India Solar Handbook 2016

India is set to become the fourth largest solar market in the world with expected capacity addition of 6 GW in 2016

more highlights


Market Intelligence
Transaction advisory Strategy Consulting

We serve our clients with superior analysis and tailor-made consulting services on India’s dynamic energy and sustainability market.

Strategy Consulting
Market Intelligence Transaction advisory
transaction advisory_landing

Our team has extensive all round transaction capabilities including project development and financing

Transaction advisory
Strategy Consulting Market Intelligence

subscribe to newsletter thumb
Subscribe to
our newsletter


BRIDGE TO INDIA is the leading consultancy and knowledge services provider in the Indian renewable market. We work with all industry stakeholders including technology companies and contractors, project developers and investors, government agencies and developmental institutions. We have a unique vantage point on the market dynamics, combining the 360 degree view from our market intelligence capability with the in-depth analysis performed as part of our consulting and transaction advisory businesses. Our goal is to enable innovative cleantech solutions in India.

Strategy Consulting Business strategy   Market environment   White papers MarketIntelligence Always up-to-date Industry access 360 degree view TransactionAdvisory Financial advisoryBusiness restructuringDue diligence Uniqueunderstandingof the Indiancleantech market

The Delhi government approved its first solar policy on June 6, 2016. The policy understandably focuses on rooftop solar development because of shortage of available land space in the city. It has many innovative provisions and provides for exemptions and simplification of procedures for rooftop system installation.

The policy introduces ‘Group Net Metering’ for the first time in India, whereby surplus energy exported from a solar plant can be credited against consumption at any other location of the same entity within the same DISCOM territory. In another first for India, the policy introduces ‘Virtual Net Metering’ whereby consumers with insufficient rooftop space can co-invest in a solar power system at any other location and get pro rata benefit of electricity output.


As the Indian solar sector grows, there has been growing pressure on Indian project developers to churn their capital. The merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the sector is gathering pace and it is believed that as many as 3,000 MW of projects are on sale right now. Last week, a report quoted that IDFC Alternatives, an Indian private equity fund, is in advanced discussions to buy 275 MW of solar assets from Acme Solar (refer). This comes on the heels of successful closure of Welspun’s sale of 990 MW of solar assets to Tata Power (refer) and another reported sale of 337 MW of renewables capacity by NSL to Brookfield Asset Management.

  • Sale of post-development renewables assets is a time-tested and proven method to free up capital but there have been very few successful exits in India
  • The Indian solar market is shifting gears to move into the next phase of its development and a liquid secondary market is essential for its sustainable growth
  • A few more successful deals and/ or listings will help set more industry benchmarks, act as a proof of concept and attract other investors to the sector


Results were announced last week for 1,050 MW of projects tendered by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) in Karnataka (950 MW) and Chhattisgarh (100 MW) under the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme. These projects will be set up outside solar parks and will have no module sourcing restrictions. Adani (350 MW), Hero Future Energies (200 MW), Energon (100 MW), Acme Solar (160 MW) and Solar Arise (30 MW) are the big winners in Karnataka with Adani winning the entire 100 MW capacity available in Chhattisgarh.

  • Recent tenders show that level of oversubscription and/or bidding intensity has come down markedly over the last 6 months
  • While international developers have won a majority (58%) of NTPC projects, 62% of SECI pipeline and 51% of state policy pipeline has been allocated to Indian corporates
  • As many of the leading developers get occupied with execution and/or capital raising, reduction in bidding intensity should provide an attractive bidding opportunity to newer players


The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a draft national policy for mini and micro grids (refer). The policy aims to create up to 500 MW capacity in the private sector in the next five years.

  • India has a terrible record on providing reliable grid electricity to large parts of the country; several startups have enjoyed limited success in the mini and micro grid sector but a scalable, profitable model seems to be elusive
  • The policy provides some much needed policy certainty to the sector and includes measures such as single window clearance, grid connectivity and pricing visibility for evolution of bankable business models
  • Grid power is heavily subsidized for residential and agricultural consumers and the ability of these consumers to pay for more expensive mini/micro grid power continues to be a concern

The Modi government wants to provide ‘24×7 power for all’ in the country by 2019. This is a very lofty target as India has up to 250 million people without access to grid and many more still who have grid connection but face outages of up to 16 hours a day.

As a part of the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojna (DDUGJY), the government is in the process of electrifying 18,452 villages by May 2018. Out of this, 14,204 villages have been identified for extension of the grid and 3,449 villages are to be electrified through off-grid power projects (refer). As per the government data, grid extension work is progressing ahead of schedule and 49% of the target has been achieved in the past one year. However, only 16% of the off-grid target has been achieved so far (refer).

Several start-up enterprises have sprung up in the last few years offering multiple business models and product solutions in this space. Companies like Husk Power, Gram Power, Gram Oorja and OMC Power have enjoyed reasonable success but a scalable, profitable model seems to be largely elusive. Main challenges include customer inability to pay (poor affordability), poor policy framework and multiple implementation challenges.

The draft policy is technology agnostic and tries to address many of these challenges:

  1. determination of regulated prices for mini grid projects with some tariff determination flexibility provided to mini/micro grid operators;
  2. single window clearances for seeking regulatory approvals and right of way, availability of information on taxes and exemptions;
  3. notification of areas where grid extension is not planned;
  4. creation of local village committees to ensure customer adoption, payment collection and faster dispute resolution;
  5. provision of grid connection to enable sale of power to local utilities;
  6. RPO multiplier to make interconnection more attractive for distribution companies; and
  7. specification of quality and performance standards.

The policy is still in draft stage and is meant as a guideline for states, who can adapt or modify the policy based on their local needs. BRIDGE TO INDIA believes that it provides some much needed policy certainty to the sector and includes many of the measures needed for evolution of bankable business models for mini and micro grids. But somewhat surprisingly, it doesn’t offer any direct financial incentives or subsidies. Grid power is heavily subsidized for residential and agricultural consumers and the ability of these consumers to pay for more expensive mini/micro grid power continues to be a concern.

Subscribe to our newsletter


Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get regular updates on the Indian solar market scene. You can also write to us at with further questions on the market or to request an addition to our mailing list.


advertise with us

Advertise with us

Advertising is all about choosing the right platform. BRIDGE TO INDIA offers you uncluttered design, high quality, unique content, and access to the decision-makers in the industry. Contact us to know your options.


India Goes Solar

IGS banner-01 is developed by BRIDGE TO INDIA as a one stop education and information portal for solar energy end consumers. The website includes several areas of interest to consumers – a discussion forum, listing of solar installers, listing of various solar products, a solar calculator and a blog. For more information, visit our website.

our website


BRIDGE TO INDIA was quick to understand our precise needs and mobilize their team to suit our timescales. The strength of their market relationships and in particular their deep international reach proved very useful to our business.

Mr. Deepak Thakur
Kirloskar Solar

BRIDGE TO INDIA’s services helped us plan the first solar ready warehouses in India. We intend to scale this across multiple locations in India in the coming years.

Mr. Baranwal
Senior Vice President

We have been reading every single publication from BRIDGE TO INDIA since we both started in a nascent Indian market in 2010. Their opinions and analyses have been invaluable. They really help shape the market.

Mr. Venugopalan
Director, Business Development