India adds record 1,700 megawatt rooftop solar capacity in 2021: Mercom

NEW DELHI: India installed a record 1,700 megawatt (MW) of rooftop solar capacity in 2021, registering a 136 per cent year-on-year rise, according to a Mercom India Research report.

The country had added 719 MW of rooftop solar capacity in 2020, the research firm said in its latest report on Wednesday.

India added a record 1.7 GW of rooftop solar capacity in 2021, the highest ever in a year. The installations were up 136 per cent compared to 719 MW in 2020, the Annual 2021 India Rooftop Solar Market Report said.

In 2021, the residential and commercial segments accounted for 35 per cent and 33 per cent of installed rooftop solar capacity, respectively. Industrial rooftop solar installations constituted 26 per cent, and the remaining 6 per cent was from the government segment.

“The rooftop solar market in India had its best year, largely due to the pent-up demand from 2020, which experienced a severe decline due to the COVID-19. Certainty around net metering regulation helped along with the demand from consumers across all segments residential, commercial, and Industrial. An increase in component costs will dent demand in 2022, but we still expect positive growth this year,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

Gujarat was the leading state for cumulative rooftop solar installations with a 27 per cent share, followed by Maharashtra and Rajasthan, which added 14 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively. The top 10 states accounted for approximately 85 per cent of cumulative rooftop solar installations in 2021.

According to the report, the installations could have been higher if there were no price increases in components, commodities, and raw materials.

“The increase in the rate of goods and services tax (GST) was also a big blow for installers. The average cost of a rooftop solar system increased by 14.75 per cent, compared to October-December 2020. Installers had to increase prices in 2021 to match the 12 per cent GST hike and combat materials cost increases.”

However, in 2021, tenders of over 1 GW of rooftop solar capacity were issued, a 56 per cent jump year-on-year. Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) contributed to 27 per cent of the total issued tenders. Distribution companies in states like Maharashtra, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Karnataka accounted for 29 per cent.

According to the report, distribution companies issued empanelment tenders in Kerala, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Haryana, West Bengal, Tripura, and Karnataka under Phase-II of MNRE’s rooftop solar programme during 2021.

Source: Press Trust of India

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