The ministry of new and renewable energy has kicked off the ambitious rooftop solar programme - PM Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana - to solarise one crore homes with an outlay of ₹75,021 crore, by constituting a Mission Directorate to implement the programme.

An MNRE notification says the directorate shall be headed by a mission director, who shall be the joint secretary in charge of the rooftop solar division. The National Programme Implementation Agency (NPIA) will operate under the directions of the mission directorate. The terms of reference of the mission directorate will include the issuance of scheme guidelines and its amendments, overall responsibility to implement the scheme and coordination with all stakeholders including state-level implementing agencies, financial sanctions to NPIA etc.

The Union Cabinet had approved PM Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana on February 29, which will envisage providing free electricity up to 300 units every month for one crore households. The programme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 13.

The scheme provides a Central Financial Assistance (CFA) of 60% of system cost for 2 kW systems and 40% of additional system cost for systems between 2 to 3 kW capacity. The CFA will be capped at 3 kW. At current benchmark prices, this will mean ₹30,000 subsidy for one kW system, ₹60,000 for two kW systems and ₹78,000 for three kW systems or higher, according to the government.

Households will be given collateral-free low-interest loan of around 7% at present for installation of residential rooftop solar systems up to 3 kW. The Government expects the scheme will result in addition of 30 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity through rooftop solar in the residential sector, generating 1000 billion units (BU)s of electricity and creating around 17 lakh direct jobs in manufacturing, logistics, supply chain, sales, installation, O&M and other services.  Cumulative rooftop solar capacity in India stood at 10.5 GW at the end of 2023 and India installed 1.7 GW of rooftop solar capacity last year.

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