Saur Energy-GoodWe Webinar: Industry, Policy Experts Brainstorm On Rooftop Bottlenecks 

Highlights :

  • The virtual session discussed different facets of India’s residential solar rooftop. Around 700 participants in the event.
  • Representatives from Goodwe, CEEW, Solar Square & Roofsol Energy shared industry and policy perspectives on the issue.
Saur Energy-GoodWe Webinar: Industry, Policy Experts Brainstorm On Rooftop Bottlenecks  A screenshot of the live webinar held today.

Saur Energy International held a brainstorming session today to debate bottlenecks in India’s residential solar rooftop sector. Supported by leading inverter major GoodWe, the virtual event witnessed participation from some of India’s leading solar rooftop industry players and policy experts from the sector. The speakers deliberated upon the hurdles and recommended solutions to counter the obstacles. Residential rooftop remains a massively underpenetrated segment of the solar market in India. With key stakeholders including the central government, many state governments, and others finally acknowledging their role in meeting climate objectives locally and at a country level, the hope is that the segment will finally grow faster. That is what became the key issue at the webinar too. 

Saur Energy organised a webinar today on India's Residential Solar Rooftop.

A screenshot of the Saur Energy’s live webinar held today.

Prasanna Singh, Group Editor, Saur Energy International, moderated the event. Bhawna Tyagi, Programme Associate from the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW); Nilesh Mahajan, CEO, Roofsol Solar Private Limited; Puneet Randhawa, AVP operations at Solar Square Energy and Kevin George, Sales Head (South India) from Goodwe participated as speakers in the programme. 

The event witnessed the participation of around 700 audiences who joined the webinar from different online sources, including Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, and the direct webinar link. 

During the webinar, Tyagi highlighted why India’s residential rooftop solar remained primarily confined to urban areas. She stressed that often, rooftop solar (RTS) consumers are small consumers of solar power and thus grapple with myriad challenges, unlike the large commercial and industrial segment consumers. From awareness, to financing to platforms, all were flagged by her as major issues. 

“They are mostly smaller consumers with a capacity ranging from 1 Kw-3Kw. There is a higher consumer acquisition cost for financial institutions. There is also a risk of default associated with this for such institutions. Assessing the consumers’ financial credibility in rural areas is often tough for financial institutions. Thus, consumers in such areas will face financing at higher interest rates. These add up to the hurdles of rural consumers. That is why RTS has been a success mostly in the urban centers of India,” Tyagi said.  

When asked about the importance of subsidies in adopting RTS in the country, Puneet said that most of Solar Square’s RTS consumers came with subsidy backing, indicating the continuing relevance of subsidies in the RTS segment.

 “A lot of domestic consumers appreciate the role of subsidies, and it plays a key role in the faster adoption of the technology,” he said. He added that in the next 5-6 years, with more awareness, there would be more demand for the RTS without much dependency on subsidies. He said that the RTS market, without a subsidy backing, is still nascent in India.

Nilesh from Roofsol pointed out that some of the Indian states, like Gujarat, fared well in the solar rooftop sector because the state agencies involved in the process made the whole process seamless. 

“The state government and concerned agencies took very good steps to make the whole process seamless. Due to this, the whole process is easier for the consumers to come on board. The registration, the empanelment of the developers, installation, and the direct support to the consumers aided in the faster adoption of the RTS in the state,” he said. He said that other states are also following suit. He hoped that with more government support, and increased awareness, RTS would witness an appreciable rise in the country in the coming days. 

On the other hand, Kevin put up the perspective from South India. He said that besides the good performance of states like Gujarat, some southern Indian states like Kerala and Karnataka had been upbeat. “In states like Kerala and Karnataka also, the growth of RTS has been good, and there is a consistent rise in demand and installations. It is also because of the higher subsidies the consumers get here, which is around up to 70 percent,” he said. 

Speakers were unanimous in their view that residential rooftop solar was set for a bright future, with almost all positives converging to provide a strong run for this hitherto underperforming segment. Speakers saw limited risks from here on for the growth of the segment, with capacity constraints especially seen as the last risk factor that would go away as domestic manufacturing capacities ramp up significantly by 2025.

Key sponsor GoodWe has emerged as a strong player in the solar inverter segment for this category, building upon a core portfolio that covers every requirement in rooftop solar. With installations across every state and strong brand connect, GoodWe has clearly understood market requirements well, and hopes to be at the forefront of supporting market growth with its product portfolio in the future too .

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