India has reached yet another milestone in installed solar capacity. The country recently marked 25 GW of installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity, according to Mercom India Research. In the past seven months, over 5 GW of solar PV capacity has been installed in India, including both large-scale and rooftop solar.
In January 2018, Mercom reported that India had achieved 20 GW in cumulative solar installations, meeting the original target set for 2022. Today, that target stands at 100 GW by 2022. In the first half (1H) of calendar year (CY) 2018, India installed 4,943 MW of solar (this includes the installation numbers of January 2018), per Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker.
Utility-scale solar PV projects in India account for over 22.5 GW of installed capacity and rooftop solar projects account for over 2.4 GW of installed capacity, as of date.
Karnataka is the top solar state of India followed by Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Rajasthan. Rooftop solar project installations are gradually picking up speed in India.
“India achieving 25 percent of its installation target is significant. However, achieving the remaining 75 GW of the target by 2022 looks daunting and will require a huge push to make this happen,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.
Mercom India Research forecasts solar installations of approximately 8.3 GW in CY 2018. Out of this, over 5 GW of solar projects have been installed in the first half of the year. Installation rates are forecasted to decline in the second half due to lack of a strong project pipeline.
Recently, implementing agencies such as the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), Uttar Pradesh New and Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA) have cancelled gigawatt-scale auctions. Announcement of safeguard duty could slow down tender and auction activity in the short-term.
Solar installations in 2019 are also expected to be flat as longer commissioning timeline will push approximately 1.3 GW of large-scale projects from 2019 to 2020. Due to uncertainty around the safeguard duty, auction activity in the first half of 2018 was weak which means the large-scale project pipeline for 2019 again will be weak.
“So far there has been a lack of urgency as policy tinkering has slowed down the market. The first 25 GW took approximately eight years to install, but the next 25 GW needs to be installed in less than two years if 100 GW by 2022 is a hard target and not just an aspiration,” added Prabhu.
Image credit: Vector Green