India’s dreams of becoming a solar superpower may become a reality sooner if the sub-continent continues to make strides in ramping up its output in the renewable energy space. The country has set itself an ambitous — but by no means an impossible — target of adding further capacity to the 100 GW goal by 2022. To be fair, the sector, which is taking baby steps now, has seen a steady pickup in terms of development projects, manufacturing and innovation.
India is well on its way to becoming the fourth largest solar market globally this year, given its increased capacity addition undertaken so far. The total installed solar capacity stood at 8600 MW. Shouting from the Rooftops In the pool, solar rooftop capacity contributed 1020 MW as of end of September of this year. In the past, the rooftop solar segment has maintained a 10-12 percent share of the overall capacity but with the Indian government wanting to improve this share to 40 percent (or 40 GW) by 2022, the rooftop solar market is in full bloom and is expected to grow at an impressive 70-80 percent for the next few years. A good chunk of this share is likely to come from the residential space.
And power solutions company Su-Kam sees huge potential in this dormant market. Speaking to Moneycontrol from the sidelines of the Intersolar India Conference held last week, Kartik Sachdev, Solar Division Head of Su-Kam, said that the company believes there is huge opportunity to be tapped in the rooftop space and has already done projects adding up to 100 MW on 5 lakh sites. Su-Kam forayed into the solar industry back in 2006. Back then solar was not much in focus, but it had the potential to become big as India was a power deficit country and coal was being viewed as an unsustainable option in the long-term, he said. The only challenge ten year ago was efficient extraction of solar energy and storage, he added.
Scope to Grow Further With technological advancements over the last decade and the policy easing along with subsidies provided by the government Su-Kam has expanded its territory in the solar market and according to a report by Bridge to India, it has the biggest share in India’s residential solar market. “In solar, we (Su-Kam) see a huge market in rural India; out of the 120 crore population in India, 90 crore reside in rural areas, out of which 30 crore don’t get electricity; for such areas solar is a beautiful solution,” Sachdev said. Compared to other key markets like the US (46 percent), Germany (73 percent) and China (18 percent), the 10-12 percent contribution of rooftop in the solar capacity is quite less but with the recent policy developments the growth period of India’s solar rooftop market has just begun.