Credit: Narendra Modi
India has reached 20GW of cumulative solar installations, with 18.4GW in utility-scale and 1.6GW in rooftop solar, according to Mercom India Research.
It is also possible that the milestone was reached earlier. Consultancy firm Bridge to India provided its latest figures to PV Tech, noting that up until December 2017 India had installed 19.3GW of utility-scale (17.3GW) and rooftop projects (2GW). Moreover, India had also installed 566MW of off-grid solar as of March 2017, according to the Ministry of New and Renewable energy (MNRE). Adding all of these together, the consultancy said India's installed capacity was very close to 20GW by end of 2017.
Mercom India has noted that solar was the highest contributor to power additions in India for the first time ever in 2017, with 9.6GW installed, accounting for 45% of total power deployment.
While India’s original target of 20GW by 2022 has been reached four years ahead of schedule, its revised 100GW target is in the balance. Government rhetoric suggests the 100GW will easily be surpassed, but analysts have noted serious constraints ahead in terms of grid integration, the looming potential of trade duties or tariffs, and a government trying to balance downstream deployment progress with supporting domestic manufacturers in a market that has been driven by module imports.
The PV IndiaTech 2020 conference will continue to bring together all key domestic and overseas stakeholders, including government bodies, investors, and the leading companies today from manufacturing to O&M and asset management. To thrive globally as a major PV power beyond 2020, India has to succeed in unlocking its potential both to manufacture and to lay claim to quality utility-scale solar farms that are providing high returns on investment to site owners.