India Installed Over 2 GW Solar In Q4/2019: BTI

Bridge To India: With Over 2 GW Installed In Q4/2019, Indian Solar PV Capacity Exceeded 37 GW At December 2019-End; PV Pipeline Grew To 21.58 GW
04:56 PM (Beijing Time) - 09. March 2020
Presentation1

During Q4/2019, Bridge to India's report claims there was a sequential drop of 53% in solar tenders issued. Eventually, till the end of December 2019, Indian solar power capacity was well over 37.91 GW as another 21.58 GW was in the pipeline. (Source: Bridge to India)

Key Takeaways

  • BTI’s latest report on Indian solar installation numbers show cumulative capacity to have reached over 37.91 GW till the end of 2019
  • Q4/2019 PV additions were over 2 GW coming in as 1,845 MW of utility scale and 350 MW of rooftop solar
  • Project completion schedules may get stretched out as developers wait out the period for safeguard duty to get over in July 2020
  • Q1/2020 utility scale solar additions are estimated at 1,864 MW and for Q2/2020 the guidance is for 1,211 MW

During the last quarter of 2019, India installed solar PV installations of 2,094 MW – with utility scale solar contributing 84% or 845 MW of new capacity while rooftop solar remained a laggard adding 16% or 350 MW, according to Bridge to India’s (BTI) quarterly publication India Solar Compass 2019 Q4.

Yet BTI says the utility scale additions during Q4/2019 were less than its anticipated volume of 2,919 MW as the segment continued to deal with land and transmission challenges leading to project delays and a constrained funding environment.

There was a 53% sequential decline in the number of tenders issued during the reporting period. BTI warns that apart from a tough regulatory approach and low tariff ceilings it is complex schemes such as manufacturing linked tenders that are likely to consolidate the industry further as several active players may not be able to keep up with the changes.

Overall, the aggregate solar power capacity of India at the end of December 2019 was 37.91 GW divided between 31.37 GW of utility scale, 5.6 GW of rooftop solar and 945 MW of off-grid solar, according to BTI. It has another 21.58 GW in the pipeline, as per the BTI report

The report expects developers to wait out the period till July 29, 2020 for the safeguard duty to expire before they can go ahead with project completion which normally accelerates during the first quarter of a calendar year. BTI guides for Q1/2020 utility scale installations to reach 1,864 MW compared to 1,885 MW in Q1/2019;  for Q2/2020 the guidance is 1,211 MW.

However, now there is unexpected development as the government has launched a review investigation of the duty as the Indian Solar Manufacturers Association (ISMA) has sought an extension for another 4 years.

“Equipment prices have been trending down over the last few quarters, but we expect firmness over next few months until resolution of Coronavirus situation,” it adds.

Previously, in a separate report, BTI projected India’s solar power capacity to grow to 82 GW by the end of 2024 when the country’s estimated renewable energy capacity will be over 135 GW. That’s in stark contrast to the 100 GW the government targets to install by FY 2022.

The India Solar Compass 2019 Q4 can be purchased online at BTI’s its website.

Another market intelligence firm Mercom India Research had previously stated during calendar year (CY) 2019 India installed 7.34 GW solar compared to 8.3 GW in CY 2018 (see 7.34 GW: CY 2019 Solar Installations In India).

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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Anu Bhambhani