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India’s solar open access installations up 92%, with 2.5 GW added in 2022: Report


New Delhi: India added 2.5 gigawatts (GW) of solar open access in 2022, an increase of 92% compared to the 1.3 GW installed in calendar year 2021, adding that this was the highest on record, according to the newly released report: 2022 Q4 & Annual Mercom India Solar Open Access Market Report.

“Installations reached an all-time high in 2022 as various organizations and developers rushed to finish projects before basic customs duty (BCD) and Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) regulations were enacted. Commissioning of projects delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic also added to the total,” it added.

In 2022, Karnataka added the most solar open access capacity, followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The top five states comprised 77% of total installations during the year.

India added 293 MW of solar open access capacity in Q4 2022, down 52% quarter-over-quarter. Quarterly installations were down almost 10% year-over-year (YoY).

The top five states contributed over 96% of all open access installations in Q4 2022. Karnataka remained the leading state, accounting for over 32% of capacity addition in the quarter.

As of December 2022, the cumulative installed solar open access capacity reached 7.7 GW.

The development pipeline of solar open access projects in the country was 6.6 GW as of Q4 2022 – almost 70% of the pipeline was spread across – Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.

As of December 2022, Karnataka remained the top state, accounting for almost 36% of cumulative solar open access capacity. Maharashtra followed, making up over 12% of the total installations.

In short-term markets, Andhra Pradesh was the largest electricity supplier in the Green Day-Ahead Market (G-DAM), accounting for over 40% of the market in Q3 2022.

Gujarat became the leading energy procurer from G-DAM, followed by Maharashtra, representing 14.6% and 12.5%, respectively, of the total power purchased in Q3 2022.

During Q4, the Delhi High Court suspended trading of renewable energy certificates issued before October 31, 2022, for six weeks, adversely impacting trading.

“Solar installations in the open access segment outpaced regulatory challenges and recorded the best year-to-date, despite the odds. Overwhelming growth reflects demand by the industries and commercial units keen on sourcing clean power and capitalizing on the economic benefits. Though the government has announced that consumers with a sanctioned load of 100 kW or more are eligible to source green power through open access, consumers below 1 MW demand remain largely underserved and an untapped market,” said Priya Sanjay, Managing Director at Mercom India.

The report offers a detailed analysis of the solar open access segment in seventeen states, including open access charges, retail supply tariffs, and market size.

The average PPA prices, net landed costs, banking regulations, short-term transactions, and open access policies and regulations released in Q4 2022 are also featured in the report.

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