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PM Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana: Opportunities & Challenges

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PM Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana: Opportunities & Challenges

 

Experts from the industry share insights on how for PM-Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana initiative can transform India’s energy landscape, the economic benefits, potential obstacles, and the strategic steps needed for successful implementation.

The Indian government has announced the PM-Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana scheme, aiming to provide free electricity for up to 300 units every month by installing rooftop solar panels for one crore households across the country. With a total outlay of Rs. 75,021 crore, this scheme represents a watershed moment in India’s journey towards universal energy access and sustainable development. Here we will examine the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for PM-Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana scheme.

Opportunities
Explaining on how the scheme aims to provide households with free electricity using solar energy, Subrahmanyam Pulipaka, CEO, NSEFI – National Solar Energy Federation of India said: “PM Surya Ghar Muft Bijli scheme is a significant step towards increasing rooftop solar installations, with a target of 10 million (1 crore) rooftops in the next two to three years. The consumer incentives for switching to solar have substantially increased, with higher subsidies per kilowatt compared to the first and second phases of the rooftop scheme.”

Recent surveys indicate that a significant portion of the growth in India’s rooftop solar segment comes from installations of one to three kilowatts. Installing solar panels can lead to a break-even point in two to three years, providing free power thereafter. This aspect is a major driver of the scheme.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Potential for job creation in the renewable energy sector.
  • Enhancing energy security by diversifying the energy mix.
  • Encouraging innovation in solar technology and infrastructure.
  • Empowering rural and remote communities with reliable electricity.
  • Improving quality of life through access to energy for education, healthcare, and other essential services.
  • Fostering local entrepreneurship and small businesses through reliable power supply.

Subrahmanyam adds, “This initiative not only boosts our rooftop solar segment but also involves citizens in the fight against climate change. Our interim target is 2030, with a long-term goal of achieving net zero by 2070, requiring 5,600 gigawatts of solar energy. The PM Surya Ghar Muft Bijli scheme lays the foundation for reaching our 2030 targets and moving closer to our net zero goal. We are very optimistic about its success.”

Cecil Augustine, National Head – Sales & Marketing, Adani Solar said, “With a target of one crore (10 million) houses and an average installation of three kilowatts per house, this scheme aims to boost rooftop solar capacity from the current three gigawatts to 30 gigawatts. This will accelerate the solarization of residential rooftops, promoting green energy nationwide. Economically, it has the potential to create approximately 17 lakh jobs, a remarkable opportunity for the country at this time.”

Challenges
On the high initial cost of solar panel installation and the challenges of securing funds and subsidies for widespread adoption Abhijeet Sinha, National Program Director – Ease of Doing Business; Project Director – National Highways for EV; President – Charge Point Operators Society of India, said: “When considering climate-friendly and sustainable options, many of the available alternatives are capital-intensive. Currently, we have one option that is not as capital-intensive for installation: solar energy. Solar has seen significant development globally.”

Amit Arokar, Founder & Managing Director, ECE India Energies said, “Despite the challenges, in the past seven years, we have reached 6.94 lakh residential homes, and now we aim for one crore in the next three years. This target is steep, but with the combined efforts of manufacturers, industry, policymakers, and installers, it is achievable.”

Conclusion
The PM Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana offers numerous opportunities that can drive socio-economic growth and environmental sustainability. “India missed an early opportunity to become a leader in solar manufacturing due to a lack of clarity in previous government policies. Ten years ago, before 2014, there was little discussion in India about manufacturing solar panels. However, from 2014 to 2024, there has been a shift towards understanding and implementing what is necessary to make solar energy a reality. We have made progress in basic manufacturing and policy-driven initiatives to attract both private and government capital for large projects,” concludes Abhijeet.

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