Powering Your Rooftops: Coimbatore

Allowing net metering and having a supportive distribution company (discom) will promote rooftop solar in Coimbatore

“Coimbatore is amongst the 100 Smart Cities of India. To become smart in the true sense, every house, commercial and industrial building needs to have rooftop solar installed for their energy requirement,” said Mr C Narasimhan, former Member of Parliament; President, Indian Solar Association, and Chairman, Raasi Group, speaking at the CII-HFE Powering Your Rooftops Workshop in Coimbatore on 24 May 2018.

He added that rooftop solar (RTS) will play an important role in achieving India’s target of 175GW installed renewable energy capacity by 2022, which includes 40GW from RTS. It thus becomes very important to attract every rooftop owner to install solar panels with attractive incentives, latest technologies and new equipment.

Mr Narasimhan said that in the solar value chain, it is now imperative to build capacity for indigenous manufacturing and make Indian companies competitive against Chinese imports. This, he stated, is only possible with GW-scale manufacturing plants and strong incentives for local businesses.

Mr R Sunder, Head – Rooftop Solar, Hero Futures Energies said that industry has spearheaded India’s rooftop solar installation, contributing ~800MW of the total 1.8GW installed capacity, and he expects this trend to continue for the next 3-4 years. To promote the sector, he suggested creating awareness while building a robust regulatory framework.

Mr Sunder pointed out that while the state of Tamil Nadu had a target of 350MW rooftop solar capacity by 2015, it has only been able to achieve 191MW by September 2017. To step up the pace of rooftop solar adoption, he said that the state government would have to do major promotions, along with the right support from distribution companies (DISCOMs).

The Workshop started with Mr M Ramesh, Chairman, CII Coimbatore Zonal Council and Managing Director, Alphacraft, highlighting the achievements of India’s solar sector, and laying out the road ahead.

The session also featured an animated panel discussion with Mr L R Venkatesh, Associate Expert – Solar, COCENA and Director, Vesat Solar System; Mr K Muralidharan, DGM (B&O), State Bank of India, Chennai; moderator Mr Yusuf Turab, Member, Infrastructure Panel, CII Coimbatore Zone and MD, YT Enterprises; Mr A D Thirumurthy, Adviser – Non-Conventional Energy, The Southern India Mills Association; Mr RathaKrishnan R, Deputy Manager Sales, Waaree Energies, and Mr M Subhash Chandra, Smart Cities, Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation, Govt of Tamil Nadu.



Powering Your Rooftops is a workshop series to create stakeholder outreach and engagement to accelerate India’s Rooftop Solar Programme, organised by CII in partnership with Hero Future Energies.

The workshops provide a platform for Central and State Govt policymakers, regulators, municipalities, discoms, industry and consumers to discuss the present scenario, policy and regulatory frameworks, and existing and potential opportunities and challenges. Participants share experiences through case studies, discuss low-cost, long-term financing options and support mechanisms, and propose strategies to accelerate RTS implementation. The sessions also provide networking opportunities for industry and consumers.

Initiated in 2016, the 5-year, multi-state series is now in Phase II. Phase I (2016-17) covered the states of Delhi, Karnataka (Bengaluru), Maharashtra (Pune), Punjab, Telangana (Hyderabad) and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. Phase II has started with Coimbatore and Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu.