A new quarterly update from a research agency assumes that in the 2020 calendar year (January to December) an expansion of solar capacity by 2.8 GW is expected, while wind energy is expected to add only 1.2 GW. However, from the next two quarters, i.e. fourth quarter 2020 and first quarter 2021, things should start to improve, when around 4 GW of new solar capacity, 1.8 GW of new wind capacity and 790 MW of hybrid projects should come on stream. That’s the stark but hopeful message from the quarterly report from JMK Research and Analytics.
With a cumulative total solar capacity of almost 38 GW by the end of the year, the forecasts are once again a clear reminder that despite all the assurances to the contrary from the MNRE ministry, almost no one in the industry believes India will come close to its 100 GW target for solar until 2022.
This is because even after taking into account the current pipeline of solar, wind and hybrid projects with 49 GW and 18 GW projects that are still in the tendering phase, the numbers keep getting out of reach every month. Be aware that a significant portion of the pipeline is also suspect due to cancellations or disputes that can cause further delays.
Solar roofs, which could have played a savior if only authorities had paid the same amount of attention as utility-scale solar, will with luck add nearly 1 GW this year after adding 883 MW by September 30.
In the third quarter of 2020, 32 new tenders with a total capacity of 7.2 GW were published for the solar and wind segment, while only 10 new tenders with a capacity of 40 MW were carried out in the solar roof segment.
This means that the predicted overtaking of wind capacity by solar energy may not happen this year but next year. The delay is mainly due to the sharp decline in solar and wind capacity expansions, especially in solar.
The report claims that Chinese brands continue to dominate, with Longi Solar leading in module supply while Sungrow is leading in the inverter segment.
Interestingly, prices continued to decline in the third quarter, with the price of Chinese multicrystalline modules (excluding VAT and protective tariffs) being around 17.5 to 18.2 US cents / Wp in the third quarter of 2020. This corresponds to a decrease of 13 percent compared to the prices of the third quarter of 2019. The prices for mono modules were around 20 to 21 US cents / Wp in the third quarter of 2020. The good news? Approximately 50 percent of the module shipments appear to have been Mono Perc, which shows a welcome shift towards better quality modules.