Solar capacity addition declines to 205 MW in Q2: Mercom India report

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on August 13, 2020

Covid disruptions derail project construction

India has added 205 MW of solar capacity in the second quarter of calendar year 2020, an 81 per cent decline from 1,090 MW installed in the first quarter.

Solar installations were down 86 per cent year-over-year (YoY) compared with the 1,510 MW added in Q2 2019, according to a report by Mercom India Research.

Large-scale installations totalled 120 MW compared with 896 MW in the previous quarter. Year-over-year, large-scale installations fell by 90 per cent, while large-scale project installation figures in Q2 were the lowest in the past seven years.

"Solar project construction activity came to a standstill in Q2 as the coronavirus pandemic disrupted every aspect of the economy. Labour availability was one of the biggest challenges for large-scale projects. With monsoons setting in, we may have to wait until Q4 for the activity to pick up,” said Raj Prabhu, Chief Executive Officer of Mercom Capital Group.

“Considering the realities on the ground, the industry needs more than the 30-day extension post-lockdown period, currently granted by the government, for project commissioning," he added.

With the lockdown lifted in phases in States, supply chain disruption, and workforce shortages due to the pandemic, most solar projects scheduled for commissioning have been delayed and slipped into later quarters with a possibility of moving to next year.

India still has a significant large-scale solar project development pipeline of 41.7 GW, with another 34.2 GW of projects tendered and pending auction at the end of Q2 2020, it added.

During the reporting quarter, rooftop solar installations accounted for 85 MW, a decline of 56 per cent compared to 194 MW installed in Q1. On a YoY comparison, rooftop installations declined 71 per cent, with 292 MW added in Q2 2019.

Total power capacity additions in the first half of 2020 stood at 2.3 GW from all power generation sources. Of this, renewable energy sources accounted for nearly 85 per cent of installations, with solar representing 56 per cent of new capacity, and wind representing 14 per cent. Coal accounted for 13 per cent of new capacity additions.

Almost 70 per cent of the new power capacity additions came from solar and wind in the first half of the year. Rajasthan and Karnataka were the top States, contributing 68 per cent of solar installations in Q2, it added.

Published on August 13, 2020

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