The government of India has set an ambitious target of enabling 4 GW residential installation under the subsidy scheme till December 2024.
In the spirit of popularizing rooftop solar amongst homeowners and achieving the set target, the government offers homeowners financial assistance in the form of subsidies.
While the subsidy scheme is managed by Govt. of India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the state DISCOMs have been appointed as implementation agencies of these schemes. Different states have been running programmes under the current on-going Rooftop Solar Phase II Subsidy Scheme. However, there were several implementation challenges owing to which a large number of consumers have not been able to take advantage of the government’s subsidy scheme.
The only state in India that was able to surpass the implementation hurdles is Gujarat: almost 3 Lakh homes installed rooftop solar systems under the subsidy program in the last few years. Whereas, other states couldn’t surpass the figure of 1 Lakh residential solar installations combined since the beginning of subsidy schemes in India.
Under Hon’ble Energy Minister Mr. RK Singh’s leadership, MNRE has now re-imagined the entire residential solar subsidy programme of India. Several industry representations were made to simplify this programme to accelerate adoption of solar amongst homes.
India recently declared the launch of a New and Simplified Programme for Rooftop Solar Phase II. Under the simplified programme, a national solar portal has been created where any Indian consumer or their chosen solar companies can apply for solar net-metering and subsidy. Once the solar system is installed and commissioned, the subsidy will be directly credited to the consumer’s bank account within 30 days.
This much awaited National Solar Portal launch was finally done today by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi. You can watch the launch video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIjZAJKyAEo (34 Mins, 30 Seconds)
How much subsidy can home-owners get when applying for Rooftop Solar on the National Solar Portal?
Under the national simplified subsidy scheme, subsidy amounts have been fixed by the government as per the following slabs. These slabs are standard across all states and union territories of India.
Central Financial Assistance (CFA)/ Central Government Subsidy for rooftop solar plant installed by a residential consumer under simplified procedure
|Plant Capacity||Applicable Subsidy|
|Up to 3kW||Rs. 14588/- per kW|
|Above 3kW and up to 10kW||Rs. 14588/- per kW for the first 3kW and thereafter Rs. 7294/- per kW|
|Above 10kW||Rs. 94822/- fixed|
Note: The CFA/ subsidy will be released after clearance by the inspecting authority (DISCOM) on successful commissioning and installation of the metering system as per specified procedure. The CFA/ subsidy will not be applicable with retrospective effect.
Calculation of CFA/ subsidy: The CFA/ subsidy would be calculated on the basis of total solar module capacity/ solar inverter capacity/ capacity approved by DISCOM, whichever is lower.
The subsidy under the new National Subsidy Scheme for residential rooftop solar will still be capped at 10 KW. Any system above 10 KW will get a subsidy of Rs. 94,822 only.
Why is the new National Solar Portal a game-changer for residential solar?
Despite the efforts, there were many challenges in the DISCOM drive state level subsidy programme. While the state subsidy programmes will still continue, the national simplified programme puts more control in the hands of the consumers.
Until now, only those customers that had an active subsidy program running in their states were able to apply for a subsidy. As a result, homeowners in many states and Union territories with no active Subsidy program couldn’t avail of the financial assistance offered by the government on the installation of rooftop solar systems.
Now, consumers are no longer dependent on their state DISCOM to avail subsidy benefits. Under the new National Subsidy Scheme, any customer across every state and union territory of India can apply for a subsidy via the National Solar Portal.
This scheme is a Direct Benefit transfer (DBT) scheme where-in consumer’s will get the subsidy credited to their bank account within 30 days after installation and commissioning of their rooftop solar system.
What is the process of applying for subsidy under the National Solar Portal?
- – As a consumer you can directly submit application on the National Solar Portal https://solarrooftop.gov.in/
- – Alternatively, SolarSquare or your chosen solar company can do all the applications on your behalf in the national portal and take end-to-end responsibility of your solar application and subsidy disbursal.
- – Consumers are free to choose any solar company which is empaneled in their DISCOM under the DBT scheme
- – Consumers can also track the progress of their application on the national solar portal
- – Consumer’s bank account details need to be updated in this portal and subsidy will be disbursed directly in this account within 30 days of installation and commissioning of the solar system.
- – Solar company is also supposed to provide 5 years of after-sales and maintenance service to their consumers
SolarSquare takes care of end-to-end solar applications from net-metering till subsidy disbursal for all its customers.
Are there any conditions for availing Rooftop Solar Subsidy under this national programme?
There are only 2 conditions for availing subsidy under this scheme –
- – First, you can only choose from solar companies empaneled in your state DISCOM. The list of empaneled companies will soon be published by all state DISCOM websites. SolarSquare is empaneled under National Subsidy Scheme in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bangalore, Telangana, Delhi and Chattisgarh states.
- – Second, the government of India offers a subsidy only on solar systems that use Made in India solar panels. Also known as DCR (Domestic Content Requirement) panels. Currently, Indian manufacturers only make polycrystalline solar cells and panels. So, if a consumer wants to buy other technologies such as Monocrystalline, Mono-PERC then they cannot avail of subsidy on their rooftop solar system.
Why is this programme a milestone moment for the Solar Industry?
Under the new programme, adoption of rooftop solar by Indian homes will be accelerated. Hassle-free online applications, real-time tracking of application status on portal and 30 day subsidy disbursement. With this simplified procedure, the future of residential solar industry is looking bright.
While the process is simplified for consumers, the process of getting empanelment and working under subsidy schemes is also simplified for solar companies now.
- – Any solar company can now pay just Rs. 2.5 Lac Bank Guarantee to get registered in a DISCOM. With this, the company gets eligible to install subsidized rooftop solar systems for consumers in that DISCOM under the National Subsidy Scheme.
- – State run subsidy programmes had several implementation issues for solar companies as well. Under state programmes, consumers get upfront subsidy discounts from solar companies and solar companies had to claim subsidy from DISCOM. This led to huge issues for solar companies as fund disbursement from DISCOMs takes many months.
- – Now that the National Subsidy Scheme has been announced, installation companies get the full payment upfront and consumers get subsidy in their bank accounts within 30 days. Hence, the scope of growth will be much higher and more and more industry participation will happen.
- – With more solar companies willing to get empanelled, states will be able to meet their allocation targets and consumers will get more choice.
We believe this is the decade of solarisation of Indian homes. Millions of consumers will transition to clean energy and move away from expensive and polluting coal-based electricity.
And as Winston Churchill once said, “When there is great power, there is great responsibility”
It couldn’t have had a greater symbolism with anything else but what the PM said today: Bijli Bachaana, Desh Sajaana! With the widespread availability of solar electricity, there’s going to be an even greater responsibility to save that electricity!
The initiative taken by MNRE is a laudable move towards a better life, not just for years or decades, but centuries to come.