Solar RooftopWhat is the Cost and ROI of Rooftop Solar System Installation in India?

What is the Cost and ROI of Rooftop Solar System Installation in India?

As energy costs continue to rise and environmental concerns grow, more and more homeowners and businesses in India are turning to rooftop solar as a sustainable and cost-effective solution for their electricity needs. However, one of the biggest questions on people’s minds is – what is the actual cost of going solar, and what kind of return on investment can be expected?

In this blog, we’ll take a comprehensive look at the factors that determine the upfront cost of a rooftop solar system in India, the incentives and subsidies available, and the long-term savings you can expect from generating your own clean electricity. We’ll also explore the concept of the solar payback period and provide examples to help you estimate the ROI for your particular situation.

Rooftop Solar System Costs in India 

The cost of a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system depends on several key factors:

1) System Size and Type

The overall size of the system, measured in kilowatts (kW) is the biggest determinant of cost. Smaller systems for residential use may be 3-10kW while large commercial rooftops can go up to 1MW or more. The type of solar panels (monocrystalline, polycrystalline, thin-film etc.) and inverters used also affect pricing.

2) Installation Complexity

Straightforward installations on shade-free roofs with the proper orientation cost less than complex roofs that require special mounting structures or obstacles that need to be worked around.

3) Location

Costs can vary from one state/city to another based on factors like transportation, labor rates, etc.

4) Supply Chain and Market Conditions

Global prices of solar components and local demand/supply dynamics influence quotes from installers.

Considering these variables, the current cost range for rooftop solar power systems in India is roughly:

– Residential (3-10kW): Rs. 45,000 – Rs. 65,000 per kW

– Commercial (50kW – 1MW): Rs. 35,000 – Rs. 50,000 per kW

So for a typical 5kW home system, the total investment would be around Rs. 2.5 – 3.5 lakhs before subsidies.

However, there are substantial incentives available to reduce the upfront cost burden.

Solar Incentives and Subsidies in India

Both the central government and many state governments provide attractive capital and production subsidies for solar rooftop installations:

– Central Financial Assistance: 40% subsidy for residential/institutional up to 3kW, 20% subsidy for 3-10kW.

– State Subsidies: Additional capital or interest subsidies from 20% to 90% of costs from states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttarakhand, etc.

– Accelerated Depreciation: For commercial units, 40% of the system cost is allowed as depreciation in the first year itself.

– Net Metering: Ability to export surplus solar power to the grid and earn credit against electricity bills.

Taking central and state subsidies into account, the effective price for a 5kW home system can come down to around Rs. 1.25 – 2 lakhs in many states. This drastically improves the payback period.

Solar Payback Period and ROI

The payback period is the time it takes for the savings from a solar system to recover the initial investment through reduced electricity bills. It is calculated based on:

– Upfront Cost: Quoted system price minus applicable subsidies

– Annual Electricity Generation: Depends on system size, location, orientation etc.

– Electricity Costs: The retail cost of grid electricity that is being offset

Every unit of solar electricity generated is one less unit that needs to be purchased from the utility at retail rates. With electricity tariffs increasing by 5-10% per year, savings grow substantially over time.

As an example, let’s consider that 5kW system in Delhi at a net cost of Rs. 1.5 lakhs after subsidies. Assuming it generates 7,000 units annually and electricity rates are Rs. 8 per unit:

Year 1 Savings: 7,000 x Rs. 8 = Rs. 56,000

Simple Payback Period = 1,50,000 / 56,000 = 2.7 years

Over its 25+ year lifetime, the total savings could be over Rs. 30 lakhs! That’s a return of nearly 20 times the investment.

While payback estimates can vary, the impact of falling solar costs and rising electricity prices means rooftop solar is an extremely attractive financial proposition across India, allowing full recovery of costs in just 3-5 years, followed by over two decades of free and clean electricity.

The case becomes even stronger for commercial rooftops, where accelerated depreciation and higher scale lead to sub-2 year payback in many cases.

Furthermore, beyond just short-term economic benefits, rooftop solar delivers intangible advantages like protection against future electricity price hikes, low operational costs, eco-friendly energy production, and a reduced carbon footprint.

Waaree is a globally recognized company and one of India’s largest solar PV manufacturers. With a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, Waaree produces high-efficiency monocrystalline PERC solar modules and supplies solar PV modules globally. The company has a strong nationwide dealer network and residential and commercial rooftop teams to serve customers across India.

Waaree’s vertically integrated, made-in-India solar solutions have been the choice of discerning homeowners, businesses, investors, and governments for over three decades. By combining cutting-edge technology, industry-leading quality, and financial strength, Waaree continues its vision to make solar energy affordable and sustainable for all.


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Waaree Renewable Technologies Limited is a leading solar EPC company in India. We offer a wide range of solar products and services for residential, commercial, and industrial.