The study titled ‘Rooftop Revolution: Unleashing Chennai’s Rooftop potential’ — jointly conducted by Greenpeace India and the Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI) — revealed that on an average 3.15 MW can easily be generated per square kilometre of the city through installing rooftop solar panels. It also revealed that the rooftops of residential buildings alone can account for 46 per cent or 635 MW of the city’s total rooftop solar photovoltaic (RTSPV).
Some of the major landmarks with huge solar potential according to the study include, buildings of the railway station (3.5 MW), Metro Station (1.6 MW) and airport (0.8 MW).
Switching to solar power will not only help Chennai reduce air pollution by bringing down its dependence on coal as a source of power, but also help policy makers, planners and installers in the state contribute to India’s overall rooftop solar PV goal of 40,000 MW by 2022, which is crucial for India’s voluntary contribution to the Paris Agreement.
India is in need of a radical change of policies to achieve the ambitious rooftop solar capacity target of 40,000 MW by 2022. As per studies estimate, India’s tier I and II cities has the potential to host over 62,000 MW of rooftop solar power, but it would be “foolhardy to assume that the entire potential is realisable”.
Considering the experience of the rooftop solar plants in German and United States Greenpeace feels India would be able to achieve only 6000 MW capacity of rooftop solar as against the target of 40,000 MW.