- IEEFA and JMK Research believe India will miss its 2022 target for 100 GW solar power capacity by around 27 GW
- A shortfall of 25 GW is likely to come from rooftop solar installations while utility scale will be short of only 1.8 GW
- Government may try to bridge the gap by aggressively pushing for solar capacity addition, and reallocate some of rooftop capacity to utility scale segment
With Dec. 31, 2022, the date when India targets to report 100 GW of installed solar power capacity under its National Solar Mission (NSM), fast approaching, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and JMK Research expect the country missing the target by 27%. The failure will be thanks to lagging rooftop installations.
When this happens, the future target of 300 GW by 2030 will be off the mark by about 86 GW.
In a new report titled Rooftop Solar Lagging: Why India Will Miss Its 2022 Solar Target, the analysts count the country to exit 2022 with 25 GW less out of its 40 GW rooftop solar target, and 1.8 GW short of 60 GW utility scale capacity. In all, with the addition of 16 GW utility scale and 3.5 GW rooftop solar, India will end up with 73 GW cumulative capacity at the end of 2022.
Till the end of 2021, India’s commissioned solar power capacity had reached 55 GW dominated by utility scale projects, with another 68 GW in the pipeline, as per the report.
JMK Research’s Founder and Co-author of the report Jyoti Gulia pointed out, “It is also likely that the government, in the short-term, will push aggressively for expediting solar capacity addition to achieve the 100 GW target by 2022 by re-allocating some of the unmet rooftop target to utility-scale generation.”
In the meanwhile, the report cites some of the reasons for the 27 GW overall shortfall by 2022-end as the following:
- regulatory roadblocks
- net metering limits
- twin burdens of Basic Customs Duty (BCD) on imported cells and modules and issues with the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM)
- unsigned power supply agreements (PSAs) and banking restrictions
- financing issues plus delays in or rejection of open access (OA) approval grants, and
- unpredictability of future open access (OA) charges.
“Critical, short-term challenges that may significantly impede India’s solar growth momentum to the end of the year come in the form of BCD and ALMM. It is necessary to reduce the BCD on solar cells and defer the effective date of implementation of ALMM to avoid major supply chain disruption in the near future,” reads the report.
Report writers suggest some measures that can get the country back on track to meet solar targets. In the short term, India could look at implementing uniform policies across the nation for the next 5 years with consistent net metering regulations and banking facilities, and restrictions on banking revoked at least until rooftop and OA state targets are achieved.
Over the long term, they suggest the government can strictly enforce renewable purchase obligation (RPO) while improving financial health of discoms, reduce cross-subsidy surcharge (CSS) for commercial and industrial (C&I) consumers, and provide capital subsidy for battery energy storage systems (BESS).
The entire report can be read on the website of IEEFA.