India added just 205 MW of solar capacity in second quarter


India’s new solar capacity addition fell 81% to 205 MW in the April-June quarter of year 2020 compared to 1,090 MW installed in the previous quarter. Cumulative solar installations as of June 2020 were around 37 GW, according to Mercom India Research’s latest report.

The report, titled Q2 2020 India Solar Market Update, stated large-scale installations totalled 120 MW compared to 896 MW in the first quarter. Rooftop solar additions too fell to 85 MW from 194 MW in the previous quarter.

Year-on-year, overall solar installations were down 86% compared to the 1,510 MW added in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

“Solar project construction activity came to a standstill in the second quarter as the coronavirus pandemic disrupted every aspect of the economy. Labor availability was one of the biggest challenges for large-scale projects. With monsoons setting in, we may have to wait until the fourth quarter for the activity to pick back up,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

“Considering the realities on the ground, the industry needs more than the 30-day extension post-lockdown period currently granted by the government for project commissioning.”

4 GW

Mercom report forecasts only around 4 GW of solar to be added in 2020, which was the worst-case scenario laid out in its previous report.

“[The 4 GW forecast] assumes that the Covid situation will get worse to the point where most of the projects will be moved to 2021,” added Prabhu.

With the lockdown lifted in phases in states, supply chain disruption, and workforce shortages due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, most solar projects scheduled for commissioning have been delayed and slipped into later quarters with a possibility of moving to next year.

According to Mercom report, India still has a significant large-scale solar project development pipeline of 41.7 GW, with another 34.2 GW of projects tendered and pending auction at the end of Q2 2020.



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