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Government unlikely to meet green energy targets

Owing to the poor progress in the rooftop solar programme, the country is unlikely to meet its ambitious renewable energy target of 175 GW, according to MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) officials. The government is trying hard to make up the shortfall by focusing more on other sources like bio-gas and small hydro projects.

According to the ministry officials several issues plague rooftop solar programme. The current tariff structure for solar is such that it is not quite remunerative to set up rooftop projects. Alternative uses for rooftops, as most rooftops being flat in India, further reduces its chance of acceptance by the people without proper incentives from the part of the government.

The government target is 175GW of renewable power by 2022 out of which 100GW is from solar energy. Rooftop solar target is 40GW of the total solar power target. Against this target the country has achieved just 1.3GW  of rooftop solar power. It is difficult to attract investment in this segment as there are no financial institutions to aggregate demand since each rooftop project constitutes a disparate element in the overall scheme.

Another issue being the absence of a de-risking mechanism as in the case of commercial solar projects. Compounding these problems there is still no clarity on guaranteed payment on net metering basis. The government needs to address these issues as early as possible in order to make progress in the renewable energy front.

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