3.5 GW Solar Capacity Added in H1 of 2021 in India, Says Report

Highlights :

  • Despite a poor Q2, renewable energy installations have recovered sharply in 2021.
  • Sustaining, and building on the new momentum will be key to the country getting close to its targets.

A report by renewable energy research firm JMK Analytics says that India added 3.5 GW of solar capacity in the first six months of the financial year 2022. It places cumulative renewable capacity at 96.95 GW, a figure at variance with government claims of having hit 100 GW. Typically, these differences are accounted for by rooftop solar tally and scheduled commissioning date of some projects.

Solar Continues Run On Top

Solar continues to cement its dominance after overtaking wind in total capacity this year, with a 44% share in the total renewable mix, followed by wind with a 41% share. According to JMK, the current pipeline of solar, wind, and hybrid projects stands at around 56 GW which is likely to be commissioned in the next 3-4 years, well past the deadline of 2022. Another 25 GW of projects are under bidding phase where tenders are issued but auctions are not completed. So safe to say these will take even longer, according to the researchers.

The H1 Comparisons

In H1 2021, about 3.5 GW of new utility-scale solar capacity was added in the country, which is 63% higher than the H1 2020 installations. Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh were the leading states with most of the large-scale solar installations during this period.

Quarterly Comparison:

In Q2 2021 (Apr-Jun 2021), 1.5 GW of utility-scale solar capacity was installed. This is about 30% lesser than the previous quarter installations. this was helped by almost 215 MW of solar projects commissioned  by Renew Power in rajasthan. In wind, about 475 MW were added, which is 56% lesser than the Q1 2021 installations. In rooftop solar, about 417 MW were added, which is 55% lesser than the previous quarter. In wind, only 475 MW could be added, pointing to the increasing troubles in that part of the renewable duo. Notably, this is after Adani Green energy commissioned some 100 MW of wind energy projects ahead of schedule.

Projections

In terms of projections for the year, JMK predicts that about 10.3 GW of new utility-scale solar capacity and 2.8 GW of fresh wind capacity is likely to get installed in 2021.  That, if it happens, would be a massive improvement over the previous three years, when capacity additions have been stuck between 7 to 4.5 GW.

Quarterly In Q3 2021, installation activity is likely to further pick up with an estimate of 3.1 GW of new solar capacity and 1 GW of new wind capacity addition. That would indicate the slump in Q2 was an aberration caused by spike in Covid’s second wave across key states, that took out most of April and May for firms. While encouraging on its own, keeping in mind the backlog behind, and the ambitious targets in front, clearly the increase needed is of a far higher order to ensure that the country does not miss its own targets by a wider margin.

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