India surpasses 7 GW of unsubsidized solar capacity


From pv magazine India

India installed 1.9 GW of open-access solar (PV backed by private contracts) from January to September, marking a 96% increase from the 956 MW installed in the same period in 2021, according to a new report by Mercom India.

The nation surpassed 7 GW of cumulative, “open-access” solar capacity in December 2021. Karnataka leads with almost 38% (around 2.7 GW of the total) of the country’s cumulative 7 GW open-access solar capacity capacity. Maharashtra has installed the second highest amount of open-access solar capacity at 801 MW (around 11% of the total).

The report noted high electricity tariffs, timely approvals by distribution companies (discoms), and a favorable regulatory framework as the main drivers for open-access solar expansion in Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu.

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The nation added 596 MW of open-access solar capacity in the third quarter of 2022, from 312 MW installed in the third quarter of 2021. As of Sept. 30, more than 5 GW of open-access PV projects were in the pipeline (under development and pre-construction phase).

“The demand by corporates for solar under the open access route has been phenomenal. The growth would have been steeper if not for the supply constraints and price increase. The pipeline of projects to be commissioned is impressive and bigger than ever,” said Priya Sanjay, managing director of Mercom India. “While the demand has mostly been from large corporates, there is a huge untapped market of SMEs and MSMEs due to lack of awareness.”

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