Solar Power Generation Dipped in the Third Quarter of 2019 By Nearly 14%

However, there was an increase in the solar generation year-over-year


Solar power generation numbers declined by 14% quarter over quarter (QoQ) in the third (Q3) quarter of 2019. Solar power generation in India stood at 10,530 million units (MUs), according to the data released by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

The decline in generation numbers is not a surprise as the quarter coincided with the monsoon season when solar generation typically dips.


India Solar Electricity Generation by Quarter

Solar power generation numbers, however, increased by 25% year-over-year (YoY) compared to  Q3 2018.

In the first nine months (9M) of the calendar year (CY) 2019, solar power generation totaled 34,207 MUs, a 29.6% increase on a YoY basis when compared to the 26,449 MU of solar electricity generation in 9M of CY 2018.

Solar power generation peaked in March and April. The decline in solar power generation started in May and June; this has been a yearly trend, which is clear in the monthly chart below. The rainy season in the country affected solar power generation significantly.

India Solar Electricity Generation by Month (in MU)

Solar power generation in India has continued to grow, albeit at a slower pace despite nagging issues such as curtailment, low tariffs, delayed payments, and lack of availability of transmission infrastructure and land.

Recently, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued a letter to the chief secretaries of all states and union territories, asking them to ensure that ‘must run’ status has been accorded to both wind and solar power projects in the states in line with the Indian Electricity Grid Code 2010 and the Electricity Act 2003. However, it remains to be seen what the MNRE can do if states continue to violate the must-run status rules. This challenge, which is becoming widespread, has started to affect the solar generation and needs to be addressed immediately to the meet solar installation goals by 2022.