India’s Solar Power Generation Up 10% YoY in 2023 Despite Lower Capacity Additions

Solar generation decreased by 28% YoY to 18.1 BU in Q4 2023


India generated around 104.83 billion units (BU) of solar power in the calendar year (CY) 2023, a 10.17% increase from 95.15 BU generated in 2022, according to the recent data published by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

Solar generation has grown steadily since 2019. Consistent solar capacity additions throughout 2023 have supported the increase in generation during the year.

Solar power generation during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023 was 18.06 BU, a fall of 27.5% year-over-year (YoY) from 24.91 BU.

The generation was down by 33% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) from 26.97 BU.

The northern region generated the highest amount of solar power during the quarter, with 10.4 BU, accounting for 38.9%, followed by the southern region with 9.93 BU and the western region with 5.9 BU, accounting for 37.3% and 22.3%, respectively.

The eastern and northeastern regions accounted for 1.1% and 0.3%, respectively.

Rajasthan continues to be the highest solar power generating state with 8.6 BU, followed by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu with 3.6 BU and 3.3 BU, respectively.

Solar generation in Rajasthan fell by 9.6% QoQ, but in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, it was up by 4.9% and 6.3%, respectively.

Rajasthan was the top state for utility-scale solar projects, with a cumulative installed capacity of ~16.7 GW at the end of Q3 2023. The state is home to about 28.2% of the country’s installed solar power capacity. Rajasthan is also the first state in India to surpass 10 GW of cumulative large-scale solar installations. Karnataka had the country’s second-largest operational utility-scale solar project portfolio, with 9.3 GW as of September 2023, representing 15.8%, according to Mercom India Research.

India’s installed renewable energy capacity, including large hydro projects, stood at 178.9 GW, accounting for a 42.3% share of the overall power capacity mix at the end of 2023, according to data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), and Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker.

Solar power accounted for 16.8% of the total installed power capacity and 40.1% of the total installed renewable capacity, up from 39.3% in the previous quarter.

To accelerate solar capacity additions, MNRE issued an agency-wise bidding calendar for 50 GW of renewable energy projects for the financial year 2023-24. Of this, 30 GW was to be bid in the first two quarters and 20 GW in the later quarters.

Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker provides access to the most comprehensive database of large-scale solar projects covering commissioned and under-development projects.