The adoption of solar power in India has grown tremendously over the past decade. One of the key factors driving this growth is the steady decline in solar panel price across the country. As demand increases and technology improves, solar panel costs are becoming more affordable for homes and businesses in India.
This article provides a detailed overview of the current solar panel price in India and the factors that influence pricing. We’ll look at cost components, trends, variation based on system size, the impact of government policies, and more. Read on to gain valuable insight into solar panel rates to help you make an informed decision about installing a photovoltaic system.
Average Current Cost of Solar Panels in India
The average price of solar panels in India as of 2023 is approximately ₹55 per watt for a rooftop solar system. However, solar panel price can range between ₹45-₹65 per watt depending on several variables.
For a typical 1 kilowatt solar rooftop system size, the approximate total module cost is ₹55,000. Overall system cost increases when you factor in inverters, batteries, wiring, and installation charges. A 1 kW system may cost around ₹90,000-₹100,000 installed.
Some key factors that influence current solar panel price in India include:
- Panel efficiency and technology
- System size
- Inverter, battery and BOS costs
- Import duties
We’ll expand on how each of these factors impact the cost of solar for homes and businesses.
How Panel Efficiency and Technology Impacts Price
The type of solar panel and its efficiency rating is a major determinant of the module cost per watt. There are three main solar panel technologies available in India:
- Polycrystalline silicon – These traditional panels have an average efficiency of 15-17% and make up around 65% of the Indian market currently. Polycrystalline solar panels cost around ₹50 per watt.
- Monocrystalline silicon – More advanced panels with higher efficiency of 17-22% that produces more power. Their price per watt ranges from ₹55 to ₹65.
- Thin film – Made from cadmium telluride, thin film panels have lower efficiency of 10-13% but are cheaper at ₹45 to ₹55 per watt.
Higher efficiency equates to higher power generation and thus, manufacturers price efficient panels higher per watt. However, over the panel lifetime, higher efficiency solar panels become more cost-effective.
Impact of Solar System Size on Price
The size of the solar photovoltaic system measured in kilowatts (kW) greatly influences overall cost. Solar panel price per watt decreases significantly as system size increases due to:
- Bulk ordering – Installers buy larger volumes of solar modules at lower price.
- Economies of scale – Larger systems cost less per watt for other equipment.
- Installation labor – Cost per watt is lower for big PV systems.
Approximate solar system prices based on size:
- 1 kW – ₹90,000 to ₹1,00,000
- 3 kW – ₹1,60,000 to ₹2,50,000
- 5 kW – ₹2,50,000 to ₹3,50,000
- 10 kW – ₹5,00,000 to ₹6,00,000
As you can see, per watt rate drops significantly once system size exceeds 3 kW.
Location and State-Wise Price Variations
Solar panel prices in India can vary somewhat between states and specific cities or towns. Factors like labor costs, retail competition, and transportation contribute to location-based pricing differences.
Here are the approximate price range for key states:
- Northern states – ₹55 to ₹70 per watt
- Western states – ₹50 to ₹65 per watt
- Southern states – ₹45 to ₹60 per watt
- Eastern states – ₹50 to ₹65 per watt
Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka tend to have lower rates due to high solar radiation and adoption. Prices trend higher in north-eastern states like Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Jammu & Kashmir.
Within a state, system costs are usually ₹5-₹10 lower per watt in bigger cities compared to rural areas due to manpower and competition factors.
Premium Brand vs. Standard Brand Price Difference
Solar panel price also depends significantly on the brand and manufacturer. The cost per watt can vary quite a bit between premium, high-efficiency panels and cheaper standard panels.
Premium solar panels from brands like LG, Panasonic, etc. range from ₹60 to ₹75 per watt. These use advanced technology like monocrystalline PERC and half-cut cells for very high efficiency.
On the other hand, lesser-known standard brands offer basic polycrystalline solar panels at just ₹45 to ₹55 per watt. These are cost-effective for those with tight budgets.
When estimating cost, consider total system price since premium panels will produce more annual energy output.
Additional Equipment Cost Impact
Solar panels account for around 60% of the total turnkey cost of a rooftop PV system in India. The remaining charges are for:
- Inverters – 10% to 15%
- Racking, wiring – 15% to 20%
- Installation labor – 10% to 15%
Higher inverter costs for larger systems relative to home solar play a role in decreasing price per watt for commercial installations. Installation charges are also significantly lower for megawatt-scale systems.
