Blogs


Five charts summarising RE development in 2018
14 January 2019 |

2018 was the first year to see a dip in RE capacity addition in India. The highest reduction was in wind (-52%), followed by utility scale solar (-29%) but rooftop solar continued to grow healthily (+73%). 2018 saw a huge surge in new tenders. However, actual project allocation was much less due to multiple instances of tender cancellations. Tender issuance was dominated by SECI pan-India tenders (21,300 MW)...

Five charts summarising RE development in 2018
14 January 2019 |

2018 was the first year to see a dip in RE capacity addition in India. The highest reduction was in wind (-52%), followed by utility scale solar (-29%) but rooftop solar continued to grow healthily (+73%). 2018 saw a huge surge in new tenders. However, actual project allocation was much less due to multiple instances of tender cancellations. Tender issuance was dominated by SECI pan-India tenders (21,300 MW)...


Can ‘power for all’ turn into a reality?   
07 January 2019 |

The Indian government’s revised deadline for providing universal electricity access to all households under the SAUBHAGYA scheme lapsed on 31 December, 2018. The scheme portal shows that 24 million households, 97% of the revised target, have been electrified since October 2017. The only states yet to achieve 100% electrification – Rajasthan...

Can ‘power for all’ turn into a reality?   
07 January 2019 |

The Indian government’s revised deadline for providing universal electricity access to all households under the SAUBHAGYA scheme lapsed on 31 December, 2018. The scheme portal shows that 24 million households, 97% of the revised target, have been electrified since October 2017. The only states yet to achieve 100% electrification – Rajasthan...


The curious case of central and state government tender mix
31 December 2018 |

MNRE is reportedto have asked states to proactively issue more RE tenders and reduce dependence on central government agencies. MNRE’s advice states that states are better positioned to structure tenders based on their price expectations, offtake requirements and RPO obligations. As per our tender database, the split between state...

The curious case of central and state government tender mix
31 December 2018 |

MNRE is reportedto have asked states to proactively issue more RE tenders and reduce dependence on central government agencies. MNRE’s advice states that states are better positioned to structure tenders based on their price expectations, offtake requirements and RPO obligations. As per our tender database, the split between state...


2018 – one step forward, two steps backward   
17 December 2018 |

As 2018 comes to an end, we take stock of the progress made by the RE sector in the year. After finishing 2017 on a record high, total capacity addition is expected to fall by 32%. The fall is most notable in wind (down 46%), followed by utility scale solar (down 36%). In contrast, rooftop solar has grown by about 75%. The one significant positive during the year was module prices falling substantially – by more...

2018 – one step forward, two steps backward   
17 December 2018 |

As 2018 comes to an end, we take stock of the progress made by the RE sector in the year. After finishing 2017 on a record high, total capacity addition is expected to fall by 32%. The fall is most notable in wind (down 46%), followed by utility scale solar (down 36%). In contrast, rooftop solar has grown by about 75%. The one significant positive during the year was module prices falling substantially – by more...


Maharashtra bets on agriculture feeder projects   
10 December 2018 |

Last year, the state government of Maharashtra had announced a solar agriculture feeder scheme with the aim to solarise such feeders across the state. Under the scheme, developers would be selected through competitive bidding for project sizes up to 50MW. They would sign fixed-price PPA’s with Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited, the state DISCOM, for 25 years. Project sizes are expected...

Maharashtra bets on agriculture feeder projects   
10 December 2018 |

Last year, the state government of Maharashtra had announced a solar agriculture feeder scheme with the aim to solarise such feeders across the state. Under the scheme, developers would be selected through competitive bidding for project sizes up to 50MW. They would sign fixed-price PPA’s with Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited, the state DISCOM, for 25 years. Project sizes are expected...

Rooftop solar needs a new policy paradigm   
03 December 2018 |

BRIDGE TO INDIA has just completed the latest round of rooftop solar data compilation exercise. India added new rooftop solar capacity of 1,538 MW in the year ending September 2018, up a remarkable 75% over previous year. Total installed capacity is estimated to have reached 3,399 MW as on 30 September 2018. Robust growth even in the face of safeguard duty and GST uncertainty reflects...

