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Indian Rooftop Solar Energy Remains In A Moribund State Despite Lofty Government Goals

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Indian Rooftop Solar System still to catch up with Utility Solar in India

While the Indian solar industry has been making waves around the world in terms of its low costs, massive growth potential and investor interest, the rooftop solar segment has remained in an anemic state. The government’s target of 40000 MW of solar power by 2022 looks like an unachievable dream, as the segment fails to take off due to the bureaucratic red tape at the distribution utility end. It is extremely hard for a normal Indian citizen to get the approvals and clearances from the utility for a net metering connection. This is required as solar rooftop systems generate power in the day and sometimes the excess needs to be exported to the grid. During night time, the power needs to be imported from the grid. Energy storage is still quite expensive and the distribution channels for storage are still in an immature state.

You might also like to read about the reasons why residential Rooftop Solar is still not popular in India.

solar for home

The contract laws in India are quite weak which makes it difficult for the PPA business model of selling solar power to users difficult. As per a recent Greenpeace report, only 36 MW of rooftop solar power has been installed in Delhi as compared to the 1000 MW target by 2020. Mumbai the other big city has even more pathetic numbers which are hardly worth talking about! Also, read has Rooftop Solar In India Finally Reached A Tipping Point At 8 Cents Price Per Unit?

The government, I think has pretty much given up on the rooftop solar segment as its numerous policies and subsidies have failed. The government is now trying to push rooftop solar through government rooftops and has also sharply increased the allocation for large-scale utility mounted solar plants in solar parks. This is much easier to grow as compared to the distributed solar energy systems.

However, the future lies in rooftop solar as can be seen from advanced countries like Australia and Germany where the rooftop solar contribution is as high as 80% to the total solar capacity, as compared to less than 5% in the Indian solar context. Read Cost benefit Analysis of a Rooftop Solar System in India.


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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