India remained the third largest solar photovoltaic (PV) market in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019. For the second quarter in a row, the United States was the second largest player in the global solar market behind China.
At the end of March 2019, China’s solar PV power generation capacity reached 179.7 GW, an increase of 28% year-over-year with the addition of 5.2 GW in Q1 of 2019.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), in Q1 2019, the United States installed 2.7 GW of solar PV. In comparison, solar installations in India in Q1 2019 stood at 1.7 GW.
This is the second consecutive quarter after Q4 2018 in which the United States installed more solar capacity than India. The United States had installed more than double of India’s solar PV capacity addition in Q4 2018. In Q1 2019, it has added almost 1 GW more than India.
In Q1 2019, installations in India were down by 49% year-over-year (YoY) compared to 3.4 GW that was installed in Q1 2018, according to Mercom India Research’s newly released Q1 2019 India Solar Market Update.
Compared to Q1 2018, installation numbers in the U.S. were up by over 10% YoY in Q1 2019. Compared to Q4 2018, there was a 37% decline in the installation numbers in the United States.
In China, compared to Q1 2018, which saw installations of 9.7 GW, there was nearly a 40% decline in Q1 2019.
According to SEIA, this is the highest solar PV capacity ever installed in the first quarter of a year in the United States.
“The first quarter data and projections for the rest of the year are promising for the solar industry,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president, and CEO of SEIA. “However, if we are to make the kind of progress, we need to make the 2020s The Solar Decade, and we will need to make substantial policy and market advances,” added Hopper.
Mercom India Research forecasts India to add approximately 9 GW of solar capacity in the calendar year 2019. Mercom estimates solar installations in India to reach 71 GW by the end of 2022, almost 30% lower than the 100 GW target set by the government. However, with an aggressive push and supportive policies, the goal still appears to be achievable.
Image credit: Azure Power
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.