India solar PV exports up 116 percent

It’s an exciting time for solar PV in India, as all signs are pointing to a very healthy market, which continues to grow at an impressive rate. New data, compiled by Mercom Capital, highlight this trend, as it shows that both exports and imports of solar PV modules and cells have increased dramatically year on year.

The steepest increase came from the country’s solar cell and module exports, which rose 116% from USD 19 million in April to July 2015, to USD 41 million in April to July 2016. Interestingly, the biggest driver for this was the U.K., who made up 34.1% of India’s total solar exports, even though the solar market in the U.K. is stalling in a big way. The second largest importer was Italy, making up 11.4%, while China finished off the top three with 10.7% of the imports.

There was another significant rise in the number of solar modules and cells imported by India during the period April to July 2016. Proportionally it was not as large as the export increase, but in terms of volume, it was significantly higher.

In fact, during this period, imports rose to USD 580 million, which is a 52% increase from the USD 381 million during the same period last year. Unsurprisingly, China made up the vast majority of these import, with 82% of the total share. Malaysia came in second at 12%, while Taiwan was third with just 3% of the total share.

The rise should come as little surprise, as the country strives to meet the ambitious target of 100 GW of installed PV by 2022. It is still a long way from this target, as Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker lists total installed PV at 8.6 GW.

“In order to reach the goal of installing 100 GW by 2022, developers will have to continue importing cheaper cells and modules to be able to compete in hypercompetitive auctions and build projects that yield decent returns,” commented Mercom Capital Group CEO Raj Prabhu.