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Pettiness, corruption and general sloth make growth of Rooftop Solar Energy hard in India

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Rooftop Solar slows down in India

For anyone who has dealt with lower level government officials in India, the sloth and corruption prevalent amongst these employees is a fact of life. Giving bribes is expected and everyone takes it for granted. In these conditions, growing rooftop solar which requires cooperation and a multitude of approvals and inspections implies that getting a system installed by an ordinary India is a Herculean task. A number of the distribution utilities are a law unto themsevels providing poor or no servive in most states. Blackouts due to poor infrastructure is common with no accountability since these government employees cannot be fired. Even though most state governmetns have made rooftop solar a priority and even mandatory in some cases, the growth of rooftop solar has been anaemic expect when it is conducted by the government itself through tenders.


A case in point is the state of Haryana which is adjacent to the capital Delhi and home to one of the most affluent cities Gurgaon. The social and physical infrastructure is quite pathetic with poor roads, drainage and utilities. Expecting to grow rooftop solar when there basic facilities are in a poor state is to expect a miracle. Recently it came to light that it took 3 months for the distribution utility to finalize a vendor who would provide net meters. Due to the poor offtake of rooftop solar, the government took stock and that led to the government agencies blaming each other for the general sloth and poor movement. This is the favorite game played by the numerous government departments, agencies and undertakings. If some blame falls, then push it to someone else and after a few days the issue will die down as another issue is sure to come up. While ADB and World Bank provide hundreds of millions of dollars in loans to boost the rooftop solar, the pathetic state of ground level government services makes growth in rooftop solar difficult.

Eight months since its official launch in Gurgaon, only 11 net meters installed across the city are connected to the grid and are functioning, even as 54 applications continue to await approval.On being probed, the Haryana Renewal Energy Development Agency (HAREDA) officials blamed the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (DHBVN) for delaying the approval of the net meters.


Nearly a year has passed since the Haryana government made installation of solar power system mandatory on rooftops of buildings constructed over 500 sq yards. But the local administration seems to have failed in ensuring that the order is being implemented. “We have no guidelines or the authority to penalise people if they do not install solar power units on rooftops of buildings spread across 500 sq yards,” said ADC Vinay Pratap.



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

2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. B K Mishra

    Very sad, Haryana like state that too in Gurugram Govt. is not doing enough for green energy in spite of rich and educated mass. Corruption has eroded our system.

  2. Rupesh Agarwal

    Corruption in Solar is not something new. Since the initial ages of solar street lights, homelighting systems, state nodal agencies are taking bribe (fixed rate per unit). When the larger projects started coming, politicians are openly demanding bribe, which is fixed at lakhs per MW. We all know what happend in southern state. It is like every government offical/politician want to make money from these projects (CEG/Revenue etc..).