15 March 2018 04:51:19 IST

Solar power target likely to be missed, says CEO survey

The slow progress of rooftop installation is hitting the growth of solar power generation

‘Only close to 60% of 1,00,000 MW target of 2022 will be achieved’

A majority of chief executive officers in the Indian solar power industry expect the country’s solar power generation capacity to reach only 57,000 MW by 2022, significantly lower than the government’s target of 100,000 MW.

This is according to a survey of CEOs of 31 firms in the solar power industry in the country conducted by consultancy firm Bridge To India.

According to the survey, rooftop solar capacity addition is the main hurdle to achieving the government’s targets.

While 56 per cent of the respondents said the total solar power capacity in 2022 will be 57,000 MW, 48 per cent of the respondents said the capacity of rooftop solar will not be more than 10,000 MW.

The government’s target of 100,000 MW of solar power capacity by 2022 envisages 60,000 MW coming from utility scale solar power projects on the ground while 40,000 MW from rooftop projects.

More than third of the respondents also said that grid integration and availability of transmission capacity remain the biggest challenge for the solar power industry in India. This is first time Bridge To India has undertaken a CEO survey.

The anonymous survey included respondents from the Aditya Birla Group, First Solar, Fortum India, Hero Future Energies, SkyPower, L&T, Moser Baer Solar, and Vikram Solar. The consultancy firm also released the 2016 edition of its India Solar Handbook consisting of projections and outlook for the solar market in India.

4th largest market

Bridge To India predicts that the country could become the fourth largest solar market in 2016 with new capacity addition expected to be 5,400 MW in 2016.

However, the consultancy firm flags off concerns about the slow growth of solar power in major electricity consuming States like Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

“The southern market would be saturated in 2-3 years so the challenge is to see where the medium-term demand for solar power comes from. Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra will need to increase solar power development,” said Vinay Rustagi, Managing Director, Bridge To India.

Rustagi also predicts that a trend is going to emerge wherein developers with projects on the ground start to sell their plants in order to participate in future tenders.

“Already, we are seeing Welspun looking for buyers, Azure Power is gearing up for an initial public offering. The need to churn capital for the project developers is only going to increase,” he said.