Solar rooftops need financing, not sops

The solar industry believes access to finance, not sops, will be key for rooftop installations to take off, as it remains unruffled by the government’s recent proposal to cut subsidy.

Despite the provision of subsidies, solar rooftop installations have performed way below targets. Of the 358 MW rooftop solar projects sanctioned by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), only 42 MW of rooftops have been installed so far.

The subsidy mechanism is seen as highly ineffective because not enough funds are made available, delaying or entirely stalling projects. Also, there is a demand for standardisation guidelines for installations and grid inter-connectivity instead of channel partners, though this mechanism helped to ensure quality to some extent.

Large players such as Tata Power Solar are reported to be building a strong position in the EPC market. Tata claims leadership position in industrial and commercial rooftop segment with a market share of 15 per cent.

“The government should focus on enabling the market, not on managing it,” says Tobias Engelmeier, Managing Director, Bridge to India, a leading solar consulting firm.

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