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India could delay over 3 GW of solar, wind installations - WoodMac

Wind turbines in Gujarat. Author: PeepleWatcher.

April 6 (Renewables Now) - The lockdown in India could delay over 3 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind installations planned for this year, shows a new report by Wood Mackenzie.

Originally, the consultancy group expected India to install 11.8 GW of solar plants in 2020, but because of the COVID-19 crisis, it is reducing its forecast by 24.8% to 8.9 GW.

“Current supply and labour disruptions will have an outsized negative impact on 2020 installations,” commented senior analyst Rishab Shrestha, who noted that first-quarter deployments are seen to fall by about 60% on the year to 1.2 GW.

In addition to being heavily dependent on Chinese PV module imports, the local solar power industry is also suffering from the fact that its top three states in terms of 2019 installations -- Karnataka (2.0 GW), Tamil Nadu (1.6 GW) and Rajasthan (1.7 GW) -- are also in the top ten worst hit states when it comes to coronavirus infection rates.

As per wind power, Wood Mackenzie initially guided for 3.5 GW of 2020 installations, but now expects 400 MW to be delayed into 2021. Gujarat is typically the busiest state in terms of wind turbines installations and now is also among the top ten worst hit by the spread of the coronavirus.

“The timing of the lockdown is unfortunate as Q1 is typically one of the busiest periods for wind project installations,” stated principal analyst Robert Liew.

The two analysts view the current support measures taken by the government as warranted, but warned that a possible extension of the lockdown could seriously affect both utilities and developers.

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