Half of 1,396-MW rooftop solar capacity added in FY17

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Source: The Economic Times
Friday, July 14, 2017

 NEW DELHI: India had a rooftop solar capacity of 1,396 MW at the end March 2017, of which almost half was added in the previous financial year, according to a research report. 

Tamil Nadu had the highest rooftop solar capacity with 163 MW, followed by Maharashtra with 137 MW and Rajasthan with 88 MW. Gujarat had 87 MW, Karnataka 83 MW and Haryana 78 MW, according to the Rooftop Solar Map 2017 brought out by consultancy Bridge to India. 

A total of 590 MW was installed on rooftops of industrial establishments. Homes and commercial establishments had 304 MW and 313 MW, respectively, while public sector units put up 189 MW. 

Of the total, 1,157 MW of capacity was run by rooftop owners and the remaining 239 MW were on space leased to developers. The rooftop solar market is highly fragmented, according to figures provided along with the map, with about a third of the capacity held by two companies: CleanMax Solar with 24 per cent and Cleantech Solar with 11 per cent. 

Bridge to India expects 1,232 MW of rooftop solar capacity to be added in 2017-18. “The rooftop solar market is finally beginning to realise its potential,” said Vinay Rustagi, managing director. 

“The public sector segment is expected to show robust growth in coming years because of the strong government push, combined with 25-30 per cent capital subsidies.” 
The consultancy estimates India will have a total rooftop solar capacity of 13,200 MW by 2021. The government’s target is 40,000 MW by 2022. Rooftop units account for 11 per cent of India’s total solar capacity of about 12,300 MW. 

Ground-mounted solar projects dominate states and Union Territories, except in three areas – Chandigarh, where the entire 20 MW solar capacity is on rooftops, Delhi, where rooftop projects of 53 MW capacity are 88 per cent of the total, and Haryana, where it accounts for 70 per cent. 

The Chandigarh administration made rooftop solar compulsory for houses occupying plots larger than 100 square yards from the middle of last year. 

In some states, however, rooftop solar projects are stymied by electricity distribution companies that fear loss of revenue as consumers turn into generators of power on a large scale. 

In Tamil Nadu, which has the largest rooftop solar capacity in the country, the state distribution company has proposed curbs on the size of rooftop units that consumers can install, a tax on those who do so and payment of only 50 per cent of the lowest tariff that it pays for power generated by ground-mounted solar projects. 


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