It is not just firms operating in the solar rooftop space who stand to benefit from the interim Budget announcement — for “solarisation” of rooftops of one crore households — but also the residents who are expected to clock annual savings of up to ₹18,000, say experts.

Through rooftop solarisation, one crore households will obtain up to 300 units free electricity every month.

Dhaval Jayani, CEO of Soleos Solar Energy, which has installed about 30 MW of solar rooftops in Gujarat and also operates in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Karnataka, said the solar rooftops cut down the energy bills of a household by 80-90 percent. “The discoms in Gujarat are buying surplus power from solar rooftop owners at ₹2.25 per unit. The announcement made today is aimed at making similar horizontal deployment of solar rooftops in other States like they have done in Gujarat. This is definitely a boost for players in this sector as well as the residents,” Jayani added. 

Highest installed capacity

Gujarat currently has the highest installed capacity under the grid-connected Solar Rooftop programme. As on November 2023, the cumulative installed capacity under the grid-connected Solar Rooftop programme is 10,406 MW of which 3,174 MW is in Gujarat and 1,852 MW in Maharashtra and 1,067 MW in Rajasthan.

Ankit Hakhu, Director, CRISIL Ratings says, “The plan for supporting solar rooftops in one crore households augurs well for developers and module manufacturers as it will bump up rooftop demand. It will also be attractive for households, given the potential to save electricity cost of ₹15,000-18,000 per annum per household. That said, the quantum and mechanism of disbursements and timelines around the support will determine the pace of progress of the scheme and will bear watching.”

“Till December 2023, over five lakh households in Gujarat have saved close to ₹2,000 crore in their electricity bills and earned ₹200 crore from their respective discoms for generating solar energy. Around 4,900 million units of solar power have been generated by solar-rooftops in Gujarat,” said an official from Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL), a Gujarat government entity that engages in bulk purchase and sale of electricity.

To benefit solar cos

Siddhesh Mehta, Research Analyst, Samco Securities, felt that announcement regarding solar rooftops will benefit solar power companies such as Insolation Energy, Surana Solar, Solex Energy, etc. Airing a similar view, Saurabh Marda, Co-founder & Managing Director, Freyr Energy Services said the interim Budget announcements will “significantly reduce the electricity bills of the common man.” It builds on the progress India has made over the last few years in the rooftop solar segment, accelerates adoption of solar for homes and makes a significant contribution to India’s Net Zero targets,” Marda added.

Vinay Thadani, Director & CEO — Grew Energy, said, “With the target to achieve Net Zero by 2070, the focus is now on green energy. The country is aiming at energy security in terms of availability, accessibility and affordability. The roof-top solarisation scheme will enable up to one crore households to obtain up to 300 units of free electricity every month. As emerging solar manufacturers and EPC players, this announcement motivates us to increase our solar PV modules manufacturing as well as optimise EPC services. In synergy with measures announced today to achieve the 2070 target, adoption of solar energy will enable India towards securing the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price.”

Apart from the electricity savings through solar rooftops, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her interim Budget speech also talked about how the rooftop systems could be used for charging electric vehicles and creating entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for youth looking to enter the supply, installation and maintenance space.