India added 3,239 MW of solar capacity last year for a 56% decline from the 7,346 MW installed in 2019, according to Mercom India’s 2020 Q4 and Annual India Solar Market Update.
The analyst’s report added, the 2,520 MW of large scale solar projects added last year accounted for 78% of installations. Some 719 MW of solar rooftop generation capacity made up the balance.
Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat led the large scale additions, contributing around 51% of installations.
“India’s solar installations in 2020 were the lowest in five years,” said Mercom Capital CEO Raj Prabhu. “While other top solar markets in the world have experienced positive growth, India, which had one of the most stringent lockdowns in response to the pandemic, took a while to get back up and running. However, we expect the industry to experience significant positive growth in 2021.”
Solar installations picked up in the second half of 2020 as economic activity resumed after the Covid-19 lockdown. Photovoltaic project additions in the fourth quarter stood at 1,505 MW, a 244% rise on the 438 MW seen in the July-to-September period.
Mercom India expects the nation to add more than 10 GW of solar this year.
“The solar industry has shown incredible resiliency amid all the chaos brought on by the pandemic,” said Prabhu. “The market is on the verge of experiencing two of its best years-to-date, in 2021 and 2022, unless further disruptions, in the form of ill-conceived policies, hurt growth.”
According to the report, India has a robust large scale solar project development pipeline of 47.5 GW, with another 24.5 GW of projects tendered and pending auction at the end of last year.
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