National Solar Energy Federation of India

At a Glance



Project Type




New Delhi


Sindhuja Penumarty focused on financing for rooftop solar in SMEs across India, as part of their energy transition. She also assisted the policy team in creating policy briefs and updates.


NSEFI is India’s leading solar policy advocacy body. It plays an active role in facilitating a competitive environment for the accessibility and affordability of solar energy by collaborating with federal and state governments.

The key objectives of Sindhuja’s project were to analyse the barriers to solar rooftop adoption in the SME (small and medium enterprise) segment by conducting a detailed study of the financing landscape, identify best practices, and propose recommendations based stakeholder consultations.


SMEs are an important segment of the economy, contributing approximately 30% to India’s GDP and consuming 25% of the electricity in the C&I segment. Adopting solar is a step in the right direction to save costs and facilitate their energy transition. However, financing is understood to be a key barrier to the adoption of solar energy technologies by SMEs. Potential risks associated with lending to SME projects include their profitability, creditworthiness, and the solar project financing expertise of financial institutions, thereby restricting access

Based on interactions with stakeholders, it was found that in order to facilitate the growth of solar rooftops in SMEs, the following measures should be taken:

  • Capacity-building of financial institutions for solar project evaluations
  • Credit guarantees for mitigating financial risk of investors
  • Aggregation of SME projects and the allowance of greater funding flow into specialized NBFCs

Potential Impact

After studying various financing options and global best practices, while considering stakeholder feedback, Sindhuja developed policy recommendations, process improvements and financing mechanisms. If implemented, these solutions can lead to improved funding for solar rooftop projects. It will also have a trickle-down effect of increasing rooftop solar energy capacity in India and help achieve the full potential of solar power as the country moves towards its 2030 renewable energy targets. 

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