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Cabinet okays Rs 75,000 crore rooftop solar scheme for 1 crore households

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved PM-Surya Ghar: Muft Bijli Yojana with a total outlay of Rs 75,021 crore for installing rooftop solar power units and providing free electricity up to 300 units every month for one crore households, according to an official statement issued on Thursday.

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The scheme provides Central financial assistance of 60 per cent of system cost for 2 kW systems and 40 per cent of additional system cost for systems between 2 to 3 kW capacity. The financial assistance will be capped at 3 kW. At current benchmark prices, this will mean Rs 30,000 subsidy for 1 kW system, Rs 60,000 for 2 kW systems, and Rs 78,000 for 3 kW systems or higher.

The households will apply for subsidy through the National Portal and will be able to select a suitable vendor for installing rooftop solar. The National Portal will assist the households in their decision-making process by providing relevant information such as appropriate system sizes, benefits calculator, vendor rating etc.

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Households will be able to access collateral-free low-interest loan products of around 7 per cent at present for installation of residential RTS systems up to 3 kW.

Other highlights of the scheme include a Model Solar Village being developed in each district of the country to act as a role model for adoption of rooftop solar in rural areas, and Urban Local Bodies and Panchayati Raj Institutions also benefiting from incentives for promoting RTS installations in their areas.

The scheme provides a component for payment security for renewable energy service company (RESCO) based models as well as a fund for innovative projects in RTS.

The scheme, announced by the Prime Minister on February 13, will enable households to save electricity bills as well as earn additional income through sale of surplus power to discoms. A 3 kW system will be able to generate more than 300 units a month on an average for a household.

The proposed scheme will result in addition of 30 GW of solar capacity through rooftop solar in the residential sector, generating 1000 BUs of electricity and resulting in reduction of 720 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions over the 25-year lifetime of rooftop systems.

It is estimated that the scheme will create around 17 lakh direct jobs in manufacturing, logistics, supply chain, sales, installation, O&M and other services, the official statement added.

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