Solar activity in India revives with 438 MW added in Q3

Image by: Mercom India Research

November 19 (Renewables Now) - July-September solar deployments in India rose from the previous quarter as the market is starting to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, but the newly-installed capacity is still far behind that from a year ago, Mercom India Research says.

The country commissioned 438 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) parks in the third quarter, up from 205 MW in the second quarter as economic activity revived and lockdown restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic were lifted, triggering a surge in investments.

However, the level of fresh capacity additions is 80% below the almost 2.2 GW that went online in the year-ago period, according to Mercom’s Q3 2020 India Solar Market Update.

Overall, 2020 will end up “as one of the worst years for solar in India,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group. The market is now “almost back on its feet” and 2021 is forecast to be one of the best years for the sector, even though there will be some supply disruptions and component shortages in the near term.

“The power demand is back up, and the interest rates have come down. As the industry looks forward to a banner year, there are some short-term risks it has to deal with, like the uncertainty around basic customs duty, DISCOM dues, and the difficulty in getting power sale agreements signed,” Prabhu added.

The states of Maharashtra, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh were leaders in terms of new installations in the third quarter, together accounting for 63% of the overall volume. More than half of the third-quarter deployments were from large-scale plants, which stood at 283 MW. Newly-commissioned capacity in the rooftop segment came at 155 MW, with some 95% of this total being commercial and industrial (C&I) systems.

Mercom India Research expects that about 3.3 GW of solar will be brought live in 2020. At the end of September, the country had a cumulative installed solar capacity of 37.4 GW and a solar project pipeline of 44.7 MW, plus 34.6 GW of tendered capacity pending auctions.

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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.

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