India could install record-high 4 GW rooftop solar in 2024
This could only happen once India resolves regulation uncertainties, amongst others.
The rooftop solar market in India is expected to grow by four gigawatts (GW) by 2024 if the country is able to address the major challenges in the sector, according to a joint report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and JMK Research & Analytics.
Capacity additions between April and July were almost 2 GW, slightly lower than the added amount in financial year 2023, the report found, but the decline in solar module costs can help keep the growth momentum in the near-to-medium term.
“As countries like Germany and Australia demonstrate, with the right policy and regulatory environment, rooftop solar can be a game changer for greening the overall national energy mix,” says the report’s co-author Vibhuti Garg, Director, South Asia, IEEFA.
Jyoti Gulia, report co-author and JMK Research founder, said uncertainties in regulations and lack of support from local electricity distribution firms forced developers to focus on other segments or leave the rooftop solar business altogether.
Whilst the states of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh Telangana, and the union territory of Delhi have the most favourable ecosystems for commercial & industrial (C&I) customers setting up rooftop solar projects, the report found that there is a need for several other states to develop their rooftop solar sector further.
“Several states are moving away from net metering to lesser beneficial gross metering and net billing arrangements. This has led to C&I consumers shifting focus to other greening options, such as open access,” says co-author Kapil Gupta, Manager, JMK Research.
“The Green Open Access Rules, 2022 gave smaller C&I consumers access to off-site solar power. Going forward, consumers will prefer off-site open access, especially in states like Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu with net metering restrictions for C&I consumers,” he added.
IEEFA and JMK Research said policymakers should craft a separate renewable purchase obligation for rooftop solar and states should allow behind-the-metre systems to held distributor predict their load schedule.
The central government should also have uniform regulatory provisions similar to the Green Open Access Rules, the added.