India Solar Rooftop - 01 (Landing Page)

India Solar Rooftop Map | December 2017

India adds new rooftop solar capacity of 840 MW in the 12 months ending September 2017

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International Solar Alliance (ISA), launched by India and France at COP 21 summit in November 2015, finally became a recognized organization under United Nations charter on December 6, 2017. It has initiated three programs so far – scaling solar applications such as solar water pumps and lighting systems for agricultural use, ensuring sufficient flow of affordable finance and promoting installation of solar mini grids. Another program on promoting rooftop solar on government buildings in member nations is believed to be in preparatory stage.

  • Majority of member nations are the least developed African nations or small island nations under threat from climate change;
  • Aggregation of demand through global tenders appears to be one of the central tenets of ISA to reduce cost and improve scale;
  • Securing large scale funding remains critical to ISA’s success but concrete commitments have not really materialized so far;

ISA was conceived with the objective of undertaking collective activities to ensure better access to finance and promotion of R&D, innovation and capacity building in the sector. The goal is to facilitate installation of 1,000 GW of solar capacity globally by mobilizing USD 1,000 billion in investments by 2030.

But turning the vision into tangible progress has been difficult. A total of 121 solar resource rich countries lying between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn had agreed to join the alliance. But so far, only 46 countries have signed up. And only 19 of these – mostly from Africa (Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, Mali, Niger, South Sudan, Somalia) and small island nations in Indian and Pacific Ocean (Fiji, Seychelles, Comoros, Cuba, Mauritius, Nauru, Tuvalu) – have ratified the framework agreement.

Using some lessons learnt from the Indian market, ISA plans to use aggregation of demand and global procurement to scale up deployment at reduced costs. There are talks of floating a global tender for installation of 500,000 solar water pumps in India, Bangladesh and Uganda. More details are awaited but we suspect that such schemes will face challenges because of differences in local requirements, technical specifications and payment systems.

As we stated previously, ISA’s real opportunity lies in raising international funding support to fight climate change. ISA has signed some tentative financial cooperation agreements with European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank and the World Bank but there are no firm commitments.

It is not surprising that ISA is struggling to define its core agenda and rally support from other nations and international institutions. It is the first sectoral body of its kind. As a founding member, it is up to India to show clarity of vision and demonstrate leadership through progress in domestic market.

FULL STORY

The UP state government has approved a new solar policy with a target of developing 10,700 MW of total solar capacity in the state by the year 2022. 60% of this target (6,400 MW) is proposed to be developed through utility scale projects and balance 40% is planned for rooftop solar systems.  The total target has been determined so as to achieve renewable purchase obligation of 8%. The policy has some attractive provisions on paper in line with many other states. But it lacks specifics and is very generic in nature leading us to question if it will make any material difference on-the-ground.

BRIDGE TO INDIA has released the latest edition of its India Solar Rooftop Map report. As per the report, India added new rooftop solar capacity of 840 MW in the 12 months ending September 2017. Total installed capacity as of September 2017 stood at 1,861 MW. The sector has grown at a CAGR of 83% from 2013 to 2017 but growth in 2017 is expected to slow down to 60%.

M&A activity in the Indian renewable sector has been building up for some time but actual deals have been slow to materialize. Last month, Equis announced the sale of its 4.7 GW Asia pacific renewable IPP business to a consortium comprising Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), China Investment Corporation and Public Sector Pension Investment Board of Canada. The Equis portfolio comprises over 600 MW of renewable assets in India including 414 MW of operational wind and 130 MW of operational solar assets.

For more than 2 years, there have been persistent concerns that aggressive bidding in solar auctions is storing up trouble for the sector. Fortunately for the sector and the winning bidders, equipment costs kept falling more sharply than market expectations – 20% and 25% in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Developers have ridden the wave of falling costs and project delays to make handsome profits.

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India Solar Navigator is a comprehensive, real-time, online database of government policies, tenders, projects and market players. The database covers both utility scale and rooftop solar markets.

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