Rooftop solar grows by 75% to add 1.5 GW of new capacity

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India added a record rooftop solar capacity of 1,538 MW in the twelve-month period ending September 2018, registering an increase of 75% year on year. The total rooftop solar capacity as on September 30, 2018 stood at 3,399 MW, as per the Bridge To India report.

Commercial and industrial consumers dominate the market with 70% share, while residential segment continues to lag with a share of only 9%.

Leading players

Operational expenditure (OPEX) model, where third party solar developers own and develop projects on customer sites, is still growing faster than the rest of the market and added 559 MW capacity (35% market share) during the period.

The market witnessed significant churn, with Cleantech Solar, CleanMax Solar and Renew emerging as the top three Opex players with a combined market share totaling 45%.  The capital expenditure (Capex) market became even more fragmented with share of top ten players falling to 18% from 21% last year. Top three Capex players included Tata Power (4.4%), Mahindra (2%) and Sunsure (2%).

In the inverter market, Chinese players are growing aggressively and now command a combined share of 43%.

Future outlook

In the status quo scenario, rooftop solar capacity should reach 15.3 GW by March 2022, which is about 38% of the government’s 40 GW target – according to the Bride To India forecast.

Speaking on the release of the report, Vinay Rustagi, managing director, Bridge To India, termed 75% market growth, in a year plagued by safeguard duty and GST uncertainty, as “absolutely fantastic.”

“Ongoing fall in module prices should continue to drive growth in the next few years,” Rustagi said. “Rooftop solar has huge growth potential and should be given more policy support particularly when utility scale solar is increasingly facing acute land and transmission connectivity challenges. Proactive government intervention can help in boosting growth and realising full potential of this compelling energy source,” he added.