India’s Rooftop Solar Market: High On Opportunities and Loaded With Challenges

Commercial and Industrial rooftop solar market has been rising over the last two years, driven by the huge savings energy cost and the availability of attractive financial models.

Net metering was introduced in India as a measure to make rooftop solar more accessible and economical for electricity consumers. However, implementation across many states have been slow due to various challenges, more particularly DISCOMS fear of losing premier C&I customers. The rooftop capacity therefore has barely crossed 2.5 per cent of the 40 per cent of the national solar target. However, the segment is expected to pick up momentum with the launch of the Sustainable Rooftop Implementation for Solar Transfiguration of India (SRISTI) scheme which addresses DISCOMs’ concerns.

With electrically powered gadgets becoming an essential part of everyone’s life universal access to electricity has become a necessity as never before in India. Simultaneously power prices are rising and more and more cities are choking alarmingly with pollution. Clean solar energy has the great advantage of being put to use both as a small decentralised power generator of few tens of watts and as a mega centralised power plants.

Commercial and Industrial rooftop solar market has been rising over the last two years, driven by the huge savings energy cost and the availability of attractive financial models. Low cost financing from multilateral agencies like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, KfW etc are also helping the market growth. The C&I segment has accounted for close to 70 per cent of the total rooftop solar installations. However, the market potential still remains hugely under exploited. Among the serious constraints are:

 DISCOMSs’ disinterest for fear of losing high tariff paying C&I customers which helps them in offsetting the social burden of offering cheap or free power to agricultural sector.
 Metering policies of states: many lack clarity and they are not aligned across the states.  Serious issues like the possibility of abrupt downward revision of tariff orders looms large.

Experts from the industry, policy makers and market researchers will share their experience and views and suggest the ways to accelerate the market during three rooftop conference sessions at Intersolar India on December 11-13 in Bangalore. Andrew Hines, Co-founder of CleanMax Solar will give a mid-term outlook for rooftop PV in India. Ryan Cook Senior Consultant at Meister Consultants Group will talk about residential market push through PV-rooftop demand aggregation. R.K. Jain, Addl. General Manager (Solar) at Solar Energy Corporation of India will talk about the successes and constraints of the rooftop solar growth in India. Afterwards Anuvrat Joshi, India Business Development Director at Cleantech Solar Energy (India) Pvt. Ltd. will address key trends, opportunities and challenges in adoption and scaling of industrial solar. Furthermore, in a session organised by swissnex India, experts from Switzerland will showcase proven BIPV technologies and applications for more energy efficient buildings, innovative rooftop structures, and sustainable Greentech solutions.


For more information, visit www.intersolar.in