Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Monday, 5 June 2017

Green Buildings ? Put Greed to Work !

Two days back , Maharashtra Government came out with a policy under which all new buildings will need to comply with “ Energy Conservation Building Code “

Under this code ,

·         All upcoming buildings will have to be fitted with LED bulbs only

·         Existing buildings will be encouraged to replace old bulbs / tube lights ( including all government buildings )

·         Street lights will be fitted with sunlight sensor switches and LED bulbs

·         Agricultural pumps will be powered by Solar Energy

·         Village Drinking Water Schemes will also get powered by Solar Energy

·         Anganwadi and jails will have to use energy-efficient gadgets

Congratulations to Shri Chandrashekhar Bawankule ( State Energy Minister ) , who said :

·         Govt will spend Rs 840 cr to implement this policy

·         Changes will save the government, around 1,000 MW of energy and Rs 6,000 cr in 5 years

·         Those who don’t abide by the rules will face punishment

·         The government will come up with incentive schemes to encourage old buildings to switch to LED lights

·         If the new norms are flouted, then the final occupation certificate can be withheld

·         Green buildings will be offered incentives in taxes or in the form of FSI

The news reports failed to make any mention of the government offering any “ incentives “ to buildings ( old or to new ), for installing of Solar Panels on roof tops !

While no one will quarrel with sundry incentives for “ saving power “ ( coal-based DIRTY power , at that ! )

 , it is indeed surprising that there is no incentive for “ generating power “ of the “ clean ( solar ) “ variety , on each and every roof top !

In the long run , it is only the roof top solar power that can save the World !

This ( apparent ? ) lack of enthusiasm for roof top solar , is all the more surprising considering that IIT-Madras has invented a small roof top plant ( along with a storage system ) , costing just Rs 20,000 , which can run a couple of tube-lights, fans, charging points and a TV !

A higher model can run all essential load ( minus washing machine and air conditioners ) of a middle class family

Economic Times ( 26 May ) writes :

“ This rooftop plant has been installed under CSR and government sponsorship in 15,000 rural homes and was successful in facing a three day power cut during Chennai floods in Dec 2015 “

An official in the Solar Energy Corporation of India ( SECI ) said :

To install a roof top of the present technology , a middle class family will require 1 KWH solar roof top and storage , costing about Rs 1.2 lakh and a space of 100 sq ft

What is holding back the government to incentivize millions of homes / buildings , to come forward and install the IIT-M innovation ?

I believe the answer lies in the Government displaying the same kind of “ Out of Box “ and innovative thinking which Shri Suresh Prabhu ( Railway Minister ) , recently displayed, while announcing train travel under  : TRAVEL NOW /  PAY  LATER :  scheme , under which you do NOT need to pay the train fare up-front but pay it later ( after enjoying your train journey ) !

A service charge of 3.5 % will be levied on such tickets and the customer will have to pay the ticket amount within 14 days of the purchase of the ticket.

To avail this service, it is mandatory for the passengers to provide their names, email ID , mobile number , PAN card or Aadhar details

I urge Maharashtra government to adopt this innovative financing model for roof top solar plants where :

·         Individual building owners or Societies will install the plants on their roofs ( model / size / supplier etc to be decided by each consumer )

·         Plants will need to be installed only by Channel Partners ( supplying agencies ) which are empanelled by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy , who have submitted installation data ( Project Completion Report for grid connected rooftop projects ) on the SPIN portal

·         Submit “ Bill / Certificate of Grid Connectivity “ to govt  for “Green Solar Loan

·         Loan will be repayable at 5 % interest rate , over a 15 year period


·         Societies will even be allowed to repay the EMI in the form of the solar power it generates and FEEDS into the State Grid , under the “ Reverse Metering “ Scheme

Dear Shri Piyush Goyalji :

The surest / fastest way of  “ GOING GREEN “  is to  “

Let us demonstrate to the World that , despite USA pulling out of the Paris Accord , our commitment to “ GOING  GREEN “ remains the same !

06  June  2017