Addition to India’s solar power capacity is set for a record in 2019. According to a report by the Gurugram-based renewable energy consultancy firm Bridge to India, released in Jan. 2019, New installations this calendar year are estimated to reach nearly 14 gigawatts (GW), which is about 50% more than the capacity added last year.
How was 2018 for Solar in India
2018 was relatively a dull year for solar in India with addition of about 8.4 GW (estimated) of Solar Power capacity. Main Reasons for slowdown in Solar Industry in 2018 include:
- Imposition of Safeguard duty.
- Falling Tariffs
- Fall of Rupee against Dollar
- Lack of clarity on goods and services tax (GST)
- Lack of clarity on BIS standards
Besides these, market confidence was further eroded by undersubscription and cancellation of tenders, and the government’s failure to implement much hyped schemes like SRISTI and KUSUM.
Distribution of Solar in 2019
Utility Scale Solar
Out of the estimated 14 GW of Solar power addition in 2019, majority of capacity is going to come through UTILITY Scale solar power parks. While the overall capacity increase is expected to be about 10.9 GW, it would be low in first half of the year (2,635 MW) and is expected to speed up in the second half (8,267 MW).
More than 75% of this capacity is expected to come up in Rajasthan (over 2,000 MW), Andhra Pradesh (1,950 MW), Tamil Nadu (1,872 MW) and Karnataka (1,555 MW).
Rooftop solar capacity addition in 2019 is expected at 2,368 MW, 49% higher than in 2018.
About 290 MW of aggregate off-grid capacity, mostly from solar pump installations, is also expected to be added in 2019.
Government of India: Measures
Government of India has set a target of building 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022. Under the Paris climate agreement, renewable sources must account for up to 40% of power-generation capacity by 2030.
- Safeguard duty on PV cell and module imports shall fall to 20% in July 2019.
- Launching of Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) with the objective of providing financial and water security to farmers. The scheme aims to support 25,750MW of solar by 2022 with INR344 billion (~US$4.84 billion) of central government backing.
- MNRE plans to tender for 60 GW of Solar Capacity auction.
- Announcement of National Storage Mission.
- New additions in floating solar power projects
2019: Challenges for Solar
- Rising costs of acquisition of Land for Utility Scale (1).
- Debt financing challenges due to increasing cost of debt and stiff liquidity in the financial markets.
- Persistence of policy level uncertainties like GST, Import duties etc.
- Dismal state of DISCOM’s.
- Lackadaisical growth of domestic solar segment.
Bridge to India
- Bridge to India – INDIA RE OUTLOOK 2019 I JANUARY 2019