India added 2,056 MW of solar in the January-February-March period of 2021, a 37% increase over Q4 2020. Installations were 88% up year-on-year, compared to 1,090 MW added in Q1 2020, according to Mercom‘s CY Q1 2021 India Solar Market Update.
With this, cumulative solar installations in India reached 41 GW (35.5 GW large-scale and 5.4 GW rooftop) as of March 31, 2021, representing 10.7% of the nation’s total installed power capacity.
Out of 2,056 MW Q1 installation, 1,749 MW came from utility-scale projects and 307 MW from rooftop solar.
According to the report, solar installations improved considerably in Q1 2021, with developers completing their delayed projects from last year. Rooftop solar adoption surged as the commercial and industrial sector looked for ways to cut costs during challenging market conditions.
The large-scale project pipeline stood at 53.6 GW, with another 24.1 GW of projects tendered and pending auctions as of Q1 2021.
The report expected the annual solar installation to be hit significantly as project timelines get extended due to the second wave of Covid. It forecasts about 7 GW PV installation in 2021 under a medium-case scenario for the Covid impact.
“With the second wave of the pandemic hitting the country, the industry is battling solar component price increases and volatility. Even more concerning is the uncertainty in procurement as shortages are widespread. Policy restrictions and duties have added to the rising costs and unpredictability,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.
“Due to the targeted lockdowns, this time around, disruptions and labor issues are not as widespread as last year. However, most of the lockdowns are in important solar states like Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh which will significantly impact installation totals this year,” added Prabhu.
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