Rooftop solar needs a new policy paradigm   
03 December 2018 |

BRIDGE TO INDIA has just completed the latest round of rooftop solar data compilation exercise. India added new rooftop solar capacity of 1,538 MW in the year ending September 2018, up a remarkable 75% over previous year. Total installed capacity is estimated to have reached 3,399 MW as on 30 September 2018. Robust growth even in the face of safeguard duty and GST uncertainty reflects...


Floating solar needs new technical standards
29 November 2018 |

SECI recently completed auction for India’s first large-scale floating solar plant. The 50 MW project at Rihand dam in Uttar Pradesh was won by Shapoorji Pallonji with a bid of INR 3.29/ kWh. The winning tariff is about 10% higher than observed in respective ground-mounted auctions. Floating solar is still in nascent stages of development in India with installed capacity of just 2.7 MW at present...

Floating solar needs new technical standards
29 November 2018 |

SECI recently completed auction for India’s first large-scale floating solar plant. The 50 MW project at Rihand dam in Uttar Pradesh was won by Shapoorji Pallonji with a bid of INR 3.29/ kWh. The winning tariff is about 10% higher than observed in respective ground-mounted auctions. Floating solar is still in nascent stages of development in India with installed capacity of just 2.7 MW at present...


Chinese companies boost their presence in the Indian inverter market   
26 November 2018 |

After occupying a dominant position in module supply, the Chinese companies are aggressively expanding their presence in the Indian solar inverter market. Their combined market share in utility scale projects in the latest available 12-month period has gone up to 46% from 1% just three years ago. 3 of the top 5 players are from China. There is a similar story in rooftop solar with aggregate Chinese market...

Chinese companies boost their presence in the Indian inverter market   
26 November 2018 |

After occupying a dominant position in module supply, the Chinese companies are aggressively expanding their presence in the Indian solar inverter market. Their combined market share in utility scale projects in the latest available 12-month period has gone up to 46% from 1% just three years ago. 3 of the top 5 players are from China. There is a similar story in rooftop solar with aggregate Chinese market...


Module industry going through step changes   
19 November 2018 |

Global solar demand is expected to fall for the first time ever this year – to about 85-90 GW from 103 GW last year. Most of the leading countries including China, India, US and Japan are reporting significant declines in capacity addition. Result – multi-crystalline module prices have fallen to USD 0.22/ W, down nearly 40% in the last nine months and are predicted widely to fall further to USD 0.18-0.19/ W by Q2 next year...

Module industry going through step changes   
19 November 2018 |

Global solar demand is expected to fall for the first time ever this year – to about 85-90 GW from 103 GW last year. Most of the leading countries including China, India, US and Japan are reporting significant declines in capacity addition. Result – multi-crystalline module prices have fallen to USD 0.22/ W, down nearly 40% in the last nine months and are predicted widely to fall further to USD 0.18-0.19/ W by Q2 next year...


Gujarat aims for the sky
15 November 2018 |

In June 2018, the state government of Gujarat launched a new scheme – Suryashakti Kisan Yojna (SKY) – for developing distributed solar plants in rural areas. Under the scheme, farmers can set up solar PV plants up to a capacity of 1.25 kW per horsepower of contracted load. The pilot phase envisions a total capacity of 175 MW with a total capital cost of INR 9 billion (USD 0.13 billion)....

Gujarat aims for the sky
15 November 2018 |

In June 2018, the state government of Gujarat launched a new scheme – Suryashakti Kisan Yojna (SKY) – for developing distributed solar plants in rural areas. Under the scheme, farmers can set up solar PV plants up to a capacity of 1.25 kW per horsepower of contracted load. The pilot phase envisions a total capacity of 175 MW with a total capital cost of INR 9 billion (USD 0.13 billion)....

