Risk of India rooftop solar policy being ‘non-event’ - Bridge to India

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An imminent announcement on the Indian government’s rooftop solar policy will have little significance unless it details a mandate for rooftop solar on buildings, according to consultancy firm Bridge to India.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) target of 100GW solar by 2022 includes a huge 40GW rooftop target in a market that has barely taken off in the country. Not only that, but there has been precious little detail published on how the target will be reached, other than the expectation of a huge jump from 200MW installed in 2015/16 to 4.8GW in 2016/17.

In a blog, Bridge to India said in the last year from November 2014 to October 2015, India added 240MW of rooftop capacity, up from 154MW in the previous year.

The firm claimed that MNRE is ready to place a new rooftop solar policy in front of India’s Union Cabinet. It is expected to include detail on operational and economic support for rooftop solar in India.

The firm expects the new policy to include a 15% capital subsidy for residential consumers and public buildings, low-cost financing using funding from international development banks, zero import duties on solar equipment and continuation of accelerated depreciation benefits.

Bridge to India said: “Further action on compulsory net-metering by power distribution companies and mandates on building owners to install rooftop solar can provide a significant fillip to the market.”

It added that it will be important for the new rooftop policy to provide added detail on these previously announced schemes, otherwise it claimed the new policy would be a “non-event”.

A separate report published today by international consultancy KPMG highlighted India's largely untapped rooftop solar market as one of the key growth areas in the country over the coming decade.

until now there has been very littel detail shared on how India expects to reach its 40GW rooftop solar target by 2022. Image: Tata
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