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India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu gets 1000 applications for Solar Rooftop Subsidies

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India has been mostly concentrating its subsidies on large ground mounted grid connected solar plants, with federal and state subsidies going to these installations. There has been success in sharply reducing the cost of these grid connected plants to around $1.1-1.3/watt, as solar component costs have plummeted. However rooftop solar plants in India remain a novelty, despite the high amount of solar radiation received by the country. Policy makers are not giving enough subsidies for promoting solar energy rooftop installations. Even the federal government has not set targets for rooftop solar, though they have given emphasis for off grid solar solutions.

Rooftop Solar in Tamil Nadu

Kerala had recently announced a 10,000 rooftop solar plan, but that is running into issues as MNRE is out of funds to give its share of 30% capital subsidy. Tamil Nadu which has set up a 1 GW a year plan has also put up a mini rooftop solar target. The state is giving a subsidy of around $330 per 1 KW rooftop solar plant, with another $500 coming from the federal subsidy. This means that a solar homeowner needs to put up just Rs. 50,000 or around $830 to install a rooftop solar plant of 1 KW capacity on his home. With high solar insolation and electricity tariffs, his ROI becomes more than 15%. This has led to the state receiving 1000 applications for installing rooftop solar plants.

I think that India needs to give most of its subsidies for rooftop solar plants as it reduces investment in the grid and also leads to a greening of the environment. It also leads to less subsidies for the giant corporate groups who do not need subsidies anyway. Australia has managed to install solar rooftop plants in almost 1 out of 6 households, despite having very little solar farm capacity. This makes more sense than installing massive solar panel arrays which leads to issues for wildlife, land acquisition, water, crony capitalism etc.

Delhi was one of the first states to think of a solar rooftop energy plan before abandoning it for unknown reasons. India is a large power deficit country where customers are forced to buy power at high rates and even then they face power brownouts. A large part of the country has to depend on diesel gensets which costs Rs 14/kWh compared to just Rs 7-8 for solar energy. Greater publicity and subsidies are needed to convert this high cost, polluting energy into solar power.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

One Response so far | Have Your Say!


    In several states of India rooftop solar PV is at verge of grid parity or achieved grid parity where high solar resource is available and higher tariffs of discoms. The states achieved grid parity or at verge of grid parity need no subsidy. Providing subsidy for rooftop solar PV shall not be discreet able at this stage. Health of discoms are not good and are unable to supply to receive the supply from rooftop PV plant. State governments have not yet made regulations and polices for development of rooftop solar PV plants.
    First, state governments should ornament its buildings with solar PV for innovation, awareness. Government should only provide soft loans, not subsidy.