India's rooftop PV capacity hits 525 MW, says Bridge to India


Indian cleantech market analysts Bridge to India have calculated that 525 MW of rooftop solar PV capacity has been added in the country so far this year, with the sector growing more in the past 12 months than it did in the previous three years.

However, as government subsidies begin to tail off, ushering in a more consumer-driven business model, the pace of installations will fall somewhat, with the next 12 months set to see around 455 MW of new rooftop PV capacity added.

The market overall is expected to grow at a sustained CAGR of 50% until 2020, reaching cumulative capacity of 6.5 GW by that date. Leading the way nationally are the states of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, where high consumer awareness and favorable commercial tariffs have supported the growth of the sector.

Grid parity for rooftop commercial solar has already been reached in 19 Indian states, the analysts claim, while 17 states can claim grid parity in the industrial rooftop segment. Residential grid parity is still some way off for all states, but the gap is reducing substantially.

As tariffs are reduced, some parts of India are displaying signs that rooftop solar is moving towards a point of being independently viable without government assistance, with 23 states now introducing net metering, which will further aid the growth of rooftop PV across India.

In terms of market share, Germany’s SMA and Taiwan’s Delta own 41% of the market share for inverters across the Indian rooftop segment, Bridge to India’s report also revealed.

India’s capacity additions in this space come at a time when the government has tabled a new policy for the sector, and one that is likely to accelerate the withdrawal of capital subsidies for rooftop solar.

"Going forward," said Bridge to India managing director Vinay Rustagi, "we expect tremendous growth opportunities in the rooftop solar market in India in the next few years, for both existing and new companies, fuelled mainly by reducing solar costs, increasing grid tariffs, increased customer awareness, robust policy support and on-ground implementation of net metering across all states."