Rooftop Solar in Delhi Breaks Free of Height Constraints

The two metre  height regulation in Delhi, which was seen as a constraint by many owners, owing to the impact it would have on other uses for rooftops, has been removed.

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has relaxed norms governing the height of the panels, making it easier for many to consider solar rooftop again.

The new rules allow rooftop panels  at “any height or level, including ground level, terrace and rooftop, subject to the maximum height permitted by AAI and clearance from Delhi Fire Services.”

The bylaws have been amended and notified by Delhi Development Authority.

While the rule change is a welcome step, it remains to be seen if it helps in any way. For a user, increasing the height might even help escape shadows from neighbouring buildings or even trees, but it will come at a higher cost for the mounting structure. Adding anything beyond 3 metres might even necessitate extra strengthening work to ensure the ‘pillars’ stand the 10-25 year warranty installers promise.

Interestingly, rooftop solar, at least the subsidised parts, remain a strictly controlled option in most cities, with specific capacity targets for firms that have been empaneled. Chances are, a sudden spike in demand, even if it were to happen, would probably not be serviced if overall targets have been met. Amplus (HomeScape By Amplus) is currently installing solar rooftops in Delhi as an approved vendor, with a limited target.

Delhi itself offers the highest rooftop potential in government owned buildings and institutions like schools, where some headway has already been made.  In most other commercial markets and even houses, there have been issues beyond just the height restrictions which have been a factor, be it rooftop use for other purposes, ownership wrangles, or even the quality of the roof floor itself.

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