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Solar capacity installations down by 48% during Jan-Mar: Marcom report

Declining installation and project delays impact India's solar industry growth, according to the 'Q1 2023 India Solar Market Update' report by Mercom India

Solar Power

Solar Power

BS Web Team New Delhi

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The addition of solar capacity in India experienced a significant decline of 48 per cent year-on-year in the January-March period of 2023, reaching 1.9 gigawatts (GW), revealed Mercom India Research report, a research and consulting firm at the forefront of India's clean energy transformation and advisory for India's energy markets.

In comparison, during the same period in 2022, the country added 3.6 GW of solar capacity.

The report titled 'Q1 2023 India Solar Market Update' highlighted that India's solar capacity expansion in the first quarter of the calendar year 2023 witnessed a substantial drop compared to the previous year. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the installations were 30 per cent lower compared to the 2.7 GW of solar capacity installed in the October-December period of 2022.

Out of the 1.9 GW added in the first quarter, large-scale solar projects accounted for 74 per cent of the installations, while rooftop solar made up the remaining 26 per cent.

Upon release of the report, Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group said, "On a positive note, module prices are trending in the right direction, and project costs declined for the first time after rising for ten consecutive quarters, bringing much-needed relief to the solar industry".

Currently, India's cumulative installed solar capacity stands at 64.5 GW. As of March 2023, the country's utility-scale project development pipeline stood at 58 GW, with an additional 58 GW of projects tendered awaiting auction.

In 2022, India's solar industry achieved a significant milestone by adding a record-breaking 13 GW of capacity. However, the additions for 2023 are expected to be lower due to the rescheduling of commissioning deadlines for several projects to the following year. Additionally, various projects are facing delays attributed to land and transmission issues, as highlighted by Mercom India.

According to the report, the market is undergoing a recalibration following the government's decision on the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM). Project extensions, Global Infrastructure Barrier (GIB), and infrastructure issues indicate a softer year than initially predicted. The government recently extended the ALMM by one year until March 2024 in response to industry concerns regarding the availability of raw materials and supply chain challenges.

The ALMM was introduced as a measure to stimulate domestic manufacturing within the solar industry.

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First Published: May 29 2023 | 5:57 PM IST

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