The cumulative installed capacity under the grid-connected solar rooftop programme in the country has crossed 10 GW, with Gujarat occupying the top spot.
Replying to a question in Lok Sabha, Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy R K Singh said that the cumulative rooftop solar (RTS) installed capacity increased to 10.406 GW as of 30 November 2023, from 1.8 GW as of 31 March 2019, thereby registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 46 per cent. The cumulative RTS installations was around 1 GW in March 2018.
Gujarat is the leader in RTS installations in the country, with a contribution of 3.17 GW to the total capacity, followed by Maharashtra at 1.85 GW and Rajasthan at 1.06 GW capacity.
It may be recalled that in March 2023, a parliamentary panel had attributed low installation of solar rooftop and wind energy projects as key reasons for the shortfall in achieving India’s renewable energy capacity target of 175 GW by 2022.
The government had set a target to install 175 GW of renewable energy capacity in the country by 2022. This comprised 100 GW from solar energy, with 40 GW for rooftop solar, 60 GW from wind energy, 10 GW from biomass, and 5 GW from small hydro power.
Pursuant to this, in December 2015, the Centre approved a programme ‘Grid Connected Rooftop and Small Solar Power Plants Programme’ for installation of 4.2 GW RTS plants in the country by year 2019-20, of which 2.1 GW was through central financial assistance (CFA) and balance 2.1 GW was without CFA.
Subsequently, in February 2019, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) launched Rooftop Solar Programme Phase-II with an objective to achieve 40 GW of RTS by 2022.
This included installation of 4 GW of RTS capacity in the residential sector by providing CFA and the remining in other sectors (ie, social, government, educational, PSUs, statutory/autonomous bodies, private commercial, industrial sectors, etc) by suitably incentivising DISCOMs.
With the installation of RTS missing the target, the government has extended the scheme till 31 March 2026 without a change in the financial outlay initially approved.
The parliamentary committee in its report flagged the issues responsible for deficient performance under the solar rooftop programme like non-availability of information at the grass root level, lack of awareness about this scheme amongst the masses, delays in disbursement of subsidy, inconsistent policy framework at the state level, absence of non-recourse financing, apathy of DISCOMs, among others.
Keeping in view India’s commitment to increase our non-fossil fuel based energy capacity to 500 GW by the year 2030, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy must ramp up its pace for timely achievement of targets, it suggested.
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