India solar rebound not expected until 2021 as deployment continues to falter

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Downing's utility-scale solar farm in Kambadur. Image: Downing.

A strong rebound of utility-scale solar installations in India is not expected until 2021, with just 2.5GW expected to be deployed in the second half of this year, research from JMK Research & Analytics has found.

In its Q2 2020 update, JMK states that just 1GW of new utility-scale solar was deployed in India in the first half of the year, some 70% down on installations in H1 2019. This collapse was largely felt in the second quarter when, courtesy of the onset and continuing spread of COVID-19 in the country, just 304MW was installed.

That figure contrasts slightly with the 205MW of additional solar capacity charted by Mercom India Research late last week – a figure Mercom noted was the lowest quarterly deployment total since 2014 – but still points to a stark decline in market activity.

And it may be some time yet before momentum builds again. JMK places H2 2020 solar deployment in the 2.2 – 2.5GW range, figures which would constitute a sizeable decline in installs from what was installed last year.

It will not be until 2021 that India’s utility-scale solar market recovers, the research shows, with around 7.7GW of utility-scale solar forecast for deployment next year. That would constitute a similar level of deployment to that completed in 2019, but still short of the high recorded in 2017.

As a result, JMK expects module and inverter procurement to kickstart once again as the year progresses. Up to 8GW of solar modules and inverters are forecast to be procured in the second half of the year as developers begin to put concrete plans in place.

Equipment procurement in India remains a contentious topic given recent policy moves in the country designed to protect and incentivise domestic manufacturing. India recently extended the safeguard duty for another year, while an additional basic customs duty, rising from 20% this year to as much as 40% this year, remains a likely introduction at some point this year.

That is expected to have a significant impact on solar import practices, JMK said, and the firm noted a sizeable increase in solar imports in Q2 2020, which rose almost five-fold on imports recorded in the prior quarter.

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
April 8, 2021
After a challenging year, India’s solar sector stands primed for something of a rebound. But a host of familiar issues, from the perilous state of DISCOMs to regulatory uncertainty, run the risk of stymying future growth. Vinay Rustagi, managing director at consultancy Bridge to India, talks to PV Tech about the future prospects for Indian solar.
April 8, 2021
Tata Power Solar has expanded its PV manufacturing facility in Bengaluru, India, taking the total production capacity of modules and cells to 1.1GW.
April 1, 2021
Norwegian independent power producer Scatec is looking to collaborate with project developers in India as part of efforts to gain a foothold in the country’s burgeoning solar sector.
March 31, 2021
Renewables investor Cubico Sustainable Investments has completed its acquisition of a European 272MW solar power platform called Grupo T-Solar from I Squared Capital.
March 30, 2021
Local authorities in New South Wales, Australia, have given French independent power producer Neoen the green light to develop a large scale solar-plus-storage production facility in the region despite receiving 50 complaints from members of the public.
PV Tech Premium
March 26, 2021
Solar developers have welcomed clarification on India’s new import duties for modules and cells that will come into effect next year, but questions have been raised about the ability of domestic manufacturers to ramp up production to meet rising demand.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
April 13, 2021
Solar Media Events
April 20, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
April 28, 2021
4:00 - 4:30 PM CET