Facts & Figures
The solar radiations
How can you say that the state has the potential for the solar power? The best way to know this is by looking at the solar radiations within the state in the 12 months of the year. The solar insolation is the amount of the solar radiations falling on the per unit area in per unit time. The more are the radiations falling the better is the solar potential. Let us look at the solar radiations chart of the state for the 12 months of the year:
The average of the 12 months is 5.27 KW/m²/day or the average of 5.27 sun hours in a day with the highest month being the month of April (6.96 KW/m²/day) and the lowest is the January (3.9 KW/m²/day)
I discussed in many articles that the solar radiations play a vital role in the system feasibility. The higher amount of the solar radiations reduces the size of the solar panels hence facilitate the feasibility of the solar system while the lower amount of the solar radiations in an area negatively affect the feasibility of the system. By looking at the above chart, I can say that Uttar Pradesh is quite rich in its solar energy resource and it should harness the solar power in the form of the solar electricity.
The Grid electricity
The UPPCL is the state electricity company which transmits and distributes the electricity in the state. This company is further sub-divided into the following divisions:
For example, the monthly consumption of a household is 300 units. The monthly electricity bill can be calculated as follows:
(4.4 x 150) + (4.95 x 150)
= 660 + 742.5
= Rs. 1402.5 + Fixed charges say 0.45 of 400 units
The average unit price for consuming 300 units of the electricity in a month is INR 4.675 per unit (excluding the fixed charges).
The above per unit cost will act as the base point for determining the feasibility of the residential solar power system as follows:
The size & the cost of the solar system generating 300 units every month
Review the energy chart of the system
The above chart shows the energy produced by the 2 KW system in the different months of the year. For example, your daily energy requirement is 5175 W-hr (representing by the straight blue line in the chart), assuming constant throughout the year. You can see that in some months, the energy produced by the 2 kW solar system is more than the required energy, while in other months there is a shortage of the energy. The excess energy producing months are:
Forming the Debt-Equity structure
The setting up of the solar power system on your rooftop is a kind of an investment which requires the capital. The cost of setting the system is INR 1,70,000 when you invest your own money without taking a loan from the financial institution. But sometimes, it may not be possible to invest the whole amount right away by yourself and you look for the facility who can invest the amount on your behalf by offering you repay it in the small, regular and the equal installments. When you take a loan to purchase the system, the overall cost of the system increases because of the addition of the interest in the loan amount. The more is the proportion of the loan or the debt, the higher is the overall cost of the system. The benefit of availing loan is that it offers you the facility to repay in the installments over a period of time. The Debt-equity structure plays an important role in evaluating the financial feasibility of the system. The right mix of debt-equity can be formed considering individual’s budget. I will discuss the three scenarios here in this post and these are as follows:
When I consider installing solar power system by my own funds, it is the simple case of 100% equity funding. As the debt part is the zero, there is no interest component attached. The overall cost of the system will be INR 1,70,000 + the yearly maintenance for the next 25 years. The financial metrics will be as follows:
You can see that the cost of solar electricity < the cost of the grid electricity (INR 4.675 per unit), the system is feasible.
Case-II: 50% Equity & 50% Debt
When you plan to invest only 50% of the total cost of the system and take the loan, for 7 years @ 11% per year, for the remaining 50% of the amount, the financials are as follows:
Case-III: 100% Debt
Here you prefer 100% funding of the project, for 7 years @ 11% per year, from the financial institution. The financial metrics will be as follows:
In this case, the area covered with red color indicates that solar electricity is getting costlier than the Grid electricity of INR 4.675. But this area is very less compared to the total area implies that the probability of solar electricity getting costlier is very less. So, under special circumstances, we can say that the solar electricity is feasible and one can install the solar system.
It is found that with the addition and the increase in the debt, the return from the project decreases, increasing the payback period and increasing the per unit cost of the solar electricity. Please look at the following comparison table:
In our case, all the three scenarios are favorable for the solar electricity. The increasing rate of interest and the duration of the loan negatively affects the feasibility of the solar electricity. The selection of energy efficient devices and the right debt-equity mix, helps in improving the efficiency of the system and the facilitate its feasibility.