Mercom: India surpasses 3GW with installations to double in 2015

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Clean Energy Consultant, Mercom Capital Group’s quarterly update on the Indian solar market reports cumulative solar installations have surpassed the 3GW mark.

Throughout 2014 so far, 734MW of solar has been installed – with 800MW predicted for the 2014 total.

However this is s 20%, year-on-year drop, with 1GW installed last year. The drop has been attributed to land acquisition, elections and anti-dumping related delay. Mercom predicts installations will double in 2015, to 1.8GW as these barriers are removed.  

The election, the end of anti-dumping as well as recent changes to coal in India, will spur an growth in the industry for 2015, said Mercom CEO, Raj Prabhu.

“Cancellations of coal mining licenses by the Supreme Court, amid rising coal imports and increasing costs, and continuing power shortages have all contributed to the positive momentum in the solar sector,” said Prabhu.

Mercom also states in the update that the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s new target for 15GW by 2019 via ‘ultra mega’ (500MW+) solar power plants, and an increase in the first tranche for the national solar mission to 3GW, will help spur the industry on in 2015.

However, Mercom noted that due to land and grid infrastructure restraints, 'ultra mega solar power plants' might not be a sound long-term plan, with other nations focusing on distributed commercial and residential solar.

The Indian rooftop solar market is predicted by solar analyst, Bridge to India to reach 1.5GW of cumulative installed capacity by 2018, up from 285MW currently. State government is following national leadership with net metering and rooftop solar policy, with hopes for grid parity to be met by next year.

Energy minister Piyush Goyal also said last week that India is looking to meet an ambitious 100GW of solar generation by 2022 after directing domestic manufacturing to run at full capacity and promising government support.

Mercom said thanks to these announcements, “prospects for the Indian solar sector have never looked better”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also recently visited Fiji, Myanmar and Australia, attending the G20 summit. In a speech in Queensland to business leaders, Modi talked up India’s initiatives on clean energy, with “special focus” on solar and energy efficiency.

However after the trip Modi said that he and Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott “made unprecedented progress in the areas of energy, culture, and security and are moving very positively on the issue of nuclear energy”.

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