The Indian solar power market is expected to see another record capacity addition this year as several large-scale power projects are lined up for commissioning.
According to India-based consultancy Mercom Capital Group, almost 10 gigawatts of solar power capacity is expected to be commissioned in 2017. The group expects just over 9,000 megawatts of utility-scale and almost 800 megawatts of rooftop solar power capacity to be added this year.
Mercom also reported that an estimated 4,311 megawatt solar power capacity was added in 2016. The 130% expected jump in installed capacity this year will make India the third-largest solar power market in the world. India’s total installed solar power capacity touched 12.8 gigawatts as on 31 March 2017. Mercom estimates a pipeline of 12.6 gigawatts capacity under development and an additional 6.1 gigawatts capacity ready to be auctioned.
Southern states have already seen several cycles of competitive auctions in a span of few months and, understandably, have large capacities under development. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are already among the leading states in terms of installed capacity and are reported to have more than 2 gigawatts of capacity under operational.
In February 2017 India generated more than 1 billion kWh of solar power for the first time-ever. Compared to the same month last year the power generated in February 2017 was 80% higher. Solar power generation in the southern states increased from 175 million kWh in February 2016 to 649 million kWh in February 2017. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka reported four times jump each in the power generation. Tamil Nadu, home to the largest solar power project in India, reported 173% increase in power generation.
The Indian solar power market is growing at a very rapid pace with no signs of slowing down. Increased support from the government and competitiveness among developers has resulted in a 73% collapse in tariff bids between 2010 and 2017 with bids falling by 27% between 2016 and 2017.
India had set a target to add 12 gigawatts solar power capacity between April 2016 and March 2017. According to data provided by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy only 2.8 gigawatts was added between April 2016 and February 2017.