Indian government planning ‘rent a roof’ policy for solar rooftop

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Anand Kumar, Secretary in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), has said that the government is planning a ‘rent a roof’ policy to push the rooftop solar sector in India, the Live Mint has reported. The distributed generation (DG) solar rooftop sector lags way behind national targets. As of August 2017, the country has installed just 1.7 GW against the 40 GW target by 2022.

Under the policy, solar developers will rent rooftop space, fit it with solar, and will offer the lease to each household, feeding the power to the grid, Kumar explained. Such a policy comes against the backdrop of India’s nascent net-metering market.

Kumar explained that at present, net metering is the responsibility of the individuals that have solar on their roof. However, with the new policy, the developer will take care of everything, including O&M.

During India’s National Mission review meeting in July 2017, the committee concluded that the rooftop target is unrealistic and has asked for a revision. Similarly, Bridge to India analyzed that reaching up to 50% rooftop targets by 2022 is also unlikely.

Kumar said that because of these reasons, and the proliferation of rooftop installations in the commercial & industrial sector, the government is eager to support residential installations wherever possible.

Solar advisory firm Gensol Group, told the Live Mint that it has welcomed the move and hoped that government will define a clear framework as there would be many stakeholders involved in the process.