Utility scale solar capacity addition in Q1 2020 was just 689 MW against our estimate of 1,864 MW. The slow progress was partly due to COVID-19 related disruption. Effects of the pandemic were felt starting late January followed by the Chinese new year holiday and subsequent lockdown in India. Even though project construction was exempted from lockdown from 20 April, significant slippage in commissioning progress is likely because of constraints in equipment and labour availability. We expect progress to be very slow in Q2 and Q3 2020.
Rooftop solar has also been hit badly with only 300 MW of estimated capacity addition in the busiest quarter of the year. This market may take longer to recover as consumers prioritise core business operations and conserve cash in view of the economic uncertainty. Despite the execution slowdown, tender issuance boomed in Q1 as SECI alone issued 9,414 MW of tenders. Total tender issuance and auctions during the quarter stood at 14,293 MW and 8,241 MW respectively.
Figure: Total installed and pipeline capacity at the end of March 2020
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