India added 3 GW of solar in the first quarter

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India added over 3 GW of solar capacity in the first quarter (Jan.-Feb.-March period) of 2022, a 21% increase over the preceding quarter, according to the newly released Q1 2022 India Solar Market Update by Mercom India Research.

Large-scale solar accounted for 86% of Q1 2022 installations, with rooftop PV contributing 14%. Rajasthan topped in installations, accounting for 52% of the overall quarterly addition. It was followed by Gujarat (with 18% share) and Karnataka (6%).

India’s cumulative installed solar capacity now stands at 52 GW. Over 54 GW of utility-scale projects are in the development pipeline, and another 33 GW capacity tendered is awaiting auction.

The report projects 2022 could see an even higher installation than 2021’s record 10 GW plus. The report said the annual installation may, however, get impacted by any delay in resolving the matter of laying of transmission lines for solar energy projects to be developed in the habitats of the Great Indian Bustard (GIB).

To protect the critically endangered bird [GIB], the Supreme Court earlier said that transmission lines running through the priority areas of the GIB need to be either underground or have bird diverters installed. A Committee has been formed to review cases individually and provide feedback to the Apex Court. This process is taking time and will likely affect project development this year.

“The uncertainty around the Great Indian Bustard case in Rajasthan is the only issue standing in the way of 2022 being another record year for solar installations. Everything depends on the Supreme Court ruling and how quickly it is resolved. A little push from the government can help India surpass the 60 GW large-scale solar installation target set for 2022, which will be a great achievement,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

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