India Generated 5.3 Billion Units of Solar Power in Q3 2017, a 91 Percent Increase YoY


Solar accounted for 5.3 billion units (BU) of electricity produced in India during the third quarter (Jul-Sep) of 2017, a 91 percent increase over the third quarter of 2016, according to data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA). By comparison, solar electricity generation registered 5.5 BU in Q2 2017.

Solar Power Generation by Quarter

Solar electricity generation accounted for 1.65 percent of the total power generated in the country for the six-month period ending in September 2017, up from 1.09 percent for the full fiscal year (FY) 2016-17. Solar’s share of the electricity generated by renewable energy sources increased to 18.9 percent from 16.5 percent recorded for FY2016-17.

During the third quarter of 2017, 2,529 million more units of solar were generated compared to Q3 of 2016. The increase is due to a gradual increase in the number of grid-connected solar projects being commissioned.

Solar Power Output in 9M 2017

Solar electricity generation registered 15 BU in the first nine months of 2017, an 88 percent increase over the 8 BU generated during the first nine months of 2016.

So far in 2017, solar generation has peaked at nearly ~2 BU in May and September.

Solar Power Generation by Month

According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, 2.2 GW of solar projects were installed from July to September 2017 period.

According to Mercom’s recent Q3 2017 India Solar Quarterly Market Update, the Indian solar sector is witnessing strong activity this year, with cumulative installations crossing the 17 GW mark at the end of Q3 2017. The report forecasts that total solar installations in India will range from 9.5 GW to 10 GW for the full calendar year 2017, and approximately 7 GW in 2018.

However, market activity has decelerated recently due to the uncertainty around anti-dumping investigation leading to a slowdown in tender and auction activity. Ambiguity surrounding GST rates and a trend of state-run distribution companies (DISCOMs) asking developers to match the lowest possible tariffs are all negatively affecting sector growth.

Solar project auction activity in October 2017 witnessed a steep 54.9 percent decline while tenders were up 25.3 percent compared to September 2017.