India set to miss 2022 solar target by 27 percent due to lagging rooftop installations: Study


New Delh: India set to miss the 2022 solar target by 27 per cent as it is projected to fall well short of its target for 2022 of having 100 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar capacity, largely due to slow uptake of rooftop solar, a new report said on Tuesday.
The report by JMK Research and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said that as of December 2021, India’s cumulative installed solar capacity was 55 GW, with grid-connected utility-scale projects contributing 77 per cent and the balance coming from grid-connected rooftop solar (20 per cent) and mini or micro off-grid projects (3 per cent).
As part of climate mitigation action, India had announced multiple goals in the renewable energy sector, of which solar power was pre-eminent with 100 GW target of installed capacity by 2022 was one of them.
“With just eight months of 2022 remaining, only about 50 per cent of the 100GW target, consisting of 60GW of utility-scale and 40GW of rooftop solar capacity, has been met,” it pointed out.
Approximately 19GW of solar capacity is expected to be added in 2022 – 15.8GW from utility-scale and 3.5GW from rooftop solar.
“Even with this capacity addition, about 27 per cent of India’s 100GW solar target would be unmet,” says report co-author and Founder, JMK Research, Jyoti Gulia.
The report projects that by December 2022 there will be a 25GW shortfall in the 40GW rooftop solar target, compared to just 1.8GW in the utility-scale solar target.
“Utility-scale solar capacity addition is on track. India is set to achieve nearly 97% of its 60GW target,” says Gulia. “This makes it imperative to have a more concerted effort towards expanding rooftop solar.
The reasons for not meeting thee ranged from pandemic-induced supply chain disruption to deeply rooted policy restrictions, all of which have impeded the growth of India’s rooftop solar (onsite solar power) and open access solar (offsite solar) installations, pointed out co-author and Lead India, IEEFA, Vibhuti Garg, and said,“The anticipated 27GW shortfall from the 2022 solar target can be attributed to a string of challenges which are slowing overall progress on renewable energy targets.”
These challenges include regulatory roadblocks; net metering limits; the twin burdens of basic customs duty (BCD) on imported cells and modules and issues with the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM); unsigned power supply agreements (PSAs) and banking restrictions; financing issues plus delays in or rejection of open access approval grants; and the unpredictability of future open access charges.
On the current trajectory, the report finds India’s solar target of 300 GW by 2030 to be off the mark by about 86GW and proposed short- and long-term measures to get India back on track to meet solar targets.
Calling for uniform policy pan India, the report suggested short-term measures including consistent regulations for net metering and banking facilities, again applicable nationally, and revoking the restrictions on the banking of renewable energy, at least until rooftop and open access state targets have been achieved.



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