Solar rooftop drive: People’s movement essential to enhance installations in India

The government has set an ambitious target to develop 175 gigawatts (GW) renewable energy by 2022, comprising 100GW solar, 60GW wind, 10GW biomass, and 5GW small hydro projects. Of the total 100GW solar installation, 40GW would be rooftop and the balance 60GW would be ground-mounted utility scale. The Draft National Electricity Plan released recently by the Central Electricity Authority of India (CEA) has envisaged additional 1,00,000 MW renewable energy during 2022-27. Considering the similar percentage of rooftop addition during 2022-27, it is expected that rooftop solar would be further added to about 24,000MW. Thus, the total rooftop installation until 2027 would be 64,000MW. This has become more crucial now, upon the ratification of the Paris Agreement.

The total solar installation in India currently is to the tune of 9,000 MW. Of this 9,000MW, rooftop installation is about 1,020MW, comprising 377MW industrial, 263MW commercial, 121MW government, and 260MW residential. Most of the installation—853MW (85%)—was developed under the capex model, and the balance 15%, i.e, 167MW, was developed under the opex model. The target set by the government is about 1,500MW in FY17. The balance 38,500MW rooftop needs to be installed in the next 5-6 years, i.e, about 6,500MW per year.

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