India’s RE capacity additions in 2019 will grow thanks to utility scale installations, followed by rooftop solar, which trails behind quite a bit and is forecasted to add 2,368 MW, according to Bridge to India. (Source: Bridge to India)
- India is expected to install 15.86 GW of renewable energy capacity in 2019, as utility scale solar deployments look promising, according to Bridge to India’s report India RE Outlook 2019
- Azure Power, ACME Solar and NLC are the companies that are expected to commission most utility scale projects during the year
- Rooftop solar has grown to a cumulative of 3,399 MW till September 2018, and is forecasted to add 2,368 MW in 2019 alone
- With general elections due in 2019, Bridge to India doesn’t expect major policy changes but expects up to 5 GW of floating solar tenders and launch of National Storage Mission
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Bridge to India (BTI) calls 2018 a forgettable year for the Indian renewable energy sector burdened with tender cancellations and several other issues, such as GST, safeguard duty and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
In its report India RE Outlook 2019, the India based clean energy market intelligence firm and consultancy estimates 2018 renewable energy installations of 10.56 GW, but believes based on project implementation time tables that capacity additions will jump up to 15.86 GW in 2019. Utility scale solar installations are expected to cross the 10 GW mark in a year for the first time with 10,902 MW deployed in this category. First half of the year will be slow in capacity additions, but will pick up pace in the second half as Rajasthan will install more than 2 GW, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Out of 32 developers commissioning utility scale projects in 2019, BTI says Azure Power, ACME Solar and NLC are the names to look for.
Rooftop solar will grow 15% YoY to 2,368 MW in 2019, followed by 290.2 MW coming in from off-grid solar. Wind power will add 2.3 GW in 2019, far behind solar.
The report forecasts 63% less open access projects in 2019 with 600 MW. Up to 5 GW of floating solar tenders are anticipated to be announced during the year as policy makers will increasingly prioritize PV on water areas due to falling cost and constraints in land and transmission capacity.
Module prices will drop further to about $0.19 per watt, as mono-type modules, micro-inverters, storage technologies come to the fore. There could be announcements regarding the National Storage Mission. While domestic manufacturing plans have failed to take off despite the implementation of safeguard duty, the government may issue tenders with quotas for domestic players. BTI believes local manufacturers may seek higher duties via petitions.
On the policy front, however, BTI is not very optimistic as the General Elections are due in the country in 2019. “A policy purdah is imminent. Politics is likely to dominate over reforms and concrete action for most of the year. It means that a swift resolution of sector problems is unlikely. On the plus side, “we don’t expect any retreat in push for RE irrespective of who comes to power,” reads the report.
Calling government plans of issuing 60 GW of solar and 20 GW of wind power tenders by March 2020 as implausible and not consistent with the overall power demand-supply situation or actual land and transmission infrastructure available, BTI warns that the pressure to issue more tenders may have an adverse effect and rather see a recurrence of last year’s developments in the form of under-subscribed tenders and cancellations.
In a separate report on the Indian solar rooftop market, BTI points out that the sector has grown at a CAGR of 88% in the last 5 years to a total of 3,399 MW at the end of September 2018. Between September 2017 and September 2018, 1,538 MW of rooftop capacity was added. Over the next 5 years, it forecasts 18.8 GW of total rooftop solar capacity additions at an average growth rate of 40%, as against the national goal of 40 GW by 2022. This report can be bought on the website of BTI.
According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the cumulative solar power capacity of the country till December 2018 reached 25.21 GW (see India’s Solar Capacity Till Dec 2018: 25.21 GW).