By Lou Del Bello
India is seeing record demand for rooftop solar as companies seek to add clean energy to meet climate goals amid falling panel prices.
Companies are on pace to install 4 gigawatts of panels on top of buildings in this financial year ending March 31, nearly doubling the previous record, according to a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis and JMK Research and Analytics.
Businesses are driving the uptake as they sign corporate power purchase agreements to meet commitments for net zero emissions, the researchers said. They’re also taking advantage of falling costs, as solar module prices have hit a record low this year amid a glut of manufacturing capacity.
The surge represents a sharp turnaround for a sector that had underperformed because of policy uncertainty and financing issues, the researchers said. India had a total of 8.1 gigawatts of rooftop solar at the end of 2022, far short of a goal of 40 gigawatts by then that the government had set in 2018.
New policies such as simplified installations and extended financial subsidies will help smaller enterprises enter the market, analysts including JMK founder Jyoti Gulia said in the report. India’s small businesses have the potential to develop as much as 15 gigawatts of rooftop solar, they said.