Published on January 7th, 2019 | by Mridul Chadha0
India’s Q3 2018 Solar Power Capacity Addition Lowest In 5 Quarters
January 7th, 2019 by Mridul Chadha
Along with the auctions, India’s rate of adding new solar and wind energy capacity also declined during the third quarter of 2018, and the trend may continue and extend to the entire second half of 2018.
According to data issued by the Indian government, just over 900 megawatts of capacity was added in the three months of July, August, and September 2018 across the entire country. This is the lowest quarterly capacity addition in India’s solar power sector since Q2 2017. The Q3 2018 capacity addition was also substantially lower than the quarterly average addition of 1.6 gigawatts between Q3 2015 and Q2 2018.
Quarter-on-quarter, the solar power capacity addition declined from 1.4 gigawatts to 0.9 gigawatts, whereas year-on-year the reduction was from 1.7 gigawatts.
Around 155 megawatts of the solar power capacity was added in the western states. This includes the landmark project of Rewa Solar Park, where a couple of project developers managed to partially commission their allocated capacity.
Performance in the wind energy sector remained dismal as capacity addition was completely tied with the capacity auctioned. Only 213 megawatts of wind energy capacity was added in Q3 2018 across India, 126 megawatts of this came from a project commissioned by Ostro Energy in Gujarat. This project is among the first to be commissioned under the new auction regime in the wind sector.
The fossil fuel-based power generation capacity (coal and gas) contracted once again falling by almost 900 megawatts due to new shutdowns and retirements of existing power plants. In Q2 2018, the fossil fuel-based generation capacity had declined by around 200 megawatts, while in Q3 2017 it had declined by 1.1 gigawatts.
Historically, the second and third quarters have seen low capacity addition across all segments of India’s power sector. Capacity addition could increase marginally in Q4 2018, if one follows the historical trends.
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