New Delhi: 16 gigawatt (GW) worth of solar rooftop capacity can be created from micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by the end of 2022, said Nitin Gadkari, union minister of MSMEs.
India has set a target of 175 GW of installed capacity by the end of 2022, out of which 40 GW is expected to come from solar rooftop projects.
"Of the 40 GW, four gigawatts to come from domestic solar rooftop, whereas 16 gigawatts potential can be harnessed from MSMEs," Gadkari said while speaking at a webinar organised by SBI and World Bank on accelerating adoption of rooftop solar by MSMEs. "MSME is the most critical sector for advancing the country's growth," he said.
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.
"We want to make a commitment to India. Whether it is in infrastructure or in MSME, we want to come in and reduce risks. Doing so will enable us to leverage money at several folds," said Junaid Ahmad, Country Director for the World Bank in India.
The share of installed rooftop solar projects has reached 6.4 GW, according to a recent report by consultancy firm Bridge to India. The overall installed capacity of renewable energy was 92.5 GW as of January 2021, according to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
In 2015, the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) had estimated a rooftop solar potential of 42.8 GW in India and accordingly, a target of 40 GW of installed capacity by 2022 has been set by the government.