In India, solar energy is available in abundant and it is the cleanest energy source that can be used commercially/ residentially with a small amount of initial investment. Unlike wind energy, use of solar energy has large government subsidy benefits and less years of return on investment. These perceived financial benefits have been driving strong growth of industry with rising solar rooftop installations on private, institutional and government buildings. Also, due to evolving preferences of Indian residential households towards solar rooftop plants, it seems possible to achieve the national solar mission target of 40 GW solar rooftop capacity by 2022.
Preservation of environment is one of the most important subjects over the world and in India. Energy source used so far all around the globe is majorly the fossil fuels that pollute the environment by emitting carbon dioxide. Hydro and wind are energy sources that have their own limitations and constrains. It was the need of hour to find an alternative source of energy that is renewable and present worldwide. Solar energy is one such renewable energy which overcomes most of the constraints and India is jam pecked with this renewable energy source. According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, total solar power potential of India stands at mammoth 748 GW. Growth of solar industry over the last few years has been driven in large part by rising awareness towards the environmental conservation and financial benefits of using greener solar energy.
According to recently published report of Bonafide Research, "India Solar Photovoltaic Market Overview, 2017-2022”, India is planning to be home of gigantic solar energy installed capacity with new capacity addition of 12-15 GW every year to reach its target of 100 GW by 2022. Out of the total target to be achieved under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, a share of 40% or 40 GW is to be accomplished through rooftop solar plant installations. Hence, domestic, commercial and institutional sectors are being encouraged to install the solar panels at their facilities. Various central and state government awareness programs and subsidies are enabled to encourage these installations. A subsidy of 30-40% is offered on solar panel installation on the rooftop. For residential consumers, the most attractive part of installing such solar panels would be not only the cost saving on traditional thermal based electricity but also it is a source of income. In a new tariff mechanism called net metering, based on the type of ownership of solar rooftop plant; either self-owned, third party or on lease a roof basis, the owner can sell the energy generated from their solar plant to the electricity board or electricity grid.
The total energy generated from the rooftop solar plant will be preliminary feed to fulfil the consumer’s load requirements. Any excess energy generated by the solar plant, say during the odd hours of afternoon, will be transmitted to the utility grid and the corresponding number of units transferred will be credited to the consumer's net tariff. This is the biggest advantage of rooftop solar plants in addition to its low maintenance cost and early return on investment. The rooftop solar plant requires a very less initial investment, depending on the individual load requirements. The return on that investment gets pay off in less than 5 years. Solar photovoltaic modules are usually imported in India from china. With decreasing international and domestic prices of solar PV modules, the installation and overall cost of the rooftop solar plant is also falling rapidly. As a result, a lot of manufacturers and system integrators are linking into this business across the nation. The per unit cost of solar energy in India fell as low as Rs. 2.44, lower than that of currently used traditional thermal based electricity. This encouraged many foreign and domestic investors to invest in solar energy sector in India which has indirectly impacted the growth of rooftop solar plant installations. Hence, people are now much aware about the solar energy and its benefits to use it as an alternative source of energy; which in turn provides a wide scope of business in forthcoming years.
Major companies operating in the solar photovoltaic market of India are Vikram Solar Private Limited, Waaree Energies Limited, Tata Power Solar System Limited, Moser Bear Solar Limited and XL Energy Limited.