Solar Power Generation Jumps by 73 Percent YoY in Q2 2018

In Q2 2018, solar generation grew by 11 percent compared to the preceding quarter


India’s efforts toward installing solar to meet country’s energy requirements has led to a substantial increase in solar power generation.

According to the data released by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), solar power generation in the second quarter (Q2) of calendar year (CY) 2018 spiked by 73 percent year-over-year (YoY) to 9,514 million units (MUs) compared to Q2 2017 when approximately 5,487 million units (MUs) were generated by solar projects.

Solar Power Generation Jumps by 73 Percent YoY in Q2 2018

Solar energy generation also witnessed growth of 11 percent quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) when compared to Q1 2018, which accounted for over 8.5 billion units (BUs).

In the period between April and June 2018 (Q2), Indian solar installations totaled ~1.4 GW (preliminary numbers). Solar installations in Q2 2018 were much lower when compared to Q1 2018, at ~3.3 GW.

As of June 31, 2018, over 24.4 GW of solar have been installed in the country, according to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, representing a 7.03 percent share of the total power capacity in India.

In the first half of 2018, the total solar power generation accounted for over 18.05 BUs, an increase of over 86 percent from the 9.67 BUs generated in the first half of 2017.

Solar Power Generation Jumps by 73 Percent YoY in Q2 2018

Although the progress has been impressive, solar still has a long way to go to become a leading source of energy generation in India. India’s solar sector could grow faster if several lingering issues are addressed by government agencies sooner rather than later.

Despite the increase in renewable capacity addition, coal-fired capacity still dominates and accounts for 56.66 percent of India’s total installed power capacity. In June 2017, coal accounted for 58.64 percent of total installed power capacity, a 2 percent decline YoY.

Installation trends clearly indicate India’s gradual transition to renewable energy, even as coal remains the major source of the country’s power production.

Recently, a new report by Coal India Limited sheds light on the increasing significance of renewable sources, especially solar, which could soon become a key substitute for coal-fired power in India.

There seems to be a disconnect between the government’s push towards renewable energy and the priorities of government owned banks in India. Public sector banks in the country funded more coal projects than renewable projects in 2017, according to the latest report issued by the Center for Financial Accountability (CFA), a financial institution monitoring institute.

Image credit: Hareon Solar

is a Research Associate at Mercom India. Prior to Mercom, Pratheeksha was an Associate Analyst at GlobalData where she authored and published syndicated research reports in the power generation industry. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Electrical & Electronics from PESITM and Master’s degree in Electrical Power Systems from the Adichunchanagiri Institute of Technology at VTU University.