Sustainability thinktank The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and US-based strategic and technical consultancy Cadmus group have launched the Indian Solar Market Aggregation for Rooftops (I-SMART) program to increase the uptake of rooftop solar installation among residential and business consumers.
The programme aims to aggregate demand of 1 GW of rooftop solar capacity across four states of Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir along with two union territories of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Supported by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, this demand aggregation program is a part of Indo-German Solar Energy Partnership and aims to accelerate the rooftop solar market in India. So far, India has achieved only 3.85 GW out of its 40 GW rooftop solar target by 2022.
Cadmus, with its team of experts in policy and regulatory landscape, and hands-on experience with end-use technologies, energy delivery and management, helps customers with the selection of comprehensive, viable, and lasting solutions.
“This project provides an excellent opportunity to share and combine successful programme strategies and lessons from India, Germany, and the United States,” said Paul Faeth, Cadmus Principal and Program Team Leader. “By leveraging our team’s shared experience in solar market development and demand aggregation, we are eager to support Indian states, union territories, and cities in strengthening solar markets and increasing the rate of solar installations.”
Dr Ashvini Kumar, Senior Director of Renewable Energy Technologies Division, at TERI shared, “TERI’s experience in working throughout the value chain of rooftop solar systems combined with that of Cadmus’ successful Solarize campaigns in the US would help scale up the rooftop solar market in the targeted states.”
The I-SMART team will work towards removing barriers to the growth of the solar market, and to increase the pace as well as ease of solar adoption among the residential, government, and commercial and industrial (C&I) sectors. It will aim to achieve this at the grassroot level via digital/social campaigns.
A single-window web portal of I-SMART will help interested consumers understand the relevant information before submitting an online request for rooftop solar installation. This platform would help connect solar developers and consumers, ease up the process of installation, and raise awareness through targeted outreach among the general public.
For an all-out outreach effort in different locations, the team will conduct awareness activities in major cities, to begin with. In these city-level campaigns, the project team is engaging with enthusiastic college students as volunteers. Called ‘Solar Friends,’ these volunteers trained by the I-SMART team will carry out door-to-door outreach and appeal to their fellow residents to install rooftop solar panels.