India has reported a 47 per cent fall in solar installations at 5.6 GW during January-September 2023, amid delay in project execution, according to research firm Mercom India.
The installations were also down in the July-September quarter this year at 1.9 GW, a 34 per cent fall, over 2.8 GW solar capacity installed in the same period a year ago, the research firm said.However, on a quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) basis, the installations increased almost 6 per cent compared to 1.8 GW in Q2 2023.
“During the first nine months of 2023, 5.6 GW of solar was installed in India. Solar capacity additions fell nearly 47 per cent compared to 10.5 GW installed in 9M 2022,” Mercom India Solar Market Update report said.
The utility-scale installations dropped more than 54 per cent year-over-year (YoY) to 4.2 GW.
“Barring significant negative developments, installations in 2024 should grow exponentially. Declining prices (of ped products) are now the cause of slower growth (compared to rising prices earlier) as developers and installers push procurement to the last minute. Hopefully, the market can handle the expected rush in Q1 2024 and thrive,” Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group said.
The extensions granted to several large-scale solar and hybrid power projects and those facing delays due to land and transmission issues primarily affected installations in January-September 2023.
The oversupply of modules in China further lowered the average selling prices of solar modules, which have fallen consecutively over the last four quarters.
The challenges in securing transmission connectivity increased further with the change in project timelines. During Q3, the project developers also lacked clarity on application procedures under the amended regulations for long-term access to transmission networks.
However, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) issued clarifications towards the quarter’s end, which is expected to ease the process over the next few quarters. Several projects stuck in the habitat of the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) are still waiting for the Supreme Court order to receive transmission connectivity.India’s cumulative installed solar capacity, including total rooftop solar installations, surpassed 69 GW as of September 2023.
The country’s utility-scale solar development pipeline stood at nearly 77 GW as of September 2023, and over 68 GW of projects tendered were pending auction at the end of Q3 2023.
sRajasthan remained the leading state for cumulative large-scale solar installations, adding nearly 17 GW at the end of Q3 2023, accounting for over 28 per cent. Karnataka and Gujarat came in next with almost 16 per cent and 11 per cent share, respectively.