India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs last week boosted the budget for grid connect rooftop solar by more than 8-fold.
The Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, increased the budget from Rs. 600 crore (around AUD $124 million) to Rs. 5,000 crore (~ AUD $1.03 billion).
The funding will support the installation of 4200 MW of rooftop solar power systems throughout the country out to 2019-20; including residential, government and community solar PV projects.
Subsidy levels will depend on the region of installation, ranging from 30% generally to 70% in “special category” states mainly in the north-east of the nation.
Utility and commercial scale projects are not covered under the latest incentives, but are eligible for programs offering accelerated depreciation and other concessions.
The initiative is part of India’s National Solar Mission, which has a target of 100 gigawatts of solar by 2022. Of that total, 40,000 megawatts capacity is to be through grid connected rooftop systems.
“With the new initiative, India will emerge as a major country utilizing the roof space for solar rooftop systems on such a large scale,” says the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy web site.
” This 40 GW will result in abatement of about 60 million tonnes of CO2 per year and will help to fulfil the commitment of India towards its contribution in mitigating the effect of Climate Change.”
The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was launched in 2010, originally with a goal of deploying 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022.
India eclipsed Australia’s total for installed solar capacity – around 4GW at the time – in June last year.
During the first seven months of India’s 2015/16 fiscal year, which runs from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016, 827.22 MW of solar power generation capacity was added. A target of 1,400 MW has been set for the 2015/16 fiscal year.
In the country’s 2015 budget, India’s government announced a target of 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, including the 100 GW solar goal. By the end of October, the country had approximately 38 GW of grid-interactive renewable energy capacity installed.