Tata Power and Adani top India’s solar developers, ABB is biggest inverter supplier

Australia's Macquarie has invested around $600m in India's solar market.

As one of solar’s burgeoning markets, India has plenty of intriguing PV data that adequately maps out the growth of the clean energy technology in the country. To date, approximately 9.6 GW of solar PV has been installed in the country, with a 14.2 GW solar pipeline in development, and tenders with 6.3 GW of solar projects waiting to be auctioned.

In its recent report, Mercom’s Solar Quarterly Market Update Dec 2016, market analyst Mercom Capital has, among other things, outlined the top solar developers in the country, as well as the top inverter suppliers to the market to date, with Tata Power and ABB leading the charge, respectively.

Tata Power tops developers through acquisition

Out of the 200 solar developers currently active in the utility-scale solar market in India, the top 20 account for almost 60%, of which Indian company Tata Power has almost 10% of the total, with 850 MW in operation. Interestingly, Tata Power has an acquisition model, which sees the company acquire the projects once they have been developed.

In second spot is another domestic company, Adani, who operates 800 MW utility-scale projects in the country, while ACME is in third with approximately 500 MW. Adani tends to develop its own projects, and with a project pipeline of over 1.2 GW, it is expected to overtake Tata in top spot in 2017.

Adani’s enormous pipeline is not the largest utility-scale pipeline that one single company has in India, as ReNew Power actually has a 1.3 GW solar pipeline, putting it on top with almost 10% of the market. With all of this utility-scale solar under development within the country, it is safe to say that utility-scale solar will make up the majority of installations in India for the foreseeable future.

European inverters the Indian pick

In the same report, Mercom outlined the top inverter manufacturers for solar projects in India. Interestingly, it was Swiss power electronic company ABB that finds itself on the top of the pile, after supplying a total of 3 GW of inverters to projects, making up 22% of the Indian inverter market. In second spot is German company SMA, with 2.4 GW of inverters installed, making up 18% of the market, and then finishing off the top three is Astronergy with 15% of the market.

It is curious that neither of the world’s largest inverter suppliers in terms of volume, Chinese companies Huawei and Sungrow, are in the top eight inverter suppliers to India. It is unclear why the two companies have found it difficult to penetrate India’s market, but this trend is not expected to continue, with Mercom forecasting Chinese inverter companies to start making inroads into the Indian market soon.