According to latest Mercom analysis, the global solar sector received $2.8 billion in corporate funding globally – which was up 10% in Q1 2019, compared to Q1 of 2018.
Mercom CEO Raj Prabhu explained that the solar industry was on a much stronger footing at the start of 2019, compared to 2018, the year that witnessed tariffs, subsidy and installation cuts in China, and a module glut. “However, China is still a wild card, and depending on its 2019 policy direction, it could have a significant impact on the solar industry,” the CEO said.
2019: Drastic drop in solar auctions, but solar announcements soar
Mercom’s analysis of India’s solar sector says auction activity in March drastically dropped to a meagre 750 MW, almost one-fourth of the capacity auctioned in February. The auctioned capacity in March 2019 was also lower when compared year-over-year with 1 GW of solar auctions conducted in March 2018, reported Mercom. But last month also witnessed far better solar announcements with 5.3 GW of solar capacity tendered through the month, 1 GW higher than the capacity tendered in February 2019, according to Mercom’s India Solar Tender Tracker.
Developers upset, govt says auction cancellations saved them money
Solar auctions for around 8,000 MW capacities worth Rs40,000 crore were cancelled last year, leaving investors and developers in the lurch. In 2019 as well, developers are facing uncertainties as central and state governments as well as a private distribution companies cancelling bids.
The report said, India could add only about 8,250 MW of solar capacity in 2018, which was 15.5% less than 9,775 MW added in 2017. ET quoted top government official saying the cancellations of solar projects helped governments in the states and at the Centre save over Rs 3,000 crore.
Centre to make recycling of solar waste mandatory
The Indian government finally proposed to make it mandatory for solar developers to recycle glass PV panels. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had directed the government to prepare norms to manage Antimony present in solar glass panels. The government concept note says that developers will have to ensure safe handling of used solar waste, as it should never be disposed or dumped in open landfills. Meanwhile, energy consultancy firm Bridge to India, in its latest report, flagged the urgent need for India to have a solar waste management policy to help avoid potentially hazardous end-of-life module waste in India.
Wind energy firm Suzlon sells solar assets
One of the largest Indian wind energy company Suzlon Energy, has sold its solar assets to CLP Wind Farms Limited, a subsidiary of Chinese company CLP. Since the beginning, Suzlon was doubtful about its future due to the alleged policy bias towards the solar power sector, reported Clean Technica. The company also had millions of dollars of debt, the report said.