India’s solar installations cross a record 10 GW capacity in 2021: Mercom Report

In a record 210 per cent increase year-over-year (YoY), India has added 10 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity in the calendar year (CY) 2021, compared to 3.2 GW installed in CY 2020, according to the recently released 2021 Q4 and Annual India Solar Market Update by Mercom India Research,  

Solar installations in India in 2021 were the highest ever with the country breaching 10 GW for the first time in a year. During CY 2021, large-scale solar projects accounted for 83 per cent of installations with 8.3 GW and saw a 230 per cent increase YoY. Rooftop installations made up the remaining 17 per cent adding 1.7 GW, a 138 per cent spike YoY.

A significant number of projects which were moved from 2020 to 2021 due to COVID-19 extensions have upped the installation totals in 2021. The cumulative solar installed capacity in India was approximately 49 GW at the end of Q4 2021

Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh were the top three states for large-scale solar installations. Average large-scale project costs in Q4 increased 21.6 per cent YoY in 2021, the highest ever in the past ten years.

According to the report, India’s installed renewable energy capacity, including large hydro projects, stood at 150.9 GW, accounting for 38.4 per cent of the overall power mix at the end of December 2021. Newly installed solar capacity in 2021 reached a new high, making up 62 per cent of all power capacity installed in 2021.

Solar accounted for 62 per cent of new power capacity additions in 2021 – the largest share of power capacity and renewable energy sources accounted for about 77 per cent of the new power capacity added in 2021. According to Mercom, the demand outlook for 2022 is strong, but significant challenges await the industry, beginning with the basic customs duty, import restrictions, and the goods and services tax on top of global supply chain issues, and high component prices. “Challenges aside, the Indian solar market has significant growth potential and is only just starting to take off,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

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