India surpasses 7GW solar installs - MNRE

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India’s installed solar capacity was 6998.8MW as of 30 April this year, but multiple installs have also been completed this month. Credit: Narendra Modi

India’s installed solar capacity was 6998.8MW as of 30 April this year, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

India will by now have surpassed 7GW, because since 30 April, Indian developer Azure Power has commissioned a further 88MW of solar PV plants in three states. Meanwhile, in Andhra Pradesh, Renew Power and China’s cell and module manufacturer Hareon Solar Technology have commissioned a 72MW project and Indian utility NTPC has commissioned 200MW.

According to MNRE figures, the states with the highest capacities on 30 April were:

  • Rajasthan – 1286MW
  • Gujarat – 1119MW
  • Tamil Nadu – 1062MW
  • Andhra Pradesh – 793MW
  • Madhya Pradesh – 776MW
  • Telangana – 528MW
  • Punjab – 405MW
  • Maharashtra – 386MW
  • Karnataka – 145MW

Consultancy firm Bridge to India’s latest market report ‘India Solar Handbook 2016’ forecast India to become the fourth largest solar market globally in 2016 behind China, the US and Japan with 5.4GW of expected capacity addition in the year.

While 25GW of projects are under development, the report also said that grid integration and availability are the key challenges ahead for India’s solar sector and Jasmeet Khurana, associate director, consulting Bridge to India, has also said that curtailment of solar power is likely to impact several states in years to come.

The report also stated: “In contrast to MNRE target of 12GW of utility-scale solar projects for FY 2016/17, Bridge to India estimates that actual capacity addition will be only about 5-6GW in FY 2016/17.”

PV boom not followed by manufacturing

While the solar power generation industry continues to flourish across India, Bridge to India’s latest update said that despite commitments from several leading manufacturers to set up in India, it remains to be seen if the planned capacities can become “genuinely globally competitive”. Furthermore, it appears that only Adani Group and Trina Solar are still considering their manufacturing plans “in earnest”.

India’s cell and module manufacturing capacity now stands at 1,212MW and 5,620MW respectively.

Bridge to India stated: “Scale being a key determinant of competitiveness, outlook is not very promising for Indian manufacturers despite the solar power generation business going through a boom phase.”

However, the firm did note that domestic manufacturers may be able to capitalise on anti-dumping duties imposed by the US and Europe on Chinese modules.

India recently lost its World Trade Organisation (WTO) case with the US over the former's support policy for its domestic manufacturers, however, India looks set to file its own cases against the US.

If you are looking to invest in or develop solar projects in India, join Solar Media on the 7th of June in London at Solar Finance & Investment: India, a conference designed to bring together European and North American investors and developers looking into the Indian market, as well companies with consolidated presence that are exploring new partnerships.

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