The growth in rooftop solar power generation remains far too slow for the country to achieve the government’s ambitious target of 40 gigawatt of rooftop capacity by 2022, industry experts said.
The country installed rooftop capacity of only 1,896 MW in 2019, according to data collected by renewable energy consultancy Bridge To India, taking the total rooftop capacity to 5.5 GW.
“From the government’s perspective, the growth is slow; we are clearly way short of the target,” said Sanjeev Aggarwal, CEO of Gurgaon-based solar energy solutions provider Amplus Solar.
According to industry experts, electricity distribution companies in several states have been reluctant to support installation and integration of rooftop solar energy because of potential revenue loss for each unit of power generated.
“There is pushback from discoms in several states but we expect growth to continue,” said Andrew Hines, cofounder of CleanMax Solar. “The fundamentals remain strong-—there is demand for renewable power, and the economics work well for commercial and industrial consumers,” he said.
Vinay Rustagi, managing director of Bridge To India, said Maharashtra is the fastest among states in adding rooftop capacity. “Karnataka, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat are also active,” he said. “This market is much more open in terms of spread across different states in comparison to open access solar.”
Developers of rooftop solar are moving towards open access where projects are located elsewhere rather than on the roofs of their customers’ premises.