Optimistic solar outlook dimmed by COVID-19 – Bridge To India


Solar equipment prices are likely to firm up over the next few months, according to analyst Bridge to India, thanks to the continuing global spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The Haryana-based analyst made the prediction in its India Solar Compass for Q4 2019 report.

Bridge to India also predicted solar developers are likely to draw out project completion dates until after the safeguarding duty on Chinese and Malyasian PV products is due to expire, at the end of July.

“Normally, Q1 is the busiest part of the year for new installations as developers and contractors rush to complete projects ahead of financial year end,” stated the report. “However, this year is likely to be an exception.”

Fourth quarter 

The fourth quarter of last year brought complex schemes including manufacturing-linked and solar-wind-storage hybrid tenders as well as technology-neutral tenders seeking firm round-the-clock power. “Higher complexity [of projects tendered] may bring down the number of active players and consolidate the industry further,” stated the Bridge to India report.

India reached 31,371 MW of utility scale solar, 5,602 MW of rooftops and 945 MW of off-grid capacity at the end of the year, according to the report. Bridge to India added, India had around 21,588 MW in its development pipeline at the end of the year.

Project commissioning remained slow in the fourth quarter, said the analyst, with 1,845 MW of capacity additions, 37% below Bridge To India’s estimate of 2,919 MW. Land and transmission bottlenecks continued to delay project schedules and a constrained funding environment persisted, according to the study.

This article was amended on 09/03/20 as the new capacity figures reported in this article for India in the fourth quarter did not tally up. pv magazine is attempting to confirm the correct figures.

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