Economy

Covid singes solar power industry; Q3 capacity addition dips 80% year-on-year

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on November 20, 2020 Published on November 20, 2020

As per Mercom report, rooftop solar installations accounted for 155 MW in Q3 2020, an increase of 82% compared to 85 MW installed in Q2 2020   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

Solar installations in the first nine months of 2020 totalled 1.73 GW, a 68% decline compared to 5.48 GW added in the same period of 2019.

India added 438 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity in Q3 2020, an 114 per cent increase compared to 205 MW installed in Q2 2020 and down 80 per cent from 2,177 MW in Q3 2019.

According to Mercom India Research’s Q3 2020 India solar market update, solar installations in the first nine months of 2020 totalled 1.73 gigawatts (GW), a 68% decline compared to 5.48 GW added in the same period of 2019.

Large-scale installations totalled 283 MW compared to 120 MW in the previous quarter. Year on year, large-scale installation decreased 85 per cent compared to 1,932 MW installed in Q3 2019.

“The year 2020 will end up as one of the worst years for solar in India as Covid-19 took a heavy toll on the industry. However, the market is almost back on its feet as the industry heads to 2021 — one of the best years forecasted for the sector,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

According to the report, India still has a robust large-scale solar project development pipeline of 44.7 GW, with another 34.6 GW of projects tendered and pending auctions at the end of Q3 2020.

Rooftop solar installations accounted for 155 MW in Q3 2020, an increase of 82 per cent compared to 85 MW installed in Q2 2020. YoY, rooftop installations declined 37 per cent compared to the 245 MW added in Q3 2019. Mercom India Research is forecasting approximately 3.3 GW of solar installations in 2020 as most of the projects scheduled for commissioning in the second half of 2020 were moved to the first half of 2021.

Total power capacity additions in the 9M of 2020 stood at 4.2 GW from all power generation sources. Renewable energy sources accounted for nearly 72.5 per cent of installations, with solar representing 41 per cent of new capacity additions and wind at 15 per cent. Coal accounted for 26 per cent of new capacity added.

Ray of hope

According to Mercom’s forecast, 2021 and 2022 are on a path to be the best years for the solar industry, making India one of the world’s most attractive solar markets. Cumulative solar installed capacity in India was approximately 37.4 GW at the end of Q3 2020. Solar accounted for 41 per cent of new power capacity additions in 9M 2020. Electricity generated from solar in Q3 2020 crossed 13 billion units.

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Published on November 20, 2020
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