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Opinion Post by Mr. Pramod Deore, COO (Rooftop Solar), CleanMax; on, 'How Solar Rooftop Phase II Extension Can Accelerate India's Lagging Rooftop Market'

  • Date : 02/12/2022
  • Source : Solar Quarter

The potential of solar rooftop market was identified long back. But even after so many years the residential rooftop market has not been able reach its anticipated potential. Under the solar rooftop phase II extension, 4,000 MW of solar rooftop capacity is targeted through Central Financial Assistance (CFA) in the residential sector. This shall work as a catalyst for rooftop solar capacity addition in urban as well as rural areas. The introduction of ‘National Portal For Rooftop Solar’ under the Central Government Rooftop Solar Subsidy Programme will make the project registration, DISCOM approval, Net Metering Application, Net Meter installation and subsidy disbursement process more transparent and user friendly.

For individual households CFA upto 40% of the benchmark cost is provided for rooftop projects upto 3 kW capacity and 20% for rooftop projects beyond 3 kW and upto 10kW. For Group Housing Societies / Residential Welfare Associations, CFA is limited to 20% for rooftop power supply to common facilities of maximum 500 kW capacity. Subsidy offering in this category encourage large societies and buildings to install solar for powering common loads like lift, lighting, motor etc.

From the point of view of solar companies in residential rooftop segment, the introduction of this subsidy program will ease their cashflows. As per the previous process, the subsidy used to be credited in the bank account of the solar company. The subsidy amount was disbursed by the state government which resulted in regular delays and working capital crunch for the solar companies. In contrast to the old process, subsidy will not be deducted from the amount charged by the solar companies to residential customers.

Also, as per the new process, no empanelment will be required with the state nodal agencies. This will reduce the processing time substantially as the solar company and the client will have to deal with only one agency i.e. DISCOM Entire process has been made completely online. This will avoid unnecessary hassle of frequent nodal office and DISCOM office visits. The entire aim of Introducing National Portal is to speed up solar rooftop installation across the country.

Apart from the CFA offered by the centre government, many solar companies have tie-ups with private banks and NBFCs for offering loan option to the clients which is an enabler for quick decision making.

All these factors will work as a fuel for the gradually diminishing fire of the residential solar rooftop market. With the removal of many statutory compliances, many large C&I rooftop players will be attracted to the residential solar market.