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Solar Rooftop PV in India

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Author(s): Ashwin Gambhir, Shantanu Dixit, Vishal Toro, Vijaypal Singh Publication Date: November, 2012

While the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) opened up the solar electricity sector in India, the focus has primarily been on large-scale grid-connected power plants. With the drastic fall in prices of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules and balance of systems (BOS) on the one hand, and the high and rising tariffs of certain consumer categories in India on the other, grid-connected solar Rooftop PV (RTPV) systems are becoming increasingly viable economically and offer multiple benefits. This paper argues that a balanced approach for promoting RTPV would be to adopt a national policy of ‘net-metering’ to encourage in-situ generation primarily for self consumption. Further, instead of subsidizing RTPV, we propose that tariffs of commercial and high-end residential consumers should be aligned with those of RTPV costs, thereby incentivising them to shift to solar or pay higher tariff. Policy should help create an enabling eco-system for RTPV and focus on the removal of procedural hurdles and other barriers in order to facilitate the quick adoption and deployment of RTPV systems. Finally, we believe that such a net-metering approach to RTPV promotion is ideally suited for India, since it is socially equitable, economically viable, and environmentally sustainable. We hope this discussion paper would facilitate thorough debate and appropriate policy actions for promotion of RTPV.

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