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Indian Solar Capacity To Hit 20 Gigawatts By March 2017

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According to a report released by consulting firm Bridge to India, India is expected to reach an installed solar capacity of 20 gigawatts by the end of the present financial year (2017-18). This was the initial target under the National Solar Mission for March 2022, which was later updated to 100 gigawatts.

The current utility scale installed capacity of solar stands at 16.2 GW by the end of September 2017. The installed PV capacity grew by 84% in the last four quarters, i.e. Q4 2016-Q3 2017, with the addition of 7.5 gigawatts of capacity.

Majority of the capacity addition, or 57%, came from three southern states, namely Telangana, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, during the last four quarters. Telangana, with an installed capacity of 2,792 MW, has now pushed into the number one spot in solar PV deployment, followed by Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

According to the latest edition of India Solar Map 2017, Greenko and ReNew Power emerged as top developers, followed by Acme in third place, on the basis of capacity commissioned during the last four quarters. The solar map also pointed out that 7 project developers have portfolios of more than 1 GW comprised of both commissioned and in-pipeline projects.

There has been a marginal increase in the share of Indian module manufacturers, but Chinese module manufacturers continue to dominate with over 80% of the total market share. Chinese Trina Solar leads the market with a 16.6% share followed by JA Solar (9.2%) and Canadian Solar (8.7%). On the domestic front Waaree was the biggest manufacturer last year, followed by Vikram Solar and Tata Power Solar.

The 20 gigawatt estimate by March 2018 is in line with the forecasts given by rating agency ICRA earlier this year. India had an installed solar power capacity of 12.2 gigawatts on 31 March 2017. In FY2016-17, a record 5.5 gigawatts of solar power capacity was added which would likely increase to a record 7.5-8 gigawatts in FY2017-18.

Even though India continues to add record solar power capacity every year, it seems highly unlikely to meet the National Solar Mission target of 100 gigawatts by March 2022. Even at 20 gigawatts of installed capacity by March 2018 India will have to add 20 gigawatts every financial year until March 2022 to meet the 100 gigawatt target.

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An avid follower of latest developments in the Indian renewable energy sector.

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