• Solar power capacity addition during 2018-19 in India was a total of 6,529 GW, with Q1/2019 adding more than 3.12 GW
  • Cumulative solar power at the end of March 2019 was 28.78 GW, with 26.98 GW utility scale solar and 1,796 MW of rooftop solar
  • Out of 78.316 GW cumulative grid connected renewables capacity of the country as on March 31, 2019, solar accounted for 36.7%

In the fiscal year 2018-19 which runs from April 2018 to March 2019, India grid connected 6,529.2 MW of new solar power capacity in the country, achieving a little over 59% of its annual target of 11 GW, yet missing it by quite a bit. Official data from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) shows, large-scale solar power capacity additions of 5.79 GW (target: 10 GW) during this period, and rooftop solar adding another 732.73 MW (target 1 GW).

Compared to more than 9.36 GW added in the last fiscal (2017-18), this is a decline of over 30% (see India Touches 21.6 GW Cumulative PV Capacity).

India’s cumulative solar power capacity as on March 31, 2019 reached 28.78 GW, comprising 26.98 GW utility scale solar and 1,796 MW of rooftop solar. Grid connected solar PV then made up over 36.7% of the country’s total operational renewable energy capacity of 78.316 GW by March 2019 end. Wind power additions during FY 2018-19 was a mere 1.48 GW, but still its overall capacity of 35.62 GW makes it again the largest renewable source in the country, according to MNRE numbers.

At the end of December 2018, the country reported 25.21 GW of operational solar power capacity, having reached only 32% of its target for the fiscal year (see India: 25 GW Total PV Capacity End Of 2018). By this account, within the first quarter of 2019, new additions totalled over 3.12 GW which is a good start to the year 2019.

Many challenges in 2018

The year 2018 was quite a tumultuous one for the Indian solar industry as it braved challenges of safeguard duty imposition which upped the cost of solar power projects by 10% to 15%, not to forget confusion around goods and services tax (GST) rates, dampening investor and developer interest. The interest further waned with bid cancellations that amounted to around 4.7 GW between March 2018 and December 2018, according to analytics firm CRISIL (see Lack Of Clarity Hurting Indian Solar Market).

The developer community seems to be taking a cautious approach which is clear with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) extending bid submission deadlines for GW-level tenders time and again in the recent past. Its 3 GW manufacturing linked tender was a total failure so far, it alone has had 3 extensions already, for instance. The last date now has been extended till May 14, 2019.

For 2018-19, CRISIL had guided for India to add 6.5 GW to 7 GW of new solar installations, and it sees between 8.5 GW to 9 GW for 2019-2020 fiscal year.