To understand how important rooftop solar is for India learn from Germany

By RN Bhaskar

It was Hermann Scheer of Germany who actually taught the world how to use rooftop solar, and introduce the concept of feed-in-tariffs (FIT) which allowed householders to earn money from the surplus electricity they sold to the grid.   To view this story, do visit

Germany crafts a new strategy

To do all this, he created a class of people, loosely referred to as the middle layer (the first layer being the government and the other layer being the householder). This layer comprised

  • people who installed the solar panels on household rooftops,
  • maintenance crews who cleaned the panels regularly removing dust or snow,
  • those who regularly examined the functionality of the electronics (connectors, inverters, battery etc) and
  • those who measured the net usage of electricity — solar power less grid power, and advised the government to pay the difference to the householder. Or, if the drawings from the grid were greater, to advise the grid to collect the residual money from the householder.

The scheme for the customer was simple and profitable.  It was also green, the flavour of the times.

It became immensely popular, And globally, countries began using Hermann Scheers concepts.

More interestingly, by 2008, Scheer discovered that the middle layer employed more people than the automobile sector.

India’s potential and the myopia

This led to the realisation that since India had more sunlight, and more people (hence households), it could enjoy a larger potential for rooftop solar. A back-of-the-envelope calculation showed that this scheme alone could create around 80 million jobs within a couple of years.

But the Indian government has gone slow on this rooftop solar scheme, notwithstanding

To read about Hermann Scheer do visit

Hermann Scheers views — Here comes the sun — The rise of solar energy –

On Desertec

On power policies

On rooftop solar and jobs


The first part of this series can be viewed at



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