August 31 (Solar) – The Indian solar power industry marked a significant decrease in second-quarter capacity additions, both in quarterly and annual terms, and is seen to witness a drop in 2018 installations to 8.3 GW, said Mercom India Research.
The forecast decline will be due to the lack of a strong project pipeline as tender activity in the country slowed down after tariffs reached their lowest level of INR 2.44 (USD 0.034/EUR 0.029) per kWh last year and India imposed safeguard duties on equipment imports from China and Malaysia. According to Raj Prabhu, CEO and co-founder of Mercom Capital Group, the market is expected to be stagnant for three-to-six months following the duty announcement in July, which impeded auction activity, while solar installations in 2019 are expected to remain flat.
The second-quarter solar deployments came at 1,599 MW, compared with 3,344 MW in the first quarter of 2018 and 2,025 MW in the year-ago period. The drop reflected uncertainties related to solar trade cases, unstable module prices and renegotiation of power purchase agreements (PPAs).
According to Mercom India’s quarterly solar market update, of the total 1,599 MW of newly commissioned plants, some 1,184 MW were large-scale installations, which in turn declined from 2,954 MW in January-March 2018. Meanwhile, rooftop photovoltaic (PV) capacity rose by 84% year-on-year and by 6% sequentially to 415 MW. Overall, the share of large-scale installations in the country’s new solar parks was 74%, while rooftop plants accounted for 26%.
At the end of June, India’s cumulative installed PV capacity stood at 24.6 GW, around 90% of which comes from large-scale parks.
(INR 10 = USD 0.141/EUR 0.121)