Bridge India

Weekly Update: Managing uncertainties in the Indian solar market

The global markets are gung-ho on solar PV. The US aims to bring the cost of distributed solar power down to USD 0.06/kWh (INR 3.5/kWh) in the next six years under its SunShot program (refer). China wants to increase its installed capacity to 70 GW in the next four years (refer). Most large module manufacturers are turning a corner and coming back into profitability.

  • India to be a key solar market in future
  • Currently, Indian lags behind due to policy uncertainty, regulatory confusion and lack of synergy between state programs and the national mission
  • Now, the proposed imposition of anti-dumping duties provides a crucial testing period for the sector  

Expectations in India too have been high as the new government was sworn in last month (refer). No one disputes the fact that India is going to be a key solar market of the future. The International Energy Agency (IEA) even predicts that in terms of yearly installations, India will overtake the US by 2023 and China by 2029. However, as of today, India is underperforming. Policy uncertainty, regulatory confusion and lack of synergy between state programs and the national mission has led to dampening of enthusiasm. The international interest that had come to India around the time projects were being installed in Gujarat is fading. Several large equipment suppliers and even some Indian and international project developers are trying to diversify their focus away from India. Now, the proposed imposition of anti-dumping duties provides a crucial testing period for the sector (refer).

With firm opposition to the duties from the project developers as well as from MNRE, there is still hope for a turnaround in sentiment. The Indian market has always needed to be approached with grit and patience. This is true for all sectors, not just solar. The fundamentals for mass adoption of solar in India are still in place and becoming even more pronounced by the day. The current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and the new government have sent out several signals that solar is going to play a crucial role in India’s energy security. If Modi’s track record on solar in Gujarat is anything to go by, the government will soon take the market out of its current policy limbo.

Jasmeet Khurana is the Sr. Manager- Consulting at BRIDGE TO INDIA.

1 comment

  • It is very important that the GoI come out with a clear policy and backs it up with finances for the next 5 years. And it is very important to have a consistency in policy. It should be possible since Mr. Modi has a stable government with a clear majority on its own. And consistency in policy is something that Mr. Modi mentioned in his 10-point agenda. I hope even for solar, achchhe din aane waale hai…

    – Prashant.