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Solar India 2018 expo

Solar Rooftop Summit

Government support has been the main driving force behind the growth of the solar sector in India. Large tracts of land required for large scale solar projects is often a barrier to widespread adoption. This is where solar rooftop projects can fill in the gap and address the ever-increasing domestic energy requirements. Under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), launched in 2010, the Government set a target of deploying 20,000 MW of grid-connected (including rooftop installations) and 2,000 MW of off-grid solar power by 2022 in three phases. The solar target was ramped up in 2015 by five times, to achieve 100 GW by 2022. The target will principally comprise of 40 GW rooftop and and 60 GW through large and medium scale grid connected solar power projects. Off-grid solar applications include solar lighting systems (lantern, home and street), solar power plants, charging stations and pumping systems. JNNSM has set a target of 20 million solar lighting systems for rural areas by 2022. The JNNSM Phase II policy document has declared Phase I (up to 2013) a success story, with encouraging response from project developers. A World Bank report shows that the JNNSM Phase I is well-poised to make India a global leader in the development of solar power, and that it has been instrumental in bringing down the cost of solar power to a level that is competitive across the world. Solar rooftop projects also improve productivity as transmission and distribution losses reduce, and they require a low gestation time.

The rooftop photovoltaic (PV) and small solar power generation programme (RPSSGP) scheme (under JNNSM) aims to encourage states to set up small solar grid-connected projects. This effort will help creating a database of performance of solar plants under different climatic and grid conditions. RPSSGP is a generation based incentive (GBI) scheme and the projects are connected to the grid at voltage levels below 33 kV. Interestingly, though, a Centre for Science and Environment report states that almost all projects under the RPSSGP are actually ground-based. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy launched a pilot scheme for promotion of large area grid-connected roof top solar PV projects in cities. It is primarily targeted at cutting the dependence on diesel generators for backup in commercial establishments. A 30% subsidy on the system cost is provided through the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a government-run implementation agency.

Solar rooftop projects also pose quite a few challenges that need to be addressed before solar panels on rooftops across India become a common sight.

  • Though Government support is considered to be the primary force behind solar growth in India, lack of clarity in policies, guidelines and regulations are key obstacles in solar power development in the country.
  • Multiplication of different solar programmes is also a major barrier. Solar power, being more unpredictable than conventional power, poses an important challenge to grid stability due to multiple small solar projects connected to the grid. This can cause misbalancing of the electricity network.
  • Monitoring of grid stability is vital as the number of these projects increases.
  • Effective storage becomes an important issue during India’s monsoon season.
  • The installation cost of a domestic solar system at present remains high for most consumers in India even with the subsidies.
  • Solar projects are bound to be affected as they rely largely on MNRE funding, however, loans given to individuals to set up off-grid solar and other renewable energy solutions for households were allowed to be classfied as priority sector by the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The feed-in-tariff model presents some challenges in implementation. Possibility is that the power generated from other sources such as utility supply and power generated from subsidised fuels, is fed into the grid, and a model like feed-in-tariff could end up being misused.
  • The dynamic nature of the solar energy market also makes it difficult to fix the tariff.
  • Getting the domestic consumer interested in solar power is perhaps the most important step to popularise rooftop solar installations.
  • An expansion of the service network, large scale visibility/ publicity and provision of information to customers is required.
  • Involvement of state and local civic authorities and residential associations is also challenging.
  • Introduction of star rating system for solar components and devices.
  • Refurbishment of roofs for installation
  • Implementation and adaption of Renting the Roof policy
Despite the difficulties involved in harnessing solar power on a smaller scale, rooftop solar projects present a real opportunity for energy security for India’s vast populace, especially the large majority who lack access to modern forms of energy. The Solar Rooftop Summit has beeen designed to address these issues and will showcase and demonstrate latest solutions and technologies.

For additional information, please contact:

Aarti Parashar
Ph. +91-11-42795069  | Mob: 9818842163 | E-mail: aartip@eigroup.in

Exhibitions India Group
C-103, Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase III, New Delhi 110 020, India
Tel: +91 11 4279 5000 | Fax: +91 11 4279 5098

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