Open Access Solar Installations in India Up 222% YoY, With 1.2 GW New Capacity in 2021

India added 1.2 GW of new solar open access capacity in the calendar year (CY) 2021, marking a growth of 222% year-over-year (YoY), making it the second-best year for open access in the country, according to Mercom India Research’s newly released report ‘Mercom India Solar Open Access Market Report Q4 & Annual 2021.’

As of December 2021, the cumulative installed solar capacity in the open access market crossed 5 GW.

The development pipeline of solar open access projects stood at 1.5 GW at the end of 2021. Of the pipeline, 75% is spread across the three states – Karnataka, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh.

During CY 2021, Uttar Pradesh was the top state, followed by Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. The top five states accounted for 80% of total installations during the year.


The country added 298 MW of new solar open access capacity in the fourth quarter (Q4) of CY 2021, a 75% increase compared to the same period in 2020.

The top five states with the highest QoQ growth are Telangana (329%), Karnataka (102%), Andhra Pradesh (88%), Maharashtra (52%), and Uttar Pradesh (4%).

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In Q4 2021, Uttar Pradesh was the top state in terms of installations, accounting for 38% of the total capacity installed during the quarter. The robust policy and regulatory framework, including favorable banking policies, exemption of additional surcharge, the state’s willingness to adopt group captive business models, access to useable land, and efficient power evacuation facilities, drove the growth of the open access segment in the state.

The second highest capacity was installed in Maharashtra. The top five states accounted for 90% of the total installations during the quarter.

As for the cumulative open access solar installations, Karnataka continues to be the top state as of December 2021, accounting for 38% of the installations.

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The report also points out that various short-term markets, such as the Day-Ahead Market (DAM), Green Term-Ahead Market (GTAM), Term-Ahead Market (TAM), and Real-Time Market (RTM), experienced a surge in activity in CY 2021.

The IEX resumed renewable energy certificate (REC) trading in November 2021 after a gap of nearly 16 months after getting permission from the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) and the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity.

“Mitigating carbon footprint, reducing the cost of power, renewable power purchase obligations, and RE100 initiatives, the list of reasons for C&I consumers to go green is piling up. The demand for open access solar is growing, reflected in the robust pipeline of projects,” commented Priya Sanjay, Managing Director at Mercom India.

In October last year, CERC approved the introduction of the Green Day Ahead Contract (GDAC) at IEX and PXIL in the integrated day-ahead market (IDAM) in a restricted manner.

The report also includes trading data of buy bids, sell bids, cleared volume, cleared price, and the number of participants in the market during Q4 2021.

The report has expanded its analysis coverage to include two new markets – Himachal Pradesh and Kerala. It also covers the current policies related to the open access market, amendments, price trends, and emerging business models.

The report gives a detailed account of banking policies in the top five states and reviews the policies driving the growth in these states.

Key Highlights from Mercom India Research’s ‘India Solar Open Access Market Report Q4 & Annual 2021’

  • In calendar year (CY) 2021, 1.2 GW of solar open access was installed, a 222% growth compared to 383 MW installed in 2020
  • India added 298 MW of solar open access capacity in Q4 2021; installations were up 75% YoY
  • Uttar Pradesh had the maximum installations with 113 MW and accounted for 38% of the total capacity additions in Q4 2021
  • As of December 2021, the total installed solar capacity in the open access market crossed 5 GW
  • The top five states contributed 80% of all open access installations in CY 2021 and 90% during the quarter
  • The top five states accounted for 73% of the cumulative solar open access installations at the end of December 2021
  • Karnataka continues to be the top state as of December 2021, accounting for 38% of the country’s cumulative open access solar installations
  • Trading renewable energy through the newly introduced green day-ahead market saw a 5% increase in volume between November and December 2021

 Mercom India Solar Open Access Market Report Q4 & Annual 2021 is 59 pages and covers vital information and data on the market. For the complete report, visit: https://mercomindia.com/product/india-solar-open-access-market-report-q4-annual-2021