New rooftop solar installations in India fell to a four-year low in the first half of 2020 thanks to a combination of policy changes, financing costs and the impact of the covid-19 pandemic, slowing India’s transition to a green energy regime.
According to data from renewable energy consultant Bridge to India, only 473MW of new rooftop solar installations were done between January and June, as residential and industrial customers stepped back, against 1,534MW in the same period a year ago.
As of June 2020, India had installed rooftop solar capacity of 5,953MW, of which the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector accounted for 73%, and residential rooftop solutions about 804MW. The figures are far below India’s target to achieve overall rooftop solar target of 40,000MW by 2022.
One of the main difficulties is with financing; customers keen to set up a rooftop plant have to commit capital upfront. With banks not lending as easily now, this is difficult.
The second is that state distribution companies (discoms) are making it difficult for commercial and industrial customers to migrate away from grid power.
Discoms get a disproportionate share of their revenue from C&I customers who pay a higher tariff. Discoms are, therefore, turning negative on net metering connectivity and slowing the approval process.
Despite the slowing growth, foreign investors are keen on buying solar rooftop portfolios of large developers.
Reference- livemint, Bridge To India. JMK Research & Analytics