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Solar Roofing: India’s 500-Gigawatt Renewable Energy Push through RESCO-Based Distributed Generation
ADB
2024.02.22
In 2015, India set itself the target of generating 100 gigawatts (GW) of energy from solar power by 2022, of which 60 GW was to be met by ground-mounted systems and 40 GW by rooftop installations. By November 2017, India had made significant progress in the installation of ground-mounted solar systems (16 GW), but only achieved 0.9 GW through solar rooftops. During this time, Manu Srivastava, the then principal secretary of Madhya Pradesh’s New and Renewable Energy Department, decided to introduce the Renewable Energy Services Company (RESCO) model for solar rooftops in Madhya Pradesh, especially for government institutions. RESCO is a zero-investment model for these institutions, where the independent solar power developer bears all the costs of installation and maintenance of the project in return for the use of the institute’s rooftop space, and the institutions only pay for the electricity produced from the solar rooftop installations whose tariff is considerably cheaper than their current electricity charges. It, therefore, has the potential to overcome the major challenge that has prevented the scaling of solar rooftop systems: the initial capital investment to get the project up and running and the subsequent expenditure to operate and maintain it.