Solar open access installations rise by 143% YoY in nine months of 2021: Report

India’s solar open access installations have totalled 307 megawatts (MW) in the third quarter (Q3) of 2021, an 85 per cent year-over-year (YoY) increase compared to 166 MW in the same period last year, said Mercom’s India Solar Open Access Market Report Q3 2021.

During the 9 months of 2021, nearly 935 MW of open access solar capacity was installed, marking an increase of 143 per cent compared to 385 MW during 9M 2020. The pipeline of solar open access projects under development and pre-construction is estimated to be 1.1 gigawatts (GW). As of September 2021, the cumulative installed solar capacity in the open-access market was 4.8 GW.

According to the report, Uttar Pradesh led the way with most installations, accounting for 35 per cent of the total projects installed during the quarter. Tamil Nadu also showed significant growth of 381 per cent quarter on quarter (QoQ) in installations due to the state’s favourable regulatory framework and tariff structure.

Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka were the other states among the top five. In Q3 2021, the top five states accounted for about 96 per cent of open access installations. Karnataka led the way in cumulative installations, with Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra making up the top five.

“The demand for procuring renewables in the open access market is increasing every quarter, indicating the market’s high potential. Corporates are trying to match their power demands through renewable sources,” commented Priya Sanjay, Managing Director at Mercom India.

Further she added that the C&I establishments across the board are sourcing solar through open access to meet their commitment to sourcing renewables and mitigating climate change.

The report states that developers insist on uniform regulations across the state and log-term policies without retrospective changes. Issues like banking of renewable energy and withdrawal process are not covered appropriately in the tariff orders or the open access regulations. As a result, developers face uncertainty and have to file petitions. The report also gives an insight into the short-term transactions, such as the day-ahead market (DAM), bilateral contracts, real-time market (RTM), and the green-term ahead market (GTAM) within the open-access space.

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