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Solar power addition falls 35% in the first half of 2019

Cumulative solar installations at the end of September 2019 reached 33.8 GW, representing 9.2 per cent of the total power generation capacity in India, which comes around 366 GW

twitter-logo PB Jayakumar        Last Updated: November 12, 2019  | 02:28 IST
Solar power addition falls 35% in the first half of 2019

New solar installations in the country are coming down, as India added only 3.2 Gigawatt (GW) of solar power across the country in the first half of this year, down 35 per cent year-on-year. As against this, about 5 GW of solar capacity was installed across the country including both large-scale and rooftop solar in the first half of 2018.

Cumulative solar installations at the end of September 2019 reached 33.8 GW, representing 9.2 per cent of the total power generation capacity in India, which comes around 366 GW. India's target is to reach 100 GW capacity of solar installations by 2022. Of late, investor concerns on policies, falling tariffs, land issues and funding have resulted in no takers for new biddings for solar projects.

Rooftop solar installations accounted for 17 per cent of total solar installations in the first half, a decline of 45 per cent compared to first half of the 2018. Cumulative rooftop installations totalled nearly 3,816 MW as of June. Although new solar installations were down, India was still third largest solar market in the world behind China and the United States, said data from Mercom India Research, part of global clean energy communications and consulting firm Mercom Capital Group.

Wind power accounted for 36.9 GW of the total installed power capacity and nearly 10.09 per cent of the overall power capacity mix  of September 2019. With large hydropower projects classified as part of renewable energy mix, it accounts for around 45.4 GW or 34 per cent of the total renewable energy capacity installed and 10.1 per cent of the total installed power generation capacity. India's total renewable energy capacity (including large hydro) stood at 130.68 GW.

The report said top 10 large-scale developers accounted for 84 per cent of the total solar market. "The India solar market leader-board has a completely new set of market leaders in almost every category in the first half of 2019, as the market is extremely dynamic with a lot of fluctuations and no clear standouts, with opportunity for new leaders to emerge," said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

The report said publicly listed Azure Power is the top utility-scale developer as well as the top rooftop solar installer during the first half of 2019. "Our operational rated capacity has grown at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 87 per cent since March 2012, and as of June 30, 2019, we operated 41 utility scale projects and several commercial rooftop projects with a combined rated capacity of 1,609 MW. Additionally, in July 2019, we commissioned 50 MW of the Rajasthan 5 solar power project and in September 2019 we commissioned 130 MW of the Maharashtra 3 solar power project, bringing our combined rated capacity to 1,789 MW", Azure Power had said in an operations update in early September.

The Mercom report says Adani is the largest project developer in terms of cumulative solar installations as of June 2019. Five companies, led by ACME Solar, had a cumulative project development pipeline of over 1.5 GW apiece at the end of June 2019.

In H1 2019, the top 10 rooftop solar installers represented 41 per cent of the market share with Tata Power Solar having the largest cumulative rooftop portfolio and Azure Power emerging as the top rooftop solar installer.

TMEIC was the leading solar inverter supplier in India during the period. In H1 2019, the top ten module suppliers accounted for over 60 per cent of the market. Trina Solar was the leading module supplier to India in terms of cumulative shipments and in 1H 2019, said the report.

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