India’s total solar energy potential is estimated at around 750 GW. Against a near-term target of 100 GW by 2022, the country had installed a total of 31.69 GW of cumulative grid-connected solar capacity as of Oct. 31, 2019.
While annual capacity additions have nearly doubled every year since 2014-15, the 2018-19 period was an exception, with annual capacity additions plunging to 6.5 GW, versus 9.36 GW in 2017-18. Capacity additions hit 5.5 GW in 2016-17 and 3.02 GW in 2015-16, according to statistics that were recently published by Minister of Power Raj Kumar Singh.
“PV installations are estimated to have decreased in 2019 compared to 2018 due to political uncertainties, module price increases associated with safeguard duties, and a fewer number of awarded tenders,” said Dharmendra Kumar, senior analyst for IHS Markit.
Issues like delays in payments by distribution companies in some states, delays in the adoption of tariffs by state electricity regulators, and the reopening of contracts by the Andhra Pradesh state government have also hurt investor sentiment. But following a period of turbulence, annual installations are set to pick up significantly in 2020 to march well past the 10 GW mark.