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| Last Updated:06/02/2020

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Growth in solar installations may be elusive in 2014

MUMBAI: Growth in Indian solar installations, which are forecast to be approximately 1,000 MW in 2014, has slowed down, according to Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy consulting firm.

Solar installations in India totalled 1,004 MW in 2013 compared to 986 MW in 2012. There was very little growth in installations year-on-year. Mercom's survey of the market revealed that growth in installations might be elusive again in 2014 with numbers forecast to be similar to 2012 and 2013.

Mercom said there are several factors behind the slow solar growth. With a few exceptions, there is no Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) PV projects expected to come online until at least mid-2015.

It is time for developers to go directly to consumers, there is a large power-starved market waiting to be served that looks better every day as diesel prices keep climbing," said Raj Prabhu, CEO and co-founder of Mercom Capital Group.

In addition to difficulties with project economic viability stemming from reverse auctions that have pushed down project margins, state policies have seen frequent delays. Mercom said there is no real renewable purchase obligation (RPO) enforcement in place and national elections are fast approaching adding more uncertainty to India's solar market which could result in a slowdown in large-scale solar project installations.

The government of India announced partial deregulation of diesel prices in January 2013, by incremental price increases of approximately Rs. 0.50 per month for retail customers. This rise has resulted in an approximately 15% increase in diesel prices over the last 13 months, making solar a very attractive option. The case for solar in India will remain strong as long as the relevant policy goals address power shortages that affect millions of Indians, businesses, industries, and agriculture,'' added Prabhu.

The Times of India (25-02-2014)