solar hybrid power plant

The Indian solar rooftop PV market has grown exponentially with installations reaching 300% this past year, accounting for 15% of the region’s total solar installations, says consultancy firm Bridge to India.

Rooftop PV shows promise

PV-Tech reported that India is expected to generate a further 700MW of rooftop PV this year and cross the cumulative 1GW benchmark this month.

The consultancy highlighted: “The high growth phase of India’s rooftop solar market has only just begun. This market has got a great potential and it is very encouraging to see the government addressing some of the key challenges.”

According to media: “The Indian government has maintained its 40GW rooftop solar target by 2022. The Indian state of Odisha recently said it is targeting 70MW of rooftop solar by 2022 and has already received multiple residential applications.

“Meanhwile, the State Bank of India (SBI) has signed agreements with the World Bank for a $625 million facility specifically to support India’s grid-connected rooftop solar programme.”

Indian rooftop PV market

The consultancy firm noted that rooftop PV contributes an estimated 10-12% of India’s total solar capacity, significantly smaller than the US (46%), Germany (73%), China (18%) and Australia (97%).

According to the Indian research firm, both the commercial and industrial sectors will be subjected to large capacity additions by the end of September with investors looking to claim 80% accelerated depreciation (AD).

“This AD is set to reduce to 40% from April 2017 and it is not yet clear if these benefits will still apply to projects from this date.”

India to expand its footprint

In other news, India is encouraging domestic power producers to seek opportunities beyond Indian borders.

Indian Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said in a recent interview that the Indian government is promoting the idea that state-run power producers build plants overseas, Bloomberg Markets reported last week.

Goyal said: “State-run generators NTPC Ltd and NLC India Ltd as well as private producers can explore opportunities in India’s neighbouring countries and beyond.”

According to Bloomberg Markets, India’s largest generation company, NTPC, is in the process of developing a 1,320MW coal-based power project in Bangladesh with a Sri Lanka project in the pipeline.