MNRE Establishes Directorate for Rooftop Solar Program Oversight

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has established a mission directorate to oversee the PM-Surya Ghar: Muft Bijli Yojana, aiming to ensure goal achievement and daily operational efficiency. The joint secretary of MNRE in charge of the rooftop solar division will lead this directorate. Its responsibilities include issuing program guidelines and amendments, coordinating with stakeholders and program implementation agencies, and releasing funds to the national program implementation agency. The directorate will also coordinate with state and central electricity regulatory commissions for rooftop solar-related regulations and conduct monitoring and evaluation studies of the program.

The PM-Surya Ghar program targets the installation of rooftop solar in 10 million households with an outlay of ₹750 billion (~$9.04 billion). Launched by the Prime Minister in January, the program aims to reduce electricity expenses for poor and middle-class households and make them energy self-reliant. However, Mercom recently reported issues with the national portal, causing delays and frustrations among installers and customers. India installed 367 MW of rooftop solar capacity in Q1 2024, a 10% drop from the previous quarter and a 24% drop from a year ago, mainly due to residential consumers postponing installations in anticipation of program benefits.

The newly formed directorate is a crucial step towards ensuring the smooth implementation of the PM-Surya Ghar program. With a dedicated focus on oversight and coordination, the directorate will play a key role in streamlining processes and addressing challenges to achieve the program’s ambitious targets. Additionally, the directorate’s mandate to conduct monitoring and evaluation studies will provide valuable insights for future policy decisions and program enhancements.

The program’s goal of installing rooftop solar in 10 million households is a significant stride towards sustainable energy adoption in India. By reducing electricity expenses for low and middle-income households, the program not only promotes energy self-reliance but also contributes to reducing the carbon footprint. However, addressing issues with the national portal and ensuring timely implementation will be crucial for the program’s success and its ability to deliver tangible benefits to the intended beneficiaries.

Overall, the establishment of the mission directorate reflects the government’s commitment to promoting renewable energy and sustainable development. With effective implementation and continued support, the PM-Surya Ghar program has the potential to transform India’s energy landscape and contribute significantly to its renewable energy targets.

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