India adds 2 GW of utility scale solar capacity in 2015; to install 4.8 GW in 2016

11 January 2016 |

BRIDGE TO INDIA research shows that utility scale solar projects totaling up to 4.8 GW of capacity will be commissioned in the calendar year 2016, a growth of 140% over capacity commissioned in 2015. Contrary to popular perception, new capacity addition in 2016 will be driven largely by state level allocations. Delays in new allocations by NTPC and SECI mean that most of the recently allocated or under allocation capacity under National Solar Mission (NSM) will get commissioned only by about H1 2017. This may still allow the government to reach closer to the official target of 7,800 MW for utility scale projects for the upcoming financial year (April 2016 to March 2017) (refer).

  • The market is expected to grow significantly in 2016; capacity addition in the first quarter of 2016 is expected to be equivalent to the entire capacity added in 2015
  • Southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka are expected to add 80% of all new capacity in 2016
  • There is little doubt that capacity additions in 2017 will surpass capacity additions in 2016, catapulting India to become one of the key global markets for at least the next two years

In 2015, India’s utility scale solar capacity grew by 2 GW, double the rate of capacity addition in years between 2012 and 2014 but substantially below our estimate of 2.45 GW (India Solar Handbook 2015, refer) because of delays in projects in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Punjab. Out of the 2 GW commissioned in 2015, 700 MW of capacity was completed under central government allocations, 850 MW under state allocations and the remaining 450 MW under other heads, including private initiatives. The Indian government’s utility scale solar target of 1,800 MW for the current financial year (ending 31 March 2016) will be easily met.

In calendar year 2016, southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka would contribute to almost 80% of all new capacity addition. With a strong pipeline of state level projects to be commissioned through 2016 and a significant capacity addition expected through central government allocations in the first quarter of 2017, the utility scale solar market also seems to be on track to meet the targets for the next financial year.


The government’s ambitious plan to ramp up capacity addition for utility scale projects from 1 GW per year until last year to 7.2 GW planned in the next financial year, now seems plausible. This is further expected to be ramped up to 10,000 MW in 2017-18. However, it is not going to be easy to sustain this momentum as states are expected to assume the responsibility for further growth once the central government led allocations begin to dry up. We foresee evacuation of power and grid stability becoming big bottlenecks for future growth as several gigawatts of capacity comes up in the southern states itself. The speed of implementation of the inter-state evacuation corridors will be key to the success of these initiatives and sustainable growth of the market.

Recent reports

Technical Standards For Balance of Systems In Solar Projects

India’s solar capacity has grown from just 10.5 GW to 52 GW in the last five years and the country has adopted ambitious target of building 280 GW s...


India PV Module Intelligence Brief – Q4 2021   

BRIDGE TO INDIA has released a new quarterly report India, India PV Module Intelligence Brief, capturing ongoing demand-supply, pricing, technology an...

Buy Report

Solar pumps – waiting to take off   

The government has set a target to install 2 million off-grid and 0.75 million grid connected agricultural solar pumps by FY 2023. However, progress h...

Buy Report Download Executive Summary

India Solar Rooftop Map | December 2021

India Solar Rooftop map is an info-graphic report providing a snapshot of rooftop solar market in India – capacity addition across states and consum...


India Solar Map | December 2021

India Solar Map 2021 is an infographic report that provides a state-wise break up of utility scale solar commissioned and pipeline capacity. It also s...


Green Recovery Through Renewables

The Covid 19 crisis provides an opportunity for India to change its development trajectory and focus on green power and sustainability. This report sh...

Award winnig research
We use cookies to offer you an optimal user experience and collect information on website usage.