India’s total installed solar capacity, including rooftop and off-grid segments, has crossed the 10 GW mark, a consultancy said. India is expected to add new solar capacity of 5.1 GW this year, which is a growth of 137 per cent over last year, consultancy Bridge to India said in a statement. It expects average annual capacity addition of 8-10 GW per annum from next year onwards. “The pace of sector activity has picked up tremendously in the last two years because of strong government support and increasing price competitiveness of solar power. India is expected to become the world’s third biggest solar market from next year onwards after China and the US,” it added.
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The firm’s Managing Director Vinay Rustagi said, “Many people are going to ask the obvious question – if we have taken more than 5 years to achieve 10 GW, can we reach 100 GW in another 5 years? It is a very steep target in our view.” “But rather than quibble about the target, the important point is to acknowledge the transformational economic, environmental and social potential of solar technology and to create a conducive environment for its growth,” he added.
It said Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) aims to strengthen the country’s weak distribution sector and has already shown positive results in the short-term. At least eight of the 17 states/union territories, including some of the worst performing states like Haryana and Uttar Pradesh that have joined the UDAY scheme so far, have reduced the deficit per unit of electricity. Improving financial strength of the offtakers addresses one of the biggest concerns of private sector developers, it added.
The solar park scheme has also been instrumental in tackling the two major issues of land acquisition and power evacuation for project development.
Some key themes can be observed in the growth of the Indian solar market so far, it said. Among states, Tamil Nadu has the highest installed capacity, followed by Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab.
These seven states collectively account for more than 80 per cent of total installed capacity as of mid-November, 2016. Some of the larger power consuming states such as Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh are way behind in the sector, it added. Utility-scale solar accounts for more than 85 per cent of total installed capacity. Rooftop solar, so far about 10 per cent of the sector, has also been growing at a very healthy CAGR of 98 per cent from 2011 to 2015 and is expected to play an increasingly important role in the sector, it said.