India generated approximately 68.77 billion units (BU) of solar power in the calendar year (CY) 2021, an 18% year-over-year (YoY) increase compared to 58.19 BU generated in the previous year, driven by new capacity installations.
According to Mercom’s Q3 2021 India Solar Market Update Report, India installed 7.4 GW of new solar capacity in the first nine months of 2021, a 335% YoY increase compared to 1.73 GW installed in the same period last year. The cumulative installed capacity at the end of Q3 2021 stood at 47 GW.
India added close to 11.6 GW of new power capacity in 9M 2021. Solar dominated capacity additions, accounting for close to 60%, followed by thermal power, which contributed 21%.
Solar installations have been growing despite various market challenges.
In the fourth quarter (Q4) of CY 2021, solar generation stood at 17.09 BU, a 6.7% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) growth compared to 16.02 BU generated in the last quarter. The solar generation increased 20.27% compared to 14.21 BU in Q4 2020.
Solar generation was back on track in Q4 2021 after a dip of 11.6% QoQ in Q3.
Solar generation grew by 21% and stood at 60.4 BU in the financial year (FY) 2020-21 compared to 50.1 BU in FY 2019-20.
According to data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, India’s installed renewable energy capacity, including large hydro, stood at 150.4 GW, accounting for a share of 38.41% in the overall power mix at the end of Q4 2021.
At the end of Q4 2021, solar became India’s leading renewable energy source, surpassing large hydro. Solar accounted for 12.4% of India’s total installed power capacity and 32% of the total installed renewable capacity in Q4 2021.
According to the Ministry of Power, India reduced its peak power deficit to 0.4% in FY 2021 from 16.6 in FY 2008, backed by several policies and infrastructure interventions. However, the peak power deficit had seen a spike reaching 1.2% in October 2021. The ministry attributed the spike to the annual post-monsoon pressure on power output.