The Indian solar industry is all set to witness rapid growth and create new records in 2019.
Rooftop Solar Installations Predictions for 2019
The current solar installations capacity stands at about 30 gigawatts in May 2019. This is nearly 50% more than new solar installations last year, according to a field report by Bridge to India, an energy consultancy firm based in Gurugram.
The report estimates that large-scale solar projects in the country will see new installations with a capacity of 10.902 GW in 2019, while rooftop solar projects will see new installations with a capacity of 2.368 GW by the end of this year.
Apart from large-scale solar projects like solar farms, installations of rooftop solar panels continue to rise pan-India. Though Indian households have not yet warmed to the idea of utilising their rooftops for solar panel installations, a large number of commercial, industrial and corporate users have embraced rooftop solar panels due to their ability to lower overall electricity costs.
Overview of the Growth of Rooftop Solar Installations in India
India is blessed with tremendous potential to generate solar energy, thanks to its ideal geographical location. With rising climate change concerns, the Indian government has set an ambitious target of achieving 100GW solar power capacity through grid-connected solar energy by 2022. Out of this 100GW, rooftop solar installations will account for 40GW of solar power by 2022.
According to the Bridge to India field report, rooftop solar capacity in India grew to 3.4GW in September of 2018. Compared to the previous year, the growth rate was a massive 75%, with the majority of rooftop solar panels being installed at commercial and industrial buildings.
Commercial and industrial users avail the services of OPEX (Operational Expenditure) companies, that bear the cost of setting up and maintaining solar panels, while the power generated from these solar panels are sold to building owners at a lower tariff compared to electricity obtained from regular grid.
While lower electricity bills are one of the primary reasons for commercial and industrial users to switch to solar power, several national companies are embracing solar power as a method to reduce their carbon footprint and to boost the sustainability of their business. Additionally, net metering allows users to feed surplus power generated back into the grid, which acts as an additional source of revenue.
Benefits of Rooftop Solar Panels
Rooftop solar panel installations offer several benefits like no need of land procurement, lower transmission and distribution losses. Generally speaking, one unit of energy generated via rooftop solar panels is equal to 1.4 units of energy generated via large-scale solar power projects.
What’s the Future of Rooftop Solar in India?
India is currently undergoing a massive market transformation, with more and more users harnessing the bountiful energy of the sun using rooftop solar panels. With supportive interventions in the form of solar subsidies from the government and significant technological advancements, it’s predicted that the number of solar rooftops in the country will rise significantly in the next few years.
Single window clearance portal for rooftop solar projects, net metering, an updated solar policy, decrease in costs of rooftop solar panels are some of the positive factors paving the path for a “solar positive future in 2019 and beyond.”