REGULATION | Staff Reporter, India

Why India's current solar industry is not doing enough to hit 40GW target

Government must tap the residential market, said Hartek Singh, chairman of EPC firm Hartek Power.

Chasing a stiff 2022 target of 40 GW, India’s rooftop solar industry is finally coming into its own. Singh said that registering a phenomenal growth of 113% over the past one year, the country’s rooftop solar capacity recently crossed the 1-GW mark, a milestone that should inspire the industry to give a much-needed impetus to this nascent segment and set the pace for unprecedented capacity additions in years to come.

"Rooftop solar in India has everything going for it—favourable government policies, streamlined processes, an efficient regulatory mechanism and an investor-friendly business environment. But will it be enough to take us to 40 GW? Not really!," he said.

Though leading solar consultancy services provider Bridge to India has projected an installed capacity of just 12.7 GW in 2021, a host of decisive measures can even propel us to the 40-GW mark.

Singh added that while the commercial and industrial categories are driving much of the growth as of now, accounting for 63% of the installed rooftop solar capacity, it is the hitherto dormant residential market that can really get things moving.

The residential category has enormous potential that is simply waiting to be unleashed. Even if half of the estimated 205 million households in India opt for rooftop projects with an average capacity of just 2 KW, we can easily achieve an installed capacity of 20 GW and get half way through in no time. Once solar systems become more viable, people will start viewing them as necessities. When that happens, there will be no looking back," he added.

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