Of India’s ambitious target of 175GW of clean energy capacity by 2022, 40GW is to come from solar rooftop projects.
While investors have been enthused by India’s large ground-mounted, grid-connected solar parks, the solar rooftop market hasn’t gained much traction so government is now trying to work out a new program called ‘rent a roof,’ wherein the developer will take rooftops on rent and will offer lease to each household, and then feed the power to the grid.
“Under ‘rent a roof’, anyone can take a roof. Right now, net metering is happening but it is for the individual household to go for it on its own. After this, all the responsibilities such as maintenance will be with the developer. In a net-metering system, a consumer is only billed for the electricity consumed after deducting the power generated from one’s solar rooftop panels that is supplied to the grid.
For India’s solar power targets to be met, the rooftop piece will have to take off. However, there are concerns as India is not expected to achieve even half of the solar rooftop targets by December 2021.
The industry has welcomed the move. “We welcome the ‘rent a roof’ policy by the government wholeheartedly. This will empower the solar energy industry to penetrate at the grassroots level and give every home a chance to be energy independent. However, it is essential that the government defines the framework clearly as there would be many stakeholders involved in the process.
The government is also planning to bid out wind power contracts totaling 24.5 GW over the next two years.