India added 1,298 MW of solar power generation capacity in the fourth quarter (October-December period) of the year 2020. Out of the new quarterly addition, 77% (998 MW) was utility-scale solar and 23% (300 MW) rooftop—according to Bridge To India’s latest quarterly report India Solar Compass Q4 2020.
With this, India’s total installed PV capacity reached 41,689 MW as of December 31, 2020. This included 34,183 MW of utility-scale, 6,430 MW rooftop and 1,076 MW off-grid.
The report stated the fourth-quarter utility-scale addition (998 MW) was marginally below the analyst’s estimate. “Project commissioning was up 55% quarter-on-quarter but increase in execution cost slowed down progress,” it added.
A rise in module and inverter prices increased the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) costs. “Mono-crystalline module prices increased to US cents 23.5/W, up from US cents 21/W in September 2020. Central inverter prices also increased marginally to INR 1.30/W from INR 1.20/W. Total EPC prices shot up to INR 30.64/W due to an increase in equipment prices and a 20% increase in the balance-of-system (BOS) costs,” as per the report.
However, the report expects construction to gather pace in the current year, leading to utility-scale solar addition exceeding 2 GW in each of the first two quarters—the highest since 3833 MW achieved in Q1 2018. The installations are forecast to be 2,040 MW in the first quarter of 2021 and 2,340 MW in the second quarter.
The rooftop solar market is also expected to pick up the pace with expected capacity addition of 475 MW in Q1 2021.
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