Varanasi Builders’ Association pledge for solar rooftop 

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CEED organized roundtable with real estate sector to solarize Varanasi

On 23rd August 2017, CEED organized a roundtable on ‘Vibrant Varanasi: Role of Real Estate Sector in Solarising Varanasi’ in collaboration with the members of the Varanasi Builders’ Association. The aim was to discuss the role of the real estate sector in establishing the holy city, Varanasi as the first renewable powered smart city of India by 2025, and to develop a roadmap for 100% Varanasi, a campaign that CEED will be launching soon. All builders present at the event pledged to dedicate their establishment’s rooftop spaces to solar and will soon start the process of installation of the solar panels.

In May 2017, CEED released a comprehensive report titled, “Vibrant Varanasi: Transformation through Solar Rooftop” which revealed that the city can generate 676 MW by using just 8% of its existing roof-space. It is noteworthy that the residential sector in the city has an untapped potential close to 450 MW, and in order to achieve this target, the real estate’s inevitable role cannot be ignored.

Abhishek Pratap, Director Programmes at CEED, said, “The aim is to deliver the vision of a solarised Varanasi, which can be achieved if the real estate sector comes forward and supports the 100% Varanasi campaign. Considering the present energy scenario in the country, there has been a significant drop in prices of solar and shall continue to lower further, in comparison to prices of grid connected electricity generated through conventional sources. This makes solar a more viable energy solution for Varanasi.”

The consultation not only provided a platform for the builders to discuss a future roadmap but also invoked short term and long term action plans to implement the same. One of the short term plans is to install solar PV system in the existing complexes with roof space of over 1000 sq. ft., to either feed the electricity generated directly into the grid via gross metering or net metering. The project could be based on either the Investment model or the PPP model, wherein 100% of the sanctioned load could be utilized.

The long term plans include utilizing the virtual net metering mechanism, where the generation benefits can be proportionally split among the residents over the life cycle of the projects. In this model, the beneficiaries will directly be the owners of the individual buildings.

Individual builders and Varanasi Builders’ Association pledge their support for the Vibrant Varanasi campaign to support Central and State Government’s vision to developing Varanasi as the first renewable energy powered city of India by 2025.