In India, the rooftop solar sector is still in its early stages but with a lot of room to grow. Within the past two years, cumulative installations have reached around 850 MW (as of March 2017), according Mercom’s recently released Q1 2017 India Solar Market Update.
Currently most of the rooftop installations are in the commercial, industrial and government segments. A total of 162 MW of rooftop solar was tendered and 47.5 MW auctioned in Q1 2017.
Accelerated depreciation (AD) rates came down from 80 percent to 40 percent starting April 1, 2017. The 10-year income tax holiday under section 80-IA was not reinstated in the recent budget and ended on March 31, 2017. These were the most important incentives driving rooftop solar.
Only Tata Power Solar has installed over 100 MW in rooftop installations. The top 5 companies accounted for 39 percent of rooftop market share and the top 20 companies accounted for almost 80 percent of all rooftop installations as of Q1 2017.
Tata Power has 14 percent of the market share and is by far the largest rooftop installer. CleanMax, Vikram Solar, and Harsha Abacus were other leading rooftop installers in the solar sector. Except for the top two installers, the difference between others is very small and will see a lot of jostling on the leaderboard as we move through the rest of the year. Only 10 MW separates the 6th largest developer and the 20th and a few big commercial projects can make a difference in where the companies are positioned.
The Indian Railways, Airports Authority of India and the various port trusts are helping drive the rooftop solar sector forward. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) recently exempted solar rooftop materials and equipment utilized for rooftop solar projects (grid-connected) from customs and excise duty.
However, recent steep declines in large-scale solar project tariffs from reverse auctions are expected to put pressure on the rooftop sector in the short-term.
Complete list of developers, with market share percentages, and MW installed is available in our Q1 India Solar Market Update or through our custom research services.
Image Credits: World Bank