment, and would cut down on electricity bills considerably.

The study jointly undertaken by Greenpeace India and GERMI (Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute) scanned the area under Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and estimates an average of 2.70 MW per sq. km. can easily be generated through installing rooftop solar panels. A big share of this, nearly 70 percent, can come from the residential sector.

The city is blessed with quite a few major landmarks that have sizable potential for rooftop solar power generation. Some of these are:
•    Buildings of Osmania University (Annexure IV in comprehensive report): over 5,100 KW.
•    The Begumpet and Rajiv Gandhi International Airports: over 700 KW.
•    The city’s railway stations: 3,187 KW;  All metro stations: 679 KW
•    All bus depots in Hyderabad: nearly 3000 KW

The monthly PM10 data for 2016 from 11 cities and districts of Telangana [2] reveals that Hyderabad had the highest annual PM levels and also recorded highest peak levels during November 2016 when PMɼɻ level was recorded at 117 µg/m3. This is 17% higher than the daily standard and almost twice as high as the annual standard.

“Switching to solar will not only help Hyderabad reduce air pollution by bringing down its dependence on coal as a source of power, but also help policy makers, planners and installers in Telangana contribute to the India’s overall rooftop solar PV goal of 40 GW by 2022, which is crucial for India’s voluntary contribution to the Paris Agreement. We need the state government of Telangana to proactively create awareness among the residents & other stakeholders of Hyderabad, to increase the uptake of rooftop solar PV,” said Pujarini Sen, Climate & Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace India.

“Telangana already has a rooftop solar policy and a vibrant marketplace for rooftop solar systems. What is needed is a goal to help determine a market size, which in turn would help policy makers calibrate their future course of actions,” said Akhilesh Magal, Head – Advisory, Renewable Energy, Environment, and Energy Efficiency, Gujarat Energy Research Management Institute (GERMI), who led the research of this report.

Harsha Yadav, Co-Founder & COO of Zolt Energy, a solar EPC company based in Hyderabad pointed out that the state has been at the forefront of the solar net metering regulations in India, with a working policy launched back in 2013-2014. “The residential rooftop sector, which has been dormant for a while, has been picking up pace. The payback period for residents in Hyderabad is around five years. For the next 20 years, they can enjoy free power with minimal maintenance,” he said.

But there is a long way to go. Solar rooftop uptake has been lackluster in metro cities [3] thus far. Further, As of December 2017, only six out of 29 states & seven UTs are complying with the centre’s Renewable Energy Purchase Obligation (RPO) targets. Telangana has 1868.17 MW of renewable energy installed in the state as of 2017, but lags behind in terms of RPO compliance at just 40 percent of the target. At the moment, it is lagging behind the southern states, of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh [4].

Contact:
Jitendra Kumar, Sr Communication Specialist, Greenpeace India:
Ph. 0986817337; email: jkumar@greenpeace.org
Pujarini Sen, Renewable Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace India:
Ph: 08586016050; email: psen@greenpeace.org

Footnotes:
[1] Link to the report: 
[2] Airpocalypse II
[3] Metros Slow to Switch on the sun
[4] Only six states complying with Renewable Purchase Obligations targets others undermining centres targets