RE market forced to consolidate through the primary route   
13 November 2018 |

In the first nine months of this year, 10,081 MW of utility scale solar capacity has been auctioned, up nearly 70% over the entire year 2016. A close look at the auction results shows some very interesting trends – despite the sharp increase in auctioned capacity, number of winning bidders has fallen to 26 from 49 two years ago. Average winning bid size has increased to 124 MW from 63 MW...

RE market forced to consolidate through the primary route   
13 November 2018 |

In the first nine months of this year, 10,081 MW of utility scale solar capacity has been auctioned, up nearly 70% over the entire year 2016. A close look at the auction results shows some very interesting trends – despite the sharp increase in auctioned capacity, number of winning bidders has fallen to 26 from 49 two years ago. Average winning bid size has increased to 124 MW from 63 MW...


Sputtering RE needs decisive government help   
05 November 2018 |

India added total solar and wind capacity of 2,074 MW (up 70% over previous quarter) in Q3 2018. Total installed capacity reached 61.1 GW on 30 September 2018 – including 23.2 GW utility solar, 3.4 GW rooftop solar and 34.5 GW wind. Quarterly capacity addition has been highly erratic because of uncertain auction time-table. The sector faces several challenges related to government policy, transmission infrastructure and financing...

Sputtering RE needs decisive government help   
05 November 2018 |

India added total solar and wind capacity of 2,074 MW (up 70% over previous quarter) in Q3 2018. Total installed capacity reached 61.1 GW on 30 September 2018 – including 23.2 GW utility solar, 3.4 GW rooftop solar and 34.5 GW wind. Quarterly capacity addition has been highly erratic because of uncertain auction time-table. The sector faces several challenges related to government policy, transmission infrastructure and financing...


Solar sector faces growing water risk
30 October 2018 |

India’s solar sector is growing rapidly – total installed capacity has risen from just 1 GW in 2012 to over 25 GW at present and is expected to go up by over 10 GW every year. Fast growth and concentration in water-stressed areas exposes solar to growing water risks – scarcity, rising cost, poor quality, conflict with other social and economic uses and environmental degradation. We estimate that 94% of solar capacity...

Solar sector faces growing water risk
30 October 2018 |

India’s solar sector is growing rapidly – total installed capacity has risen from just 1 GW in 2012 to over 25 GW at present and is expected to go up by over 10 GW every year. Fast growth and concentration in water-stressed areas exposes solar to growing water risks – scarcity, rising cost, poor quality, conflict with other social and economic uses and environmental degradation. We estimate that 94% of solar capacity...


RE debt financing gets tougher   
29 October 2018 |

RE projects are facing increasing financing challenges. Liquidity in the Indian financial system has dried up considerably pushing up cost of debt finance by 1.0-1.5% over last year. To make matters worse, we understand that most private banks and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) are unwilling to finance RE projects at present. Tough financing conditions are expected to pose a formidable challenge for about 10,000 MW...

RE debt financing gets tougher   
29 October 2018 |

RE projects are facing increasing financing challenges. Liquidity in the Indian financial system has dried up considerably pushing up cost of debt finance by 1.0-1.5% over last year. To make matters worse, we understand that most private banks and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) are unwilling to finance RE projects at present. Tough financing conditions are expected to pose a formidable challenge for about 10,000 MW...


Impressions from an international module conference
25 October 2018 |

I attended one of the world's leading solar module industry events – PV ModuleTech in Penang, Malaysia – this week. There were about 200 participants from across the world including mainly all leading module manufacturers, various testing agencies and independent engineers. There were also a few project developers and investors such as Brookfield, Shell, 8minuteenergy, Clara and Mahindra...

Impressions from an international module conference
25 October 2018 |

I attended one of the world's leading solar module industry events – PV ModuleTech in Penang, Malaysia – this week. There were about 200 participants from across the world including mainly all leading module manufacturers, various testing agencies and independent engineers. There were also a few project developers and investors such as Brookfield, Shell, 8minuteenergy, Clara and Mahindra...