The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is currently developing the first-of-kind cloud-based open-source Web-GIS tool for estimating rooftop solar power potential for Indian cities. The main objective of this exercise is to develop a high-performing, flexible Web-GIS tool to estimate the rooftop solar power potential for Chandigarh.
This is considered as an important step to promote solar rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems in Indian cities. There is a need for a tool to showcase solar resource potential in a user-friendly format so that users can investigate their locations of interest and perform pre-processed analysis. Geographic Information System (GIS) is the obvious tool to achieve this because it provides visual reference — a map of the entire city, showing the buildings having solar PV installation potential.
The tool was recently demonstrated during the workshop entitled “Promoting Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic Systems in India” organised by TERI.
Amit Kumar, Director, Energy Environment Technology Development, said, “TERI started working on development of this tool, realising the felt need for the same, especially given the ambitious programmes on solar rooftop systems under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission as well as under states’ policies. While similar tools were available in countries like Germany and USA, nothing of sort was available in India. Going further, TERI aimed at a tool that can be used by anyone rather than only those having access to proprietary software.”
The proposed rooftop Web-GIS tool for India will be an ideal medium to showcase investors the logistics of rooftop solar energy investment. This tool will have the following benefits: It will enable user to estimate the rooftop solar power potential of selected area or, buildings for a particular location w.r.t. various SPV technologies such as, crystalline, thin film etc.
Will act as a decision support system (DSS) to carry out the pre-feasibility assessment of putting rooftop PV system for a particular location
Will help users estimate potential GHG mitigation through solar rooftop route for a given location/building
Assess the viability of any rooftop projects based on possible business models and financial schemes available.
After successful demonstration of this rooftop solar Web-GIS tool on a pilot-basis, the quantifiable and tangible benefits can be showcased for other cities too. This tool can work as a base platform, which can be replicated for other cities by creating the GIS data layers for the target city and integrating those with the existing tool, without having any additional development efforts.