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Rooftop solar for poverty alleviation

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Energy: Renewable Solar Energy


Source: BS

  Context: A new white paper proposes a scheme for rooftop solar photovoltaics (RTPV) for poverty alleviation.


Significance of RTPV for poverty alleviation in India:

  • Access to Electricity: Solar energy can provide access to electricity in remote areas that are not connected to the power grid, thus improving the quality of life for people living in poverty.
    • In China, RTPV is one of the identified 10 initiatives rolled out by the government to lift rural households out of poverty.
  • Cost Savings: For people living in poverty, who spend a significant portion of their income on energy, solar energy can help reduce their energy bills and save money.
  • Job Creation: at the lower and middle level
  • Improved Health: Solar energy can help reduce indoor air pollution and improve the health of people living in poverty.
  • Climate Change Mitigation



  • High initial cost: Currently, the rooftop-subsidy programmes run by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy require consumers to bear about 60 per cent of the costs.
  • Roof Availability: For many poor, having roof space is a luxury.
  • Dependence on Weather: In areas with low sunlight, or during monsoon season, solar energy production may be limited, which can be a challenge for those relying on it for electricity.
  • Maintenance: Solar panels require regular maintenance, which can be a challenge for people living in poverty who may not have the resources or knowledge to maintain them.
  • Implementation issues: India had achievedjust 7.9 GW of installed rooftop solar capacity as of June 2022 (against a previous target of 40 GW by 2022).


Government measures:


What is the proposed scheme for RPTVs?

The report proposes a Central government-sponsored scheme in the field of RTPV. It could be called Sooraj Se Rozgaari.

  • Under the proposed scheme, IREDA will purchase RTPV modules in bulk and transfer them to states at a cheaper cost. Low-income households do not have to pay for any share of the costs of RTPV installation and maintenance. Social/institutional/small businesses bear 80 per cent of the costs, and households with regular incomes bear 60 per cent.


Insta Links:

 Solar Energy


Mains Links

How can rooftop solar energy projects offer an opportunity for India to meet its emission reduction targets and poverty reduction? Comment.(15M)


Prelims links:

Q1. Consider the following statements: (UPSC 2022)
1. Gujarat has the largest solar park in India.
2. Kerala has a fully solar-powered International Airport.
3. Goa has the largest floating solar photovoltaic project in India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2
(b) 2 only
(c) land 3
(d) 3 only


Answer: B: 2 only