Kamareddy solar park Telangana. Photo by: SkyPower Group (www.skypower.com).
India installed 1,737 MW of solar in the first quarter of 2019, or 49% less than a year earlier as activity, especially in the rooftop segment, was slowed down by permitting and auction-related issues.
The bulk of the newly-commissioned capacity in the first quarter was in Karnataka, followed by Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.
Rooftop capacity additions declined by 33% on the year to 260 MW, Mercom India Research said in an update for the Indian market. The drop resulted from the ongoing general elections, which hindered the permitting process, and a halt in auction activity, explained Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.
The challenging lending environment over the past couple of years has also contributed to the slow-down. Net-metering has been slow to take off as DISCOMs hinder implementation.
At the end of March, India’s cumulative rooftop photovoltaic (PV) installations totalled 3,527 MW, accounting for 12% of the country’s overall solar capacity.
Mercom India Research expects that India’s solar additions for 2019 would be around 9 GW, reaching 71 GW by end-2022. This is nearly 30% short of the 100-GW target set by the government, while it predicts that goal is still achievable with “an aggressive push and supportive policies.”
“With the elections out of the way and NDA government coming to the office, we expect the administration to come out with bigger and bolder goals for renewables over a longer time horizon. Even though short-term challenges persist, things look brighter for the Indian solar market after the elections,” said Mercom’s CEO added.
Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.