Discover our upstream and downstream technical journals
Image: HHV Technologies.

Image: HHV Technologies.

Labour shortages and "restrictive" work practices caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have caused solar deployment to fall by nearly two-thirds (64%) sequentially, with just 351MW having been installed in Q2 2020.

That is according to consultancy Bridge to India, whose prediction of 500MW of new PV in Q2 proved too optimistic given the extended lockdown and consequent effect on movement of people and goods.

Bridge to India's figure of 351MW is the most optimistic projection issued so far, with other recent evaluations of India’s Q2 performance having reinforced how modest new installations were in the three months to the end of June. JMK Research & Analytics noted the country deployed 304MW, while Mercom India Research suggested it was just 205MW – a figure the consultancy said was the lowest quarterly deployment total since 2014.

Utility-scale PV made up 211MW of capacity addition while new rooftop solar, which is struggling with a dip in demand and payment delays, added only 140MW. For H2 2020, Bridge to India is estimating 600MW of new rooftop capacity additions, a 23% decrease on the same period last year.

Some 5,053MW of solar tenders were issued in India during Q2 – consisting of ten utility-scale solar parks, three floating solar installations and one solar-wind hybrid project – which was down 65% sequentially.

Bridge of India is forecasting that activity will gather pace in the coming quarters, with an estimated 4,720MW to be commissioned in H2 2020, bringing total commissioned capacity for 2020 to 5,620MW. Still, that figure would represent the lowest capacity addition in three years.

Lower equipment prices and lifting of lockdown-related restrictions "should help developers bounce back with higher capacity addition in 2021", noted the consultancy.

On the policy front, India’s government has looked to protect the country’s solar equipment manufacturing sector through the extension of safeguard duty for another year. It is estimated India imports 80% of the components used in solar developments from China.

Trade body All India Solar Industries Association warned the government needs to go further and that the safeguard duty is not enough on its own to safeguard the future of local manufacturers, with chairman Hitesh Doshi calling on policymakers to immediately put in place a basic customs duty of 50% on solar equipment.

Tags: india, bridge to india, utility-scale solar, rooftop solar, safeguard duty, basic custom duty, covid-19

Upcoming Webinars

Revealing the most bankable and reliable PV module suppliers for utility-scale deployment in the US

Jan 20, 2021 GMT

Virtually all PV modules for large-scale utility-based solar sites are imported to the US, especially from Chinese companies using manufacturing sites across Southeast Asia. This puts extreme pressure on US site developers, EPCs and investors, in understanding fully the differences between the companies offering imported PV modules How credible are the companies supplying the products? What is the financial health of the parent entity? Where is the module produced, and is this undertaken in-house or through third-party OEMs? What is the supply-chain for the module sub-components including wafers and cells? And then, how will the modules perform in the field, and is it possible to gauge reliability levels benchmarked against competitors? This webinar will provide insights from two of the leading experts in PV module manufacturing, supply, performance and reliability: Jenya Meydbray of PV Evolution Labs and Finlay Colville from PV-Tech. The 1-hour session will include presentations from Jenya and Finlay, and then a brand-new supplier scorecard matrix that combines the key outputs from PVEL's Module Reliability Scorecard and PV-Tech's PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings, with specific focus on module supply and use in the US market.

Register now