Solar rooftop PV in India: need to prioritize in-situ generation for self consumption with a net-metering approach

While the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) opened up the solar electricity sector in India, the focus has primarily been on large-scale grid-connected power plants. With the drastic fall in prices of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules and balance of systems (BOS) on the one hand, and the high and rising tariffs of certain consumer categories in India on the other, grid-connected solar Rooftop PV (RTPV) systems are becoming increasingly viable economically. RTPV systems can offer substantial benefits in terms of providing peaking supply of power, reducing T&D losses, improving tail end voltages, and creating local jobs. Considering the existing governance and M&V structures in India, this paper argues that a balanced approach for all stakeholders for promoting RTPV would be to adopt a national policy of ‘net-metering’ to encourage in-situ generation primarily for self consumption, coupled with the provisions of grid inter-connection and energy banking facilities from the local utility.