India plans “Rent A Roof” policy
To support its ambitious plan to generate 40 gigawatts of rooftop solar power by 2022, the Indian government is planning to launch a “rent a roof” policy, said Anand Kumar, secretary in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
Under the “rent a roof” policy, the developer will take rooftops on rent and will offer a lease to each household, and then feed the solar power to the grid.
The policy is announced at a time when India’s net-metering market is being introduced in different parts of the country. Net metering allows consumers to generate some or all of their own electricity anytime, instead of when it is generated. However, here the responsibility lies with the individual households, whereas in the case of a “rent a roof” scheme all the responsibilities such as installation and maintenance will be taken care by the developer.
This policy is expected to provide a major push to the rooftop solar energy segment, which has not been so popular among the developers so far. Despite an attractive fiscal incentive, the solar rooftop sector lags way behind national targets. As of August 2017, the country has installed just 1.7 gigawatts against the 40 gigawatt target by 2022.
During India’s National Solar Mission review meeting in July 2017, the committee concluded that the rooftop target is unrealistic and had asked for a revision. Similarly, consulting firm Bridge to India analyzed that reaching up to 50% rooftop targets by 2022 is also unlikely.
Due to all these reasons and the proliferation of rooftop installations in the commercial and industrial sector, the government is eager to support residential installations wherever possible.