Even as solar power accounts for 39% of total new solar power capacity additions in India, Q3/2017 wasn’t a very good quarter in terms of installations. However, consultancy Mercom believes that India will add 9.5 to 10 GW of installations in 2017 (Source: Mercom India Research)
- During the first 9 months of 2017, India added more than 7 GW of solar power capacity - with 2.24 MW installed in Q3/2017
- Utility scale installations made up 88% of the total while rooftop installations amounted to only 265 MW in the third quarter
- Telangana now stands on top among states with the highest cumulative solar power capacity installed with 2.5 GW
- Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan are the other two states with more than 2 GW capacity installed
- Utility scale project pipeline as of now is 11.5 GW and another 5.6 GW tenders are still to be auctioned
- Mercom forecasts 9.5 GW to 10 GW of total solar installations in the calendar year 2017 for India
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India closed the first 9 months of 2017 with more than 7 GW of PV installations, taking the cumulative number to 17 GW at the end of September 2017, according to consultancy Mercom’s Q3/2017 India Solar Market Update. Recent figures from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) put the country’s total installed PV capacity much lower at 14.77 GW.
Out of over 7 GW, 2,247 MW was installed in Q3/2017, increasing from 1,947 MW installed in the previous quarter. Utility scale installations made up the bulk of installations at 88%, while rooftop installations totalled 265 MW.
During 9M/2017, 735 MW of rooftop solar capacity was installed.
Eight states accounted for 96% of large scale installations during the third quarter 2017. Telangana is now the state with the highest number of solar installations with 2.5 GW of cumulative capacity. Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan have crossed 2 GW. Together the three states account for around 43% of the country’s total installed large scale solar capacity.
In its Q3/2017 India Solar Market Update, Mercom India Research says solar tender and auction activity in the period tumbled to 1,456 MW and 1,232 MW, respectively. In the previous quarter, this figure was 3,408 MW for tendered PV capacity and 2,505 MW of auctioned capacity.
The utility scale project pipeline was 11.5 GW at the end of Q3, while another 5.6 GW of tenders was awaiting to be auctioned.
This state of affairs in an industry which is expected to be quite important for the government to achieve its 175 GW renewable energy capacity goal by 2022 is owing to several factors. These range from recent increase in Chinese module prices, pending anti-dumping case, PPA renegotiations in some states, incomplete infrastructure, evacuation issues, port customs duty, and lack of clarity surrounding Goods and Services Tax (GST).
“Even though the Indian solar market is on pace for a record-breaking year, the momentum has definitely slowed,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group. “Just like the preceding quarter, we saw many project commissioning dates get delayed and postponed to next year. In addition, there are approximately 1 GW of large-scale solar projects that are complete but unable to get connected to the grid. These factors are likely to lead to a weaker-than-projected Q4.”
Cautioning against imposition of any aggressive tariffs, Prabhu says utilities in India may stop buying more power if the tariff moves towards 3.50 INR ($0.054) per kWh level.
Mercom forecasts 9.5 GW to 10 GW of total solar installations in the calendar year 2017 for India, and in 2018 it is supposed to be around 7 GW. Its forecast may be affected by the anti-dumping recommendation. India’s official target for 2017-18 is 10 GW.
The full report can be purchased from Mercom India’s website for $999.