State Bank of India’s Initiatives in Enhancing Rooftop Solar Growth Should Be a Guideline

The Indian solar growth is not confined to only utility scale development and installations. The Rooftop Solar Sector is also showing incredible growth in the recent years. The Rooftop sector in India has been adding from 72 MW to 227 MW capacity per year since 2013. In 2016, this sector surpassed the 1 GW mark showing 113% growth over 2015. In 2017, India added nearly 863.92 MW of rooftop solar capacity, standing at ~2.1 GW capacity. The current growth rate is estimated to lead the Indian rooftop solar sector to become a 3 GW per annum market by 2020.

Tamil Nadu (163), Maharashtra (137), Rajasthan (88), Gujarat (87), and Karnataka (83) MW, have the highest installed rooftop solar capacity in the country. In 2017, the Government of India took initiatives to focus on residential rooftop solar growth.

Even today, there are still nearly 200 million people in India who live without access or consistent flow of electricity. In such a scenario, focusing on rooftop solar sector is a decisive move. It will involve the common man in the process thus raising awareness and allowing green energy generation to reach the furthest corners of the country (without the burden of increasing fossil fuel prices). In investing and spreading rooftop solar in India, State Bank of India is showing an incredible upward trajectory.

Progressive Moves of State Bank of India

State Bank of India has taken initiatives to claim a prominent financing position in the growing solar sector. Witnessing Government of India’s intent of solarizing the country (40 GW rooftop solar target) and shifting focus on rooftop solar, this Government owned banking institution has made efforts to support the country’s solar mission and vision.

In June 2017, State Bank of India introduced its plans to fund 100 MW of solar rooftop plants, taking a credit line from World Bank (to use a part of $625 million). Nearly two years ago, State Bank of India committed to provide $11.7 billion for renewable energy growth, which was increased later to $12.7 billion.

In early 2016, State Bank of India played a major role (with other institutions such as- Punjab National Bank, World Bank, and Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency) in making $1.5 billion of funds available for rooftop grid connected solar development.

State Bank of India has also focused towards offering green bonds and supporting energy storage applications to facilitate long-term green energy growth. Solarisation of SBI branches (100 Kw solar plant installed at SBI HO in Patna, Bihar) also showcases this institution’s efforts at supporting green energy growth.

SBI is Becoming Environmentally Responsible

And so should be the focus of private and Government entities in India. The way State Bank of India is working towards reducing its carbon footprint (SBI is set to install 20 megawatts of rooftop solar systems in their own building) should serve as a guideline for other private and Government entities in India, to support the country’s energy shift. SBI’s annual energy consumption bill was 9.24 billion rupees in 2016-17, and it is considered to go down in the coming years. If entities try to solarize their own buildings across the country (through rooftop solar), they can avail the same benefit with ease.

With rising solar demand globally, the cost of solar panels and energy tariff have significantly dropped. Now is the time for the Indian corporations and Government units to join hands and become a driving force behind India’s green energy revolution, which is dependent on solar energy access and acceptability. In this path, SBI’s aggressive solar pursuit can serve as a guideline for other companies.