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Booming Rooftop Solar Around the World!

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We at Greenworldinvestor have touted the benefits of going solar time and again. Solar energy have come a long way in terms of cost and efficiency and have also become economical in some places around the world. Solar installations can be broadly classified into large scale ground mounted solar installations and rooftop installations. We have also listed out a comparison between the two types of installations here.

Large scale solar installations have already achieved grid parity with traditional sources of power in some parts of the globe. The green credentials of solar coupled with rising climate change concerns have promoted the usage of solar. However few industry experts argue that large scale solar installations are more profitable because they sell directly to utilities, when compared to rooftop installations. Rooftop solar is used mainly for captive consumption and should be profitable only with net metering laws.

Rooftop Project

According to GTM Research, ground mounted solar systems in USA will account for more than 70% of new solar to be added to the grid this year. Rooftop solar is still struggling on the cost front to make it more attractive to the residential customers. On the other hand, large scale solar is gaining traction even in states without any subsidies. For example, Georgia has the least rooftop solar installations, but was the sixth largest solar market in 2015.

While large scale installations make more financial sense, rooftop solar is becoming more popular in places not connected with the grid, and for people having the romance for solar and the passion for going green. However in countries having huge land constraints and suffering with pollution, rooftop seems to be the inevitable solution. India and China have become the largest hubs for rooftop solar installations. These developing economies also face huge blackouts and the price of conventional power is also increasing by the day. Hence rooftop solar provides with a clean and green solution in these countries.

Having said that, solar has accounted for 64% of new electric capacity additions in USA in Q1 2016 and is set to grow 94% in 2016. The residential solar market also registered a strong growth with more than 500 MW capacity additions. In fact according to GTM Research, strong growth is expected in the residential and utility sectors. Other markets like Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Philippines are also expected to grow their solar installations. SunPower, the US solar company is set to excel in the residential solar segment with the launch of its Equinox system. The company increased its marketshare by a whopping 50% in Q1’16. Other undisputed leader in the residential segment is SolarCity, who is also trying to maintain its share of the residential market by introducing new finance schemes for its clients. Note SolarCity played an important role in mushrooming rooftop installations all over USA through its attractive lease policies to customers.

In my opinion rooftop solar will pave the way for the further advancement of solar in the world. The technology has evolved so much that it has now become comparable with the grid prices in certain regions of the world too. It is expected that storage costs will go down in the future that will further propel solar installations on the rooftops around the globe.

Keep reading here for more information about Rooftop Solar Installations. My next article on this subject, will cover the numbers/ MW installed in different parts of the world.



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!

  1. helen

    Check out Minus7, they have just introduced a new roof plank with embedded PV. Added to the fact that their system already provides heating and hot water, the PV now means the system costs nothing to run.