India releases state targets for 40GW rooftop solar by 2022


India has released a “tentative” year-by-year breakdown of individual state targets to reach its overall 40GW rooftop solar installation goal by 2022.

A plan for the ‘Grid Connected Rooftop and Small Solar Power Plants Programme’ was outlined in a letter from Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) joint secretary Tarun Kapoor to all secretaries of state and group heads of state renewable energy agencies.

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States with the highest targets include:

  • Maharashtra 4,700MW
  • Uttar Pradesh 4,300MW
  • Tamil Nadu 3,500MW
  • Gujarat 3,200MW
  • Karnataka 2,300MW
  • Rajasthan 2,300MW
  • Madhya Pradesh 2,200MW
  • West Bengal 2,100MW

The full state rooftop breakdown by year can be found here.

Jasmeet Khurana, senior consulting manager at analyst firm, Bridge to India, told PV Tech that the targets are in line with the total power consumption of each state.

Kapoor said state agencies, state distribution companies and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), soon to be renamed Renewable Energy Corporation of India (RECI), will be responsible for implementing the rooftop programme.

Private sector investment is also critical to promote this sector as well as financing from state government budgets.

MNRE is also working on arranging funds “at a reasonable rate of interest” from international finance agencies such as the World Bank, KfW, ADB and others.

MNRE is also holding a workshop in New Delhi on solar rooftop PV projects on 7 July to be attended by power minister Piyush Goyal and cabinet secretary Kumar Sinha. It will discuss least-cost business models, individual state issues and the role of states in promoting rooftop solar.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Power is creating an ‘Integrated Power Development Scheme’ (IPDS), with a provision for promoting rooftop solar with net metering on government buildings.

Recently, the Reserve Bank of India answered calls to add renewable energy under priority lending to make financing easier and affordable. It was capped at INR150 million (US$2.5 million), which, according to a Mercom Capital Group analysis, would benefit rooftop solar despite having “minimal” impact on large-scale solar. However, Mercom did describe the 40GW rooftop target as a “lofty goal” considering there were only 100MW of rooftop installations in India in May.

Furthermore rooftop subsidies are being cut in half to 15%, down from 30%, but the MNRE claimed this offsets a recent lowering in price of panel components.

According to Bridge to India, when the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, officially approved the full 100GW solar PV target by 2022 last month, it included a provision to make rooftop solar mandatory.

If it became policy, there would be a mandatory provision of rooftop solar for new construction and 10% renewable energy provision for end customers under the new scheme of the Ministry of Urban Planning.

A nationwide mandate “would not make too much sense” as it is unlikely to be widely implemented. It would be more effective to mandate on a targeted, possibly state-by-state basis with a timeline, Khurana said.

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