Solar rooftop progress still dismal

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Grid connected ground-mounted solar power fared better, with 1,215.57 MW installed against a target of 10,000 MW for this financial year. Off-grid PV systems, meanwhile, achieved 66 MW against a target of 200 MW.

This latest data was announced by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) in its Programme/Scheme-wise Physical Progress in 2018-2019 report, up to June 30, 2018.

The ministry also provided details of its 99,533 MW 2022 solar target, outlining the state wise-breakup: 31,120 MW for the Northern Region; 28,410 MW for the Western Region; 26,531 MW for the Southern Region; 12,237 MW for the Eastern Region; and 1,205 MW for the North-eastern region.

In another official circular issued on Friday, the list of solar parks approved under the government’s ambitious Solar Park Scheme was released by the MNRE. As of June 30, 2018, 45 solar parks with an aggregate capacity of 26,449 MW had been approved, with the largest being the 5,000 MW Dholera Solar Park in Gujarat.

Bleak

 Despite the government’s 2022 target for rooftop solar being 40 GW, this is not the first time India’s numbers have been so bleak. In the 2017-2018 financial year, Grid-Interactive Solar Power (Rooftop) fared poorly, with just 352.83 MW achieved against the 1,000 MW target.

Overall, cumulative rooftop installations up to June 30, 2018 were 1,219.41 MW.

In its 39th Report published in March 2018, the Lok Sabha Standing Committee on Energy delved into the reasons for the slow progress of India’s Roof-top Solar Program.

The Secretary of the Committee admitted that the main reason is that the “discoms are not willing to let go the high-end consumers because if the high-end consumers go, then they would be left with only those people whom they subsidize. Secondly, there have been challenges on the net metering side. We are revising the scheme to provide new impetus to the roof top solar programme.”