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  • Writer's pictureRenewSys India

Balcony Solar: A Smart Clean Energy Solution for Homeowners in Urban India

As urbanization continues to rise in India, more homeowners find themselves living in high-rise apartments with limited or no access to private roofs. This poses a challenge for those looking to adopt solar energy solutions to reduce their carbon footprint and electricity bills.


Fortunately, balcony solar systems are emerging as a viable alternative for urban dwellers in India.


In this blog post, we'll explore the reasons to consider balcony solar, its advantages, space requirements, and more.


Why Consider Balcony Solar in India?

 

Alternative to rooftop solar: For those living in apartments or homes without private roof space, balcony solar systems provide a means to adopt solar energy. The system utilizes the often-unused space in balconies effectively to generate solar energy.


Energy cost savings: Electricity costs in cities are rising along with consumption. Having a solar power system at home helps reduce your electricity bills.


Government incentive: In June 2024, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) revised its PM Surya Ghar scheme guidelines to include balcony solar and building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) under the scheme. Subscribers are eligible for central financial assistance (CFA) of up to ₹78,000 for up to 3 kW systems. Learn more about the scheme here.


Environmental impact: Balcony solar systems contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on fossil fuels. By generating your own clean energy at home, you help combat climate change.


How much balcony space do you need for a 1 kW system?


The amount of space a balcony solar system needs depends on various factors such as panel output, panel size, energy requirements, and installation method.


For example, a 1 kW system with 500 Wp TOPCon panels would require two panels, each needing about 2 square meters of space for mounting on a balcony fence (as depicted in the picture below).

Even if you don’t have a large balcony with tall railings, a balcony solar system may still be possible. It is recommended that you consult with an installer to determine the best installation style based on the size and structure of your balcony.

Considerations Before Purchasing Balcony Solar

 

Sunlight exposure: Assess the amount of sunlight your balcony receives throughout the day. South-facing balconies are ideal for those residing in the northern hemisphere. However, east or west-facing ones can also work with the right system.


Space availability: Ensure you have enough space to install the panels without obstructing the balcony's usability.

Load capacity: Check the weight-bearing capacity of your balcony to ensure it can support the solar panels. You may consult with a certified installer to ensure proper setup and safety. 


Local regulations: Some residential complexes have rules regarding external installations. Make sure to get the necessary permissions before proceeding.


System size and output: Determine your energy needs and select a system size that meets those requirements. Keep in mind that balcony solar systems typically have a smaller output than rooftop systems.


The Current State & Future of Balcony Solar in India


The balcony solar market in India is still in its nascent stage but may quickly gain traction, driven by factors such as increasing energy costs, technological advancements, and government support. As balcony-friendly solar solutions become more accessible and cost-efficient, wider adoption in cities across India can be expected.


In conclusion, balcony solar systems offer an excellent opportunity for urban homeowners in India to embrace clean energy. They provide a practical and efficient solution for those without access to rooftops, enabling them to reduce their carbon footprint and save on electricity bills. By considering the factors mentioned above and staying informed about the latest developments in the market, you can make an informed decision and contribute to a sustainable future.


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