In the first quarter (Q1) of the calendar year (CY) 2021, the country generated about 17.5 BU of solar power compared to 14.2 BU in the previous quarter. The data shows that normalcy was returning with solar generation higher than the pre-COVID levels of Q1 2020.
Solar power generation in Q1 2021 was higher by 23% compared to the last quarter, and it was nearly 14% higher compared to the same period last year. For the financial year (FY) 2020-21, the solar generation increased by 21% and stood at 60.4 BU compared to 50.1 BU in FY 2019-20.
After a sudden dip in Q3 last year, the solar generation has been on an upward slope despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the solar industry, and the numbers this quarter have been much higher than expected.
But with the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the country, things might slow down again.
In CY 2020, India generated about 58.2 BU of power compared to 46.3 BU a year before, a 26% increase.
Recently, Mercom reported that India’s installed renewable energy (including large hydro projects) capacity stood at 141.4 GW, accounting for a share of 36.94% in the overall power mix at the end of Q1 2021. The share of renewable energy saw a marginal increase from the previous quarter when total renewable installations stood at 138.27 GW with a share of 36.7%. Based on the preliminary numbers, solar installations increased, accounting for 10.69% of the total installed capacity than 10.33% in Q4 2020.
In March this year, India’s cumulative solar installations hit the 40 GW milestone. Installations slowed down in 2020 due to the pandemic. Construction activity for ongoing projects came to a halt, and the solar supply chain took a beating. Before the pandemic and the subsequent nationwide lockdown on March 23, 2020, solar installations stood at about 37 GW.
Also, India’s power supply deficit narrowed down to 0.3% between April and December 2020, while its peak power deficit slipped to 0.6%. During the nine months, the country supplied 937.5 BU of energy against a demand of 940.7 BU, a 3.17 BU or 0.3% shortfall. India met 184,033 MW of peak power demand with 182,888 MW – a 1,145 MW or 0.6% deficit.
Rakesh is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.