In order to support 450 MW of rooftop solar deployment in India and to make distributed generation systems in the country more affordable, the World Bank has approved an additional $165 million in financing. The development bank has previously given India’s grid-connected rooftop solar program, which primarily focuses on commercial and industrial rooftop PV systems, $648 million.

However, with the objective of 450 MW of rooftop solar power in the residential sector, this additional round of funding will be utilised to enable the programme to grow up to include residential solar as well. The Indian government has set a target of 40 GW for rooftop solar in order to meet its objective of 50 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030.

The project will also let India’s power discoms interact with residential customers directly and play a significant part in the growth of grid-connected solar. This will involve classifying residential customer groups, choosing the optimal sites for solar rooftop installations and battery energy storage systems, and adopting sensible business practices that will benefit the utilities.

REGlobal’s Views: While rooftop solar uptake has gained traction in the commercial and industrial consumer space, uptake remains low in the residential segment in India. Perceived capex and financing issues are often considered a limiting factor in the residential solar market, and thus, this World Bank funding will help in making rooftop solar more feasible for household owners.