Firms eye rooftops for solar power

One of the questions that reverbated the most frequently at the session on "solar energy" at the Vibrant Gujarat summit Friday was on the use of industries' rooftops to generate energy for their own use and for commercialisation.

S K Mehrotra from Borosil, for example, said during a question and answer round that his company has rooftop space to generate up to 1 MW and asked if he could set up panels there and use it and sell whatever surplus is generated.

Alan Rusbing from Kiran Energy, who was a panelist in one of the sessions, said his company is in "serious talks" with "hundreds" of companies who are willing to set up captive rooftop solar facilities.

Answering a question on how many years it may take for rooftop solar to be viable without government subsidies, the International Finance Corporation's Isabel Chatterton said in fact there are some special projects that are already running viably without subsidies, and that it may be so on a large scale in less than a decade.

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