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India unlikely to achieve 40 GW rooftop solar power target: CARE Ratings report

LiveMint logoLiveMint 10-05-2017 Mayank Aggarwal

New Delhi: India is unlikely to achieve its target of achieving 40GW power capacity through rooftop solar panels by 2022 given the slow pace of the programme, a report said.

The report by industry lobby group PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and credit rating agency CARE Ratings was released on Wednesday at the National Solar Summit 2017 organised by them.

“Implementation of rooftop solar is taking place at a much slower pace and it seems unlikely that the government would achieve its 40GW target by 2022. Specific policy initiatives to support rooftop solar especially effective net-metering implementation and offering incentives in order to attract financial investors needs to be introduced,” the report stressed.

In June 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance government increased its solar power target from 20,000 MW to 1,00,000 MW by 2022. Of the 1,00,000 MW, 40 GW is targeted from rooftop solar alone.

But its progress has been very slow. India’s total installed rooftop solar capacity is estimated at only 1,247 MW (till 31 December 2016) which is about 3% of the targeted 40 GW by 2022.

Last month, a draft action plan for the next three years released by India’s federal policy think tank Niti Aayog noted that the goal of adding generation capacity of 53 GW in solar power over the next three years will require concerted efforts.

The draft action plan had suggested that the “off grid target of 40 GW of solar energy by 2022 may be apportioned between residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural sectors with a target of achieving 20 GW capacity by 2019-20.”

“The residential off grid capacity should be developed through a robust regulatory and policy framework including a remunerative net metering policy. The two phases of Green Corridor project should be executed so as to evacuate the renewable generation available in 2019-20,” it had added.

The central government has already approved an allocation of Rs5,000 crore for implementation of grid connected rooftop solar systems over a period of five years up to 2019-20 under the National Solar Mission (NSM). This investment is expected to support installation of 4,200 MW solar rooftop systems in the country between 2016-20.

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