Unsubsidized solar installations rise by 68% in India in Q1


From pv magazine India

India installed 518 MW of new open-access solar capacity in the first three months of 2023, over 68% up from 308 MW installed in the fourth 2022, according to Mercom India. Installations fell 37% year on year.

Karnataka led with over 55% of capacity additions in the first quarter, followed by Maharashtra (14%) and Tamil Nadu (8%). As of March 2023, the pipeline for open-access solar projects stood at 6.4 GW, with Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Gujarat accounting for over 68% of the pipeline.

Module price reduction and relaxed ALMM mandate led to decreased project costs in in the first quarter, making PPA prices attractive. This, along with C&I entities fulfilling RPO, drove capacity additions.

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The cumulative installed solar open-access capacity reached 8.3 GW by March 31, 2023, with Karnataka leading at over 37% and Maharashtra at over 12% of total installations.

“Despite regulatory challenges in many states, open-access solar demand continues from industries and commercial units keen on reducing their energy costs and locking in tariffs for the long term,” said Priya Sanjay, managing director at Mercom India. “With most state discoms raising retail tariffs and the solar project costs declining, we could see growth continuing in the next few quarters.”

The report offers a detailed analysis of the solar open access segment in 17 states, including open-access charges, retail supply tariffs, and market size.

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