This report explores the potential of a diverse set of business and implementation models for distributed solar energy generation in the context of Tamil Nadu. In 2019 Tamil Nadu introduced the Tamil Nadu Solar Energy Policy 2019 with a total solar energy target of 9,000 MW by 2023. The solar energy target is divided into two categories: utility category with a 5,400 MW target, and the consumer category with a 3,600 MW target.
As of 2019 Tamil Nadu accounted for a total of 458 MW installed in the rooftop solar, or consumer category capacity. In order to achieve the 2023 consumer category solar energy target, a total of 3,142 MW of consumer category solar needs to be added. While this is a doable task, it is nevertheless a high bar. The state-specific regulatory and policy environment, particularly with respect to electricity tariffs and subsidies, have a pivotal role to play in determining if and to what extent various electricity consumer categories take up the installation of distributed solar energy systems. Considering the current tariff structure in the State, there is limited or no incentive for subsidised consumer categories to opt for distributed solar via the capex model. Therefore alternative financing and implementation models, bespoke to the various electricity consumer categories, will be required in order for Tamil Nadu to meet its solar energy targets.