Rooftop Solar Policy Round Up by Bridge to India

On 3 December 2020, Bridge to India, an Indian consultancy firm valued by many European and German companies, hosted a panel discussion that discussed the status of rooftop solar policies at the national and state levels in India. IGEF Support Office (IGEF-SO) supported the event as a strategic partner. Shri Amitesh Kumar Sinha, Joint Secretary Solar, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and Co-Chair of IGEF Subgroup II, actively participated in the event. Much of the discussion revolved around the regressive changes in the net metering policies of several states. States have gradually withdrawn net metering from commercial and industrial consumers and reduced benefits for banks. As a result, the rooftop solar market has stagnated or even declined. Just under 1 Gigawatt (GW) was installed in 2020, a 35% decline from the previous year. The panelists agreed that policy inconsistency and sometimes retroactive changes to regulatory frameworks in individual states have damaged the market. A persistent bottleneck for the industry continues to be financing. Mr. Shah from the Indian Renewable Energy Development Bank (IREDA) assured that MNRE is working with IREDA on new types of credit lines of USD 100-125 million with funds from development banks. The credit lines are particularly targeted at households and SMEs. Depending on market response, the lines could be increased to USD 500 million or more in the future. As the lack of a nationwide branch network limits IREDA's market presence (only 40 MW of rooftop solar projects have been financed so far), the aim is to channel these financings to system aggregators and other lenders with a stronger distribution network. 

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