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India braces for a massive adoption of distributed Solar PV

Updated: May 3, 2023

India has set an ambitious target of deploying 100GW of solar PV by 2022, but achieving it will be a challenging task. Solar fields can surely continue forming a notable share of solar power installations, but a much larger proportion of distributed solar PV should be embraced in order to reach the 2022 target. Up until now, India has not been a hotbed for distributed solar, focusing instead of utility-scale and industrial solar fields of MW-scale. As of summer 2020, India had reached a threshold of 40 GW of solar power, but only 6 GW of those - distributed solar PV (mainly commercial-scale). This is however about to change.

Commercial rooftop solar facility
Fig 1. Commercial rooftop solar facility

Rooftop solar is planned to form 40% of the 2022 target and this means a massive adoption of rooftop solar. According to the Rocky Mountain Institute India, a major step in this direction is due to be achieved with the launch of phase II of the Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework, which points to the central role that local governments can take in leading the energy transition, including by adopting more rooftop solar for governmental and municipal buildings. According to data on approximately 50 Indian ministries and departments collated by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), government buildings in India have a rooftop solar potential of nearly 9 GW. As of June 2020, only 776 MW of this potential had been realized.

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