As the calendar year draws to a close soon, the rooftop solar segment will see a huge shortfall in capacity addition against the 2022 target due to a host of factors that hampered the growth in the segment.
As on October 30, 2022, the rooftop solar segment achieved a total capacity of 7.2 GW as against the capacity addition target of 40 GW.
In June 2015, the Indian government set an ambitious grid-connected capacity addition target of 175 GW (excluding the large hydro category) for the renewable sector to be achieved by the end of 2022. The capacity target for the solar sector was fixed at 100 GW, which comprised 60 GW of ground-mounted projects and 40 GW of rooftop capacity.
While ground-mounted solar capacity is inching closer to its target, the rooftop category is staring at a huge shortfall as it has achieved only 18 per cent of the targeted capacity.
“The major reasons for the shortfall of rooftop solar installations include apprehension of possible revenue loss by DISCOMs, delay in getting approvals from different agencies, delay in installation of net/gross meters by DISCOMs, lack of uniform regulations, lack of awareness among the prospective beneficiaries, etc,” RK Singh, Union Minister of New and Renewable Energy, told Rajya Sabha in a reply.
In the first 9-months of this calendar year, the rooftop solar segment added 1.2 GW of new capacity, down 11 per cent compared to the year-ago period.
“We are seeing rooftop solar installations trending down as costs have risen. The market is struggling with supply issues because of ALMM (approved list of models and manufacturers), and installers are finding it a tough environment to operate in overall,” according to Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.
However, industry analysts pointed out that the rooftop solar market, the residential category in particular, may see good growth going forward in view of a simplified subsidy scheme, easier options to buy rooftop systems from any registered suppliers, and growing awareness to save power costs.
Wind power sector
Meanwhile, the wind power sector will also be missing its capacity addition target. The segment’s total installed capacity stood at about 42 GW as of October 30 this year. The capacity target fixed for the wind sector is 60 GW.
“The reasons for shortfall in achieving the target, inter alia, include a change in tariff regime i.e. from Feed-inTariff (FiT) to bidding route, Covid-19 pandemic, and supply chain disruption on account of Covid-19, among others,” said Singh.
He added that 11.7 GW worth of wind power capacity projects is at various stages of implementation in the country. Also, bids for 1700 MW capacity of wind power projects have been issued.
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