2021 recap in five charts

15 February 2022 |

We present five charts summarising key developments in the renewable power sector in 2021.

Soaring module prices and other costs
Mono-crystalline module prices surged to USD cents 30/ Wp before falling marginally by year end, a rise of 21% over previous year due to rising component prices and shutdown of factories in China. Higher costs affected project viability leaving project developers in a dilemma – import modules at higher prices now or wait for prices to fall and run the risk of basic customs duty payment from April 2022 onwards.

Figure: Module price and total EPC cost

Source: BRIDGE TO INDIA research
Note: Module prices are shown on a CIF basis before domestic duties and taxes. EPC cost includes GST and all duties as applicable at the end of each quarter.

Capacity addition stagnant
We estimate total 2021 capacity addition at 11.2 GW, split between utility scale solar – 7.8 GW, rooftop solar – 1.8 GW and wind – 1.6 GW, 30% below our estimate due to various execution challenges including higher costs, transmission and duty uncertainty.  

Figure: Capacity addition, MW

Source: BRIDGE TO INDIA research

Domestic manufacturing push
The year saw a series of decisive policy moves to support domestic manufacturing. The PLI scheme received huge interest from 18 bidders for an aggregate capacity of 55 GW. We estimate total installed capacity of polysilicon, cells and modules to touch 30,000 MW, 40,000 MW and 55,000 MW respectively by 2025.

Figure: List of qualified bidders

Source: IREDA

Slowdown in tender activity
While new tender issuance stayed robust during the year at 33 GW, 40% increase YOY, project allocation fell by 21% to 19.5 GW in response to low willingness of DISCOMs to contract capacity.

Figure: Tender issuance and allocated capacity, MW

Source: BRIDGE TO INDIA research

Offshore debt
Project developers raised a total of USD 4.8 billion in offshore debt, a 309% increase over previous year. All-time low yields in western economies (German 10-year government bonds yield at -0.28%, USA 1.14%, UK 0.85%) attracted institutional investors to the sector. Leading developers including Adani (total issuance in 2021 – USD 2.1 billion), ReNew (USD 1 billion), Azure (USD 577 million), Continuum (USD 560 million), Hero (USD 363 million) and Acme (USD 334 million) have benefitted immensely from benign capital market conditions.

Figure: Offshore debt fund raising by project developers, USD million

Source: News reports, press releases and BRIDGE TO INDIA research


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