Solar installations in the calendar year (CY) 2020 totaled 3.2 GW, a 56% decline compared to 7.3 GW of capacity added in 2019.
The Covid-19 outbreak brought the solar industry to a standstill, disrupting the supply chain globally. To fight the outbreak, the Government of India ordered a complete lockdown in March 2020. All solar manufacturing and project development came to a grinding halt resulting in a slowdown across the sector.
Mercom India Research has released a new report, India Solar Market Leaderboard 2021, which reveals the solar industry market leaders in 2020.
The report features the industry’s leaders and their market share and shipment rankings across the Indian solar supply chain.
The cumulative installed solar capacity in India was 38.9 GW at the end of Q4 2020, with the large-scale projects accounting for 87% (33.8 GW).
Large-scale solar installations in 2020 accounted for 78% of the additions at 2.5 GW. However, of the total new power capacity added in India in 2020, 48% was from solar. As the industry is expanding, so is the number of developers backed by domestic and international investors who see India as a promising market.
According to the report, the top ten large-scale project developers accounted for 69% of the installations in 2020.
Adani was the top utility-scale developer in 2020, followed by Azure Power. Both developers won the manufacturing-linked solar tender floated by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).
Companies offering engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services saw many projects being moved to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, land acquisition issues, and evacuation issues, among others. Sterling & Wilson and Tata Power Solar were the top EPC players for utility-scale solar installations.
Cumulative rooftop solar installations in India reached 5 GW at the end of 2020. A total of 719 MW of rooftop solar projects were installed in 2020, a decline of 35% due to the pandemic.
In 2020, the top ten rooftop solar installers represented 66% of the market.
Tata Power Solar was the top rooftop installer, followed by Fourth Partner Energy in 2020.
Solar Inverter Suppliers
To encourage domestic manufacturers, the Government of India has proposed to raise the customs duty on solar inverters from 5% to 20%. However, many top inverter suppliers already have a presence in India.
Sungrow was the top solar central inverter supplier in the country in 2020.
Huawei, Sungrow, Growatt, Goodwe, and Solis were the leading string inverter suppliers.
Solar Module Suppliers
In 2020, the top ten module suppliers, including several Indian manufacturers, accounted for 68% of the market share. LONGi Solar was the top module supplier, followed by Jinko Solar in terms of shipment.
Solar Trackers and Mounting Structures
As of 2020, Arctech Solar and NEXTracker were the top suppliers of solar trackers to the Indian market cumulatively.
SNS Corporation was the top supplier of solar mounting structures during the year, followed by Strolar and Ganges Internationale Solar. There were several new mounting structure companies in the top 10 list.
Recently, the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) recommended the imposition of anti-dumping duty on aluminum-and-zinc-coated flat products from China PR, Vietnam, and Korea RP to protect the domestic industry.
Open Access Solar
In 2020, open-access installations in India saw a 56% increase 2020 due to the increasing interest from corporates buying open access projects.
Rays Power Experts, Amplus Solar, and CleanMax were the top open access developers as of December 2020.
The open-access market is an excellent opportunity for developers and investors who are hesitant to invest in either a large-scale project or smaller rooftop installations and avoid participating in bids or limiting specific geographies.
The open-access solar market in India offers parallel opportunities for stakeholders, including large corporates, solar project developers, investors, and power distribution companies, to participate in the solar growth story. There is a growing demand for serious players to develop open access projects and sell power to multinational companies choosing group captive solar to go green.
Solar Robotic Cleaning
In 2020, Solabot Technologies was the top supplier of robotic cleaning systems in India.
Robotic cleaning of solar panels is gaining traction in India amid water scarcity. Most of the major developers have deployed the robotic cleaning systems installed on large solar parks such as REWA, Bhadla, and Pavagada. The MNRE has also recommended using robotic cleaning technology, which uses less water for cleaning solar projects.
Raj is a recognized thought leader in clean energy markets where his work has influenced policies worldwide. He has a deep understanding of regulatory policy and clean energy markets and his market and opinion pieces are regularly published on both MercomIndia.com and other leading publications globally. Raj is also a regular speaker and presenter on clean energy policy and finance topics at conferences worldwide. Raj attended the KLE College of Science in Bangalore, India for physics and chemistry, and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel and Institutional Management from Johnson and Wales University, Rhode Island. More articles from Raj Prabhu.