According to Mercom Capital Group’s latest report, India Solar Quarterly Market Update, large scale project development in India is largely fragmented but we are starting to see a shift towards the sector dominated by large corporations and private equity-backed players.

The Adani Group, an infrastructure and power conglomerate, which entered the solar sector just over two years ago now has the largest overall solar project pipeline in India with almost 2 GW.

The Adani Group, with approximately 11 percent market share, has the most projects under development in India followed by ReNew Power, a wind and solar company backed by Goldman Sachs with ~10 percent market share. Soon to be acquired SunEdison has ~8.5 percent, ACME has ~8 percent, Azure has ~5 percent, Tata Power has 3.8 percent, Suzlon and Hero Future Energies have 3.7 percent of the large-scale solar market each.  

The top 20 developers account for almost 80 percent of projects under development. In a tough market driven by hyper-competitive reverse auctions and low margins, large conglomerates with deep pockets and strong balance sheets that can access financing at much lower rates, private equity-backed firms, and international companies with access to cheaper funding abroad are well-positioned to dominate the sector. Other than one-off projects, smaller developers will struggle to grow as financing, low bids, and the policy push towards larger projects will make growth challenging.

Tata Power Leads with Installed Capacity

With the acquisition of Welspun’s project portfolio, Tata Power currently has the largest solar installed capacity in India with approximately 9 percent. Tata Power is followed by ACME with 7 percent and SunEdison with approximately 5.5 percent (acquisition of SunEdison pending) and Adani with 5 percent. The top 20 developers only account for approximately 58 percent of the 8.1 GW installed capacity and over 500+ other companies account for the rest.

Tata Power Leads Solar Rooftop Installations

Tata Power leads as the top rooftop installer in India with more than 100 MW, however the market is still very small.

Rooftop solar is struggling to take off in India with 601 MW installed so far. Current incentives have not been enough to move the market forward. Even though there is net-metering policy and policy proposals in many states, implementation has been spotty. It takes six to eight months in some states just to process paperwork. There are currently no subsidies available for commercial and industrial customers, which make up almost 70 percent of the rooftop market. Accelerated depreciation is set to come down to 40 percent in FY 2017-18 from the existing 80 percent. The government’s decision to increase solar parks from 20 GW to 40 GW to make up for slow rooftop adoption indicates that the 40 GW rooftop solar goal by 2022 is not rooftop dependent.