India To Install Only 6 GW Of PV In 2018

After A Record Of 9.25 GW Installed PV In India in 2017, Consultancy Bridge To India Expects The Country To Slow Down In 2018 To 6 GW, Thanks To Uncertainty Looming Over Safeguard Duties
09:54 PM (Beijing Time) - 25. March 2018
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The states have been the biggest offtakers for all of the solar power capacity commissioned in India so far, according to Bridge to India’s estimates. Now, India reportedly has a pipeline of over 9.6 GW. (Source: Bridge to India research)

Key Takeaways

  • India added 9.25 GW of new PV capacity in 2017, increasing by 94% compared to 2016’s figures, according to consultancy Bridge to India,
  • Delays in land acquisition, transmission connectivity and an increase in module prices along with uncertainty regarding safeguard duties slowed down project commissioning during Q4/2017
  • The states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan accounted for 68% of the total installed capacity
  • Module prices are likely to fall by 1¢ or 2¢ for the next 2 quarters compared to $0.36 per W in Q4/2017, an increase of 6% over Q3/2017

Plagued by the continued uncertainty surrounding safeguard duties, India is likely to add only 6 GW of new PV capacity in 2018, down from over 9 GW installed in 2017, according to consultancy Bridge to India’s (BTI) India Solar Compass 2017 Q4.

Over 9.2 GW added in 2017

Nevertheless, the report calls 2017 a record year, with 9,255 MW PV capacity added, representing an increase of 94% over 2016. The cumulative number as of Dec. 31, 2017, came in at 19,516 MW. This comprises 17,415 MW of utility-scale solar and 2,101 MW of rooftop solar. While 5,100 MW was expected to be commissioned in Q4/2017, the last quarter actually only saw 1,503 MW of utility-scale projects come online. In comparison, over 3 GW was commissioned in Q1/2017 and 2.29 GW during Q3/2017.

 According to Bridge to India, Q4/2017 saw only 1,503 MW of new PV capacity commissioned in India, though 5,100 MW had been expected. (Source: Bridge to India research)
According to Bridge to India, Q4/2017 saw only 1,503 MW of new PV capacity commissioned in India, though 5,100 MW had been expected. (Source: Bridge to India research)

BTI attributes this slow movement to projects under various tenders of Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd. (SECI), Karnataka and Telangana. Along with fears surrounding safeguard duties, delays in land acquisition and transmission connectivity and an increase in module prices impact installations in recent months.

However, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan contributed 68% of the total installed capacity.

Indian developers and foreign suppliers

Among developers, Indian companies played a major role, with ReNew Power commissioning the highest capacity of 300 MW in Q4/2017, followed by Adani with 250 MW and Tata Power with 180 MW. ReNew commissioned the highest capacity in 2017 with 826 MW.

China’s Canadian Solar and JA Solar, along with US-based First Solar held a 50% market share in module supply for projects commissioned in the last quarter of 2017. Domestic module suppliers such as Mundra Solar and Vikram Solar supplied 190 MW and 145 MW, respectively.

Inverter manufacturer Sungrow secured the highest market share during the reporting quarter at 27%, thanks mainly to projects commissioned in Telangana and Karnataka. It was followed by TMEIC and Huawei. ABB, which held the top spot in the previous 2 quarters, dropped to 7% market share.

Good news on tender front

Tenders were issued for 2,650 MW of capacity in Q4/2017. Maharashtra tendered 1,365 MW and Karnataka 1,060 MW. At least 718 MW of tenders were canceled during the quarter, including engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) with domestic content requirement (DCR) mandate. Rooftop tenders saw a 100% increase with over 220 MW of capacity launched.   

SECI announced winners for its 750 MW Bhadla Solar Park tender during the quarter (see SECI Awards 750 MW PV Capacity At Bhadla). Another 250 MW DCR project was awarded by NTPC to Azure (see Azure Wins 250 MW NTPC Auction). However, this DCR auction was canceled by NTPC to comply with a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling.

Equipment & EPC

The report states that module prices are likely to fall 1¢ or 2¢ for both of the next 2 quarters compared to $0.36 per W in Q4/2017, which was a 6% increase over Q3/2017. Along with India’s goods and services tax (GST), EPC costs increased 5% to 39.00 INR ($0.60) per W from the previous quarter. These costs will more or less remain unchanged in the current quarter, the report conveys. The price of central inverters has remained stable at 1.80 INR ($0.027) per W.

Future not so bright

There is another 9,627 MW of capacity in the pipeline, with SECI responsible for 4,865 MW. BTI expects Q1/2018 to be a busy quarter with around 3,019 MW of capacity to come online. In this quarter, around 190 MW is likely to be added in the rooftop segment, followed by 200 MW in the following quarter, the report states.

For the entire year, the capacity addition is expected to drop dramatically to 6 GW with the fear of safeguard duties looming.

The report is accessible on Bridge to India’s website.

Recently, the Indian Solar Manufacturers Association (ISMA) withdrew their request for an anti-dumping investigation. But the association is planning to re-file soon. In addition, final written submissions pertaining to safeguard duties were due to be filed to the Madras High Court on March 9 (see ISMA Withdraws Anti-Dumping Petition).  

Recently, Mercom India Research published a somewhat higher 2017 installed PV capacity for India. According to Mercom, India installed 9.56 GW in 2017, which led to 20 GW of cumulative PV capacity YTD (see India Crosses 20 GW PV Milestone).

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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Anu Bhambhani