Rooftop solar development in India: measuring policies and mapping business models.
Rooftop solar (RTS) photovoltaic (PV) interventions are an attractive and promising energy ventures for developers, entrepreneurs, financial institutions, consumers, and electricity distribution utilities in India. These RTS systems are currently experiencing sluggish growth due to multiple technical, policy and regulatory, and financial hurdles encountered by them. The present study focuses on two crucial aspects of RTS development in India: it comprehensively maps and measures policy strengths at the sub-national scale, and it critically and comparatively examines the prevailing business models for RTS systems based on their characteristics and key features. A combination of theoretical arguments, empirical observations, and logical reasoning is employed to construct a composite index for measuring policy strengths, and literature review and expert solicitation surveys are carried out to assess the business models and their characteristics. Analysis of policy strengths indicates that while states like Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, and Telangana are ahead in terms of policies, states such as West Bengal, Tripura, Punjab, Uttarakhand, and other parts of northern India, emerge as having poorly designed state RTS policies. Assessment of business models and their risks reveals that consumers bear a significant proportion of risks in the CAPEX model compared to the OPEX model.