February 28, 2019 Read More →

Solar tops 50% of annual capacity installations in India for first time

PV Magazine:

India added 16.3 GW of new power generation capacity last year, with renewable energy accounting for an impressive 70% of it and solar representing 50.7%. Coal made up 27.5% of the new capacity, according to figures from Mercom India.

The nation installed 8,263 MW of solar capacity in 2018 – 15.5% less than 2017’s 9,782 MW. Of the new figure, large-scale projects accounted for 6,608 MW – a 23% year-on-year decline – but rooftop installations supplied 1,655 MW, for 66% growth, according to Mercom’s Q4 and Annual 2018 India Solar Market Update.

Commenting on the shift towards solar, Mercom Capital CEO Raj Prabhu said: “To succeed in the Indian solar market, companies need to play the long game. For the first time in India’s history, solar made up [more than] 50% of new power capacity … We will continue to see a steady shift toward solar as prices continue to drop. This is going to be the new normal as coal plants continue to shutter.”

Cumulative installed solar capacity in India reached almost 27.9 GW at the end of December with rooftops supplying 3,260 MW of that figure.

In annual growth terms, rooftop solar continues to be a bright spot, as commercial and industrial energy users saw it as a viable way to combat rising electricity tariffs. Following a significant, 50% quarter-on-quarter increase from Q4 2017 to the first three months of last year, installation growth remained steady for the rest of 2018.

More: Solar made up 50% of India’s new power capacity in 2018

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