For off-grid solar with batteries, battery bank costs make up around 30% of the total system price depending on backup needs.
Effect of Import Duties on Pricing
Most solar modules and equipment are still imported to India. Import duties and taxes contribute around 10% to solar panel price.
The government has waived some duties temporarily over the last few years to incentivize the domestic solar industry. But import taxes can fluctuate frequently.
Lower import tariffs would help reduce system costs. Fully Indian-made panels will decrease market pricing when domestic manufacturing scales up.
Solar Panel Price Trends in India
Let’s look at how much solar panel prices have declined over recent years and expected trends:
- 2010 price – ₹200 per watt
- 2015 price – ₹65 to ₹75 per watt
- 2020 price – ₹35 to ₹55 per watt
- 2023 price – ₹45 to ₹65 per watt
As you can see, costs have fallen by over 70% in the last decade mainly driven by economies of scale, supply chain improvements, and technological advances.
Industry experts predict another 15% to 30% drop is expected over the next 2-3 years. This forecasted dip will expand adoption of solar energy for homes and businesses.
Impact of Government Incentives and Programs
Various national and state clean energy policies, incentives, and initiatives have played a major role in bringing down solar power costs in India.
Key programs that have accelerated PV adoption and helped reduce prices:
- Solar rooftop subsidy – Central subsidy of up to 40% for homes and enterprises.
- Accelerated depreciation – Tax benefit for commercial solar installations.
- Net metering – Feed surplus solar power to grid to get credit. Allowed in most states.
- Government tenders – Bulk procurement of utility-scale solar drives down pricing.
Reduced prices have made rooftop solar attractive even without incentives in many cases. But ongoing support programs will be key for further solar expansion.
India aims for 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022 under its Paris climate agreement target. Going forward, favorable policies can continue the downward price trend to make solar energy more competitive and widespread.
This overview covers the key factors impacting current pricing for solar panel systems in India. While costs have declined substantially, the price per watt can still range quite a bit based on panel type, system size, location, brands, and incentives.
With national and state policies strongly promoting solar power growth, pricing is forecasted to become even more competitive over the next few years. Falling costs will help solar energy keep increasing its share of electricity generation across India.
FAQ Solar Panel Prices
- How much does a 1 kW solar panel system cost in India?
A 1 kW solar panel system typically costs between ₹90,000 – ₹1,00,000 installed. The solar module cost is around ₹55,000 for 1 kW while the balance is for inverters, batteries, wiring and installation.
- What is the current solar panel price per watt in India?
The average solar panel price per watt is around ₹55 for rooftop systems as of 2023. The price range is ₹45 – ₹65 depending on the panel efficiency, brand, location and system size.
- How do residential and commercial solar panel prices differ?
Commercial solar installations above 10 kW capacity can cost ₹10 – ₹15 less per watt compared to a small home system. Lower labour costs and ability to get bulk discounts make large systems more price efficient.
- Which states have the lowest solar panel rates in India?
States like Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka currently have the lowest solar panel prices at around ₹45 – ₹55 per watt due to high solar penetration and competition. Rates are higher in north-eastern states.
- How much will a 5 kW solar panel system cost for a home?
A 5 kW solar rooftop system for a home costs between ₹2.5 – ₹3.5 lakhs including panel and installation costs. The per watt rate for a 5 kW system is lower than smaller systems.
- How have solar panel prices in India trended over the years?
Solar panel prices have fallen by over 70% in the last decade from around ₹200 per watt in 2010 to around ₹55 per watt currently. Experts predict another 15-30% drop in next 2-3 years.
- Do premium solar panels cost substantially more than regular panels?
Yes, premium high efficiency panels from brands like LG, Panasonic can cost ₹10 – ₹15 per watt more than standard polycrystalline solar panels from lesser known brands.
- How can I get the lowest price per watt when installing solar panels?
Opting for polycrystalline panels over monocrystalline, choosing a larger system size above 3 kW, and buying in states with good solar penetration can help get the best solar panel price per watt.
- What are the ongoing government incentives for rooftop solar panels?
Central financial subsidy of up to 40% of system cost, accelerated depreciation, and net metering are some key national level incentives currently available for rooftop solar panels.
- Will solar panel prices fall further in the coming years?
Industry forecasts predict a 15-30% decline in solar panel price per watt over the next 2-3 years in India due to improving technology, reduced costs and manufacturing scale.