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Why the first solar rooftop and off grid policy by an Indian state is flawed

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Maharashtra Rooftop and off Grid Solar policy

Maharashtra has become the first state in India to come out with a policy of targeting solar rooftop and off grid projects. While most large Indian states have come out with a solar policy for all segments, nobody has focused on this segment. It is commendable in my view, since promoting rooftop solar makes more sense going forward. It will not only reduce the transmission and distribution costs, but also distribute the profits and subsidies of solar investments to normal citizens instead of large corporates and investors. I have always been a proponent of small scale distributed solar installations over large ground mounted solar utility installations.

BenQ Rooftop Solar Panels

The government had earlier set a target of 14400 MW of renewable energy, out of which 7500 MW would come from solar energy. Note Maharashtra is one of the most industrialized states in India and has got ~15% of India’s total power generating capacity as well. Now the state government has given a grant of Rs 2650 crores for the distributed solar energy investments. The government is planning to install 150 MW of solar energy from government buildings, while 50 MW will be done through the private sector. This is over and above the subsidy that the central government is giving for solar energy installations.

The state government also wants to promote the use of solar cookers and solar pumps to reduce the energy requirements from fossil fuels. Note while many states have set targets for solar pump installations, nobody has done much in the way of solar cookers and bio gas plants. I think it is a good policy, though the government could do away with 100% subsidy for government rooftop solar installations. It could have spread the subsidy to more installations by giving a lower subsidy amount. In Maharashtra, solar tariffs are much lower than commercial and residential tariffs. So the need for a high capital subsidy does not make sense. Giving a 10% subsidy would be enough, along with a push to government agencies to act fast in installing the projects.

 He informed that the government will 100% subsidy to generate 150 Mw in five years (30 Mw each year)  through a combination of generation sets of 1 to 50 kilowatt capacity on rooftop and on land on government properties.The government will give 20% subsidy for the generation of 50 Mw (10 MW each year) on private properties.
urther, additional Rs 500 crore will be spent on promoting solar cookers in government and private organisations while Rs 16 crore are earmarked for the generation of 4,000 kilowatt through bio gas.

Source -BS


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

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