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Has the Indian Government given up on 40 GW Rooftop Solar

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Solar Parks in India to double allocation

The Indian government has not been very successful in pushing rooftop solar, despite enacting numerous policies and subsidies for pushing the growth of this segment. Most of the policies have fallen flat, as numerous regulatory and practical bottlenecks have not allowed rooftop solar to grow at the same breakneck speed as utility scale solar power plants that have been mushrooming, as thousands of megawatts are being bid out.

Rooftop solar has recently seen a 500 MW tender by SECI, but that got a very tepid response as most solar developers were not interested in this segment. Payment, security issues as well as utility clearances have dissuaded many not to go in for rooftop solar installations, despite favorable economies for rooftop solar as compared to grid electricity having been reached in many parts of the country as well as different segments such as commercial and industrial segments.

solar farm

Read more about Solar Parks in India.

As per an MNRE official, the Indian government may double the target for solar parks to 40 GW from 20 GW decided earlier. I would assume that this 20 GW increase would imply a 20 GW decrease in the rooftop solar target, as the other segment utility scale segment is doing extremely well. Most analysts have said time and again that the 40 GW rooftop solar target looks too aggressive, given the numerous issues existing around this segment.

Typically developing countries fail to grow rooftop solar. Even China has failed to grow rooftop solar despite being the largest solar installing country by far. Only developed countries with well-developed regulatory, contracting and payment systems have managed to grow rooftop solar systems at a rapid pace. Australia has almost entirely grown its solar capacity through the rooftop solar route. Germany also has a high percentage mix of rooftop solar energy, as compared to utility solar.

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For India, it is much easier to get around the regulatory and contracting bottlenecks with large solar developers building huge solar power plants. Solar Parks concept has been mostly an Indian theme, with other countries not having this policy. Buying land in India is a huge issue and the government acquisition of land has made solar parks a very attractive proposition, especially for foreign investors and developers. These players have a hard time buying land parcels in India, as compared to Indian developers who already have large land banks.

India needs huge amounts of foreign capital to develop its creaking infrastructure sector, and any idea which clicks with foreign investors and helps provide infrastructure at cheap costs is a good one. I don’t think it is a bad idea for the government to double solar park allocation.


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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