The second quarter of 2021 achieves a hefty 664% year-on-year growth in open access solar installations

India’s solar open access installations added up to 209 megawatts (MW) in the second quarter (Q2) of 2021, a 664 per cent increase year-over-year (YoY) over 27 MW in the same period last year, according to Mercom’s India Solar Open Access Market Report Q2 2021.

So far, Uttar Pradesh has added the largest solar open access capacity in Q2 2021, followed by Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. The top three states accounted for 83 percent of the solar installations in the quarter. Cumulative installations in the solar open access market have reached 4.5 gigawatts (GW) as of June 2021.

 Moreover, the government is also promoting green open access under its ‘Draft Electricity (Promoting Renewable Energy Through Green Energy Open Access) Rules, 2021.

The solar open access market installed 628 MW of capacity in the first half (1H) of 2021, a 12-fold growth compared to 47 MW installed in the same period last year. Uttar Pradesh led the way with the highest installations in 1H 2021, followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

According to Mercom’s report, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh currently have conducive open access policies. The commercial segment also has potential for captive open access projects in Maharashtra.

As of June 30, 2021, Karnataka is the largest market for solar open access cumulatively, followed by Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. The top five states account for 73 percent of the total solar open access market in India.

According to the report, the demand for procuring renewables in the open access market has been increasing every quarter. Many corporates have been trying to meet their power demands through renewable energy sources.

However, regulatory inconsistency and policy U-turns have hindered the growth of the open access market. State governments are also levying new charges or increasing the existing charges to avoid losing high-paying consumers. Open access project developers believe uniform regulations across states and long-term policies without retroactive changes and charges are necessary for the market to scale.

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