2019 Q4 and ANNUAL INDIA SOLAR MARKET UPDATE – 7.3 GW INSTALLED IN CY 2019
The cumulative solar installed capacity totaled 35.7 GW at the end of Q4 2019.
Indian solar installations accounted for 7,346 megawatts (MW) in calendar year (CY) 2019 compared to 8,338 MW in 2018 – a 12% decline year-over-year (YoY). The 7.3 GW installations in the year 2019 was in line with the Mercom’s previously announced revised forecast.
The large-scale solar projects accounted for 85% of installations with 6,242 MW (7% YoY decline) and rooftop solar made up the remaining 15% adding 1,104 MW (33% YoY decline). Rooftop solar continues to face hurdles resulting in a decline in installations in 2019 after several years of positive growth.
By the end of 2019, the cumulative solar installations reached almost 35.7 gigawatts (GW). Large-scale projects accounted for 31.3 GW (87.6%) whereas rooftop solar installations accounted for 4.4 GW (12.4%).
The large-scale solar project development pipeline stands at 23.7 GW with 31.5 GW tendered and pending auctions at the end of Q4 2019.
The Indian solar market added 1,897 MW in Q4 2019, a 12.8% decrease, compared to 2,177 MW installed in Q3 2019. However, installations were up by 15.6% compared to 1,641 MW installed in Q4 2018. In Q4 2019, the large-scale solar projects came to 1,593 MW, while rooftop solar installations accounted for 304 MW, an increase of 24.1% compared to 245 MW installed in Q3 2019.
Multiple reasons led to decline in solar additions in 2019 including, elections, slowing economy, liquidity issues, Tariff caps, lack of financing, curtailment, payment delays, and PPA renegotiations in Andhra Pradesh.
The solar industry started slowing from the first quarter of the year when elections ground the activity to a halt with government agencies stopping approvals of licenses and permits. Slowdown in the economy followed by credit crunch made it tough for projects to get financed all year long. The slowdown in economy also reduced power demand which led to severe curtailment issues.
Moving forward, Government must take quick decisions to address all common issues and to create a conducive atmosphere which could potentially take the Indian solar industry in the top ranks by 2022.
Key Highlights from Mercom India Research’s Q4 & Annual 2019 India Solar Market Update.
- In calendar year (CY) 2019, India added a total of 7,346 MW in large-scale and rooftop solar projects, a 12% decline compared to 8,338 MW installed in 2018
- In Q4 of 2019, the Indian solar market added 1,897 MW, a 16% increase from 1,641 MW installed in Q4 2018
- A total of 1,104 MW of rooftop solar projects were installed in 2019, a decline of 33% compared to 1,655 MW added in 2018
- Cumulative solar installations in the country reached 35.7 GW by December 2019 with large-scale projects accounted for 88% whereas rooftop installations accounted for 12%
- Mercom India Research forecasts CY 2020 solar installations at approximately 8.5 GW
- The solar power generation in CY 2019 totaled 46 BUs, a 27% increase compared to the 36 BUs generated in the previous year
- In CY 2019, the investments made in the Indian solar sector totaled over $8.2 billion (~₹585.4 billion), which is 16% lower compared to $9.8 billion (~₹699.6 billion) investments made in CY 2018
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Utsav Sinha, a senior research analyst covering cleantech markets and has been with Mercom since 2014. Utsav is also an online editor at MercomIndia.com and ensures overall content quality for the site. Utsav earned his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Dhaneswar Rath Institute of Engineering and Management Studies (DRIEMS) at Biju Patnaik University of Technology, Odisha. More articles from Utsav.