Rooftop solar: Why India is now considered to be a laggard globally

News: Rooftop solar installation in India is lagging behind the target.  

As a part of nationwide revamped target in 2014 for renewable energy installations, at least 40 gigawatt was earmarked for rooftop solar by 2022. However, only 6.11 GW (15 per cent of the target) was achieved as of November 2021.  

Even the urbanized, high-income cities like Delhi could achieve only 20 per cent of the target.  

At the national level, the MNRE had allocated a subsidy for capacity of about 3,000 MW RTS to various states, but so far, 699 MW (23 per cent) has been installed. 

What are the Issues facing Rooftop Solar (RFS)? 

Regulatory framework: The growth of the RTS segment is highly dependent on the regulatory framework. Absence or withdrawal of state-level policy support for the RTS segment has been a major issue.  

Net Metering: Net metering regulations are one of the major obstacles facing the sector. Net metering allows surplus power produced by RTS systems to be fed back into the grid. Discoms compensate consumers for this surplus power.  

Price of RTS Panels: The prices of residential RTS panels are frozen for as long as 18 months. It is the most critical flaw in the MNRE Phase II subsidy scheme. solar panels and other input costs are highly volatile. A one-price-fits-all approach fails to account for the disparities within a market. 

Rols of Discoms: Discom’s overarching role in the RTS framework is also a problem. It has a role in subsidizing the installation of RFS 

What are the suggestions? 

Direct benefit transfer must be applied, instead of transferring benefits to first discoms and then discoms transferring it to consumers. 

The RTS needs easy financing, unrestricted net metering, and an easy regulatory process. 

Source: This post is created based on the article “Rooftop solar: Why India is now considered to be a laggard globally” published in DTE on 13th Jan. 2022. 

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