Bookmark and Share

4 Reasons why Residential Rooftop Solar Installation is still not popular in India

5 Comment

With Solar energy gaining popularity and rising power concerns in India, more and more Indian states are making solar energy accessible in their own way. We recently saw the country’s capital thinking of mandating rooftop installations. The policy aims at achieving 1GW of rooftop solar by 2020 and 2GW by 2025 for Delhi. Though rooftop installation are gaining traction, it is still not very commonly seen on the rooftops of Indian homes. The southern state of India Tamil Nadu is also thinking on same lines to mandate rooftop installation on buildings higher than four floors. However many real estate developers are concerned that this would further escalate their costs in an already slow real estate market in India currently. We read news daily that solar is becoming affordable day by day, still why is there this hitch in installing solar power. Lets analyze some of the major concerns why residential rooftop solar installation is still not very popular in India.

Solar Rooftop Panels

Reasons why Rooftop Installation lags behind in India

1) Cost is still very high – The common Indian with a low per capita income cannot afford a home rooftop installation yet. A rooftop unit can cost upto INR 1 lakh for 1 KV system in India. 1 KV system is capable of generating 150 units of power on a monthly basis. Getting approval for bank loan is also a tedious process in India.

2) No Subsidy – Though the government of India has set aside a portion of subsidy for residential installations, no subsidy exists practically. Moreover the government further reduced the subsidy by 50%, at a time when the rooftop installation was still in its nascent stage in India. In reality, the subsidies are only meant for government buildings, hospitals, schools, etc.

3) Process is cumbersome – Finding a good installer and getting installation done is also not very smooth in our country. In the west, installers like SolarCity and Sunrun have eased the installation process considerably with zero upfront cost, easy installment payments and no headache of further maintenance. India still has a long way to go reach that level.

4) More room needed – The rooftop system will require additional space for keeping its batteries and panels, which is scarce and also expensive in India.The real estate developers would prefer developing an additional unit to sell rather than invest in solar.

So in a nutshell, the government needs to set up more friendly subsidy schemes or low interest bank loans to help Indians deal on the cost side. Though the benefits are plenty, the upfront cost is a big dissuasion for people to get into the process. The most important benefit will be electricity prices going down and negligible recurring costs, in case of solr. Also cost of INR 2 lakh for a 2 KV unit can be recovered within five years time period. A little more effort from the government should help India witness a boom in rooftop installation, since we now know the benefits of installing solar power are plenty. Net metering will also be a more reasonable way to direct people towards using solar power. Recently the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission announced that it is all set to implement net metering policy, whereby domestic as well as commercial power consumers can sell the extra power and get credits in the electricity bills.




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

5 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. pramod ranjan arora

    Government has set the targets, providing subsidy and loan as a home loan. Overall, it is good but there is no solar culture in our country. First of all Center/ state governments should install solar rooftop PV at their offices, rest houses and other buildings for development solar culture in our country.

  2. Ravi

    True…..I am very much interested in roof top solar if I get subsidy as in solar geyser it would be of great help

  3. subu

    Good article, thanks. Rooftop will be Very Popular very soon – we are using it for drying clothes and papad. It can be build 6 ft above the roof – space can still be used for other purposes. Owners and developers can use electricity and earn money – every rooftop is a mini microgrid.

  4. Rajeev Rana

    I am Rajeev Rana we deals in su-kam solar and we want to deals in vikram solar in haryana

  5. Yellow Haze

    Good article. Though we feel, ti will still take a year or so for residential market to get mature.