MSMEs can Create 16 GW Rooftop Solar Capacity by 2022: Gadkari

Nitin Gadkari has said that MSMEs can create nearly 16 GW of rooftop solar capacity by 2022, meeting 40 percent of the 40 GW target.

Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari has said that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can contribute to creating nearly 16 GW of rooftop solar capacity by 2022. Meeting 40 percent of the 40 GW target set by the Government of India for rooftop solar installations in the country under the 175 GW Renewable Energy by 2022 target.

Speaking at a webinar hosted by the State Bank of India (SBI) and the World Bank on ‘Accelerating Adoption of Solar Rooftop by MSME Sector’ the minister said that “of the 40 GW, four gigawatts to come from the domestic solar rooftop, whereas 16 gigawatts potential can be harnessed from MSMEs. MSME is the most critical sector for advancing the country’s growth.”

India is lagging behind its intended target of 40 GW, and adoption by MSMEs might give it a much-needed impetus. Gadkari suggested cold-storage units as a viable sector that can adopt rooftop solar and utilise it for their own usage, as opposed to paying commercial rates for electricity that reach nearly 10 to 11 rupees per unit.

The World Bank – SBI’s USD 625 million has supported India’s significant Rooftop Solar rollout. Junaid Ahmad, Country Director India, World Bank, addressing the gathering said that “The World Bank is committed to the cause of MSMEs and an investment in this industry will aid India’s aim to become ‘Atmanirbhar’ or ‘self-reliant’. By facilitating MSMEs to decarbonise their power consumption in a sustainable manner, India can achieve a twin objective of greening the economy and uplifting MSMEs to become highly competitive by reducing its power costs.”

Recently, the minister had invited MSMEs in India to look at accessing concessional debt finance to install rooftop solar systems to improve their business efficiency.

Dinesh Kumar Khara, Chairman, SBI, said, “the idea is to really educate MSMEs about the benefit of adopting solar rooftop and achieving cost-competitiveness. We are thankful to the World Bank for accelerating this initiative and investing in India’s renewable energy journey. It is an investment for building up the economy and the more we invest, the more we will reap the fruits going forward. When it comes to small-ticket loans, co-lending is perhaps the way forward and that is how we would like to support our smaller SMEs.”

The Minister while addressing a virtual event had said that rooftop solar offers an excellent value proposition to MSMEs by significantly bringing down the cost of electricity consumption, which on average, is up to one-fifth of their overall operations cost. The minister observed that a large amount (average Rs 8 and higher per unit) is being paid by the MSMEs for power consumption, which contributes to up to one-fifth of the overall production costs.

“I believe there is a strong business case for MSMEs to install rooftop solar and achieve significant savings to achieve the cost-competitiveness. I am confident that MSMEs will stand together in generating and consuming solar power using their rooftops,” he said.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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