India added nearly 2,247 MW of solar capacity during July-September period, registering a 15.40 per cent growth as compared to 1,947 MW added in Q2 of 2017, a recent survey revealed.
According to the survey by Mercom Capital, with the addition of 2,247 MW, the cumulative installed capacity between January-September 2017 stands at 7,149 MW. However, the report said, like in the preceding quarter, many project commissioning dates were delayed with many postponed to next year.
Approximately 1 GW of large-scale projects with construction completed have not yet been officially commissioned due to grid connection and evacuation delays caused by government agencies, further contributing to the slower than expected installation figures seen in Q3.
In the third quarter, large-scale solar projects accounted for 1,982 MW and made up most of the installation total, while rooftop installations accounted for the remaining 265 MW. In the first three quarters of calendar year 2017, solar installations totalled 7.1 GW.
The survey said, the pipeline of utility-scale projects is currently around 11.5 GW and another 5.6 GW of tenders are pending auction.
“Even though the Indian solar market is on pace for a record-breaking year, the momentum has definitely slowed,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group. “Just like the preceding quarter, we saw many project commissioning dates get delayed. In addition, there are approximately 1 GW of large-scale solar projects that are complete but unable to get connected to the grid. These factors are likely to lead to a weaker-than-projected Q4.”
According to the survey, the biggest challenge now facing the sector is rising Chinese module prices. The Indian solar market has grown accustomed to seeing the price of Chinese panels consistently fall quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) and year-over-year (YoY). But for the first time in many years Chinese module ASPs increased in price by 14 percent in Q3 2017 compared to Q2 2017.