420 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) installed in India during 2014

Mercom Capital has released its 2014 forecast for the Indian solar energy market, predicting that state programs will drive the installation of 420 MW concentrating solar power (CSP) installed during the year.

It has been a quiet year for the Indian solar sector, with installations at 900 MW so far this year and final numbers forecasted to be similar to last year. With 420 MW of CSP projects missing commissioning dates, India is not likely to register any significant year-over-year installation growth for 2013, even as global solar market is forecasted to grow ~20%.

The guidelines and requests for selection (RfS) have finally been published for Phase II Batch I, for 750 MW of PV projects. Unfortunately, India has decided to include domestic content requirements for half (375 MW) of PV projects, which may be enough to cause a trade dispute but not enough to help domestic manufacturers. It is an unnecessary risk that raises uncertainty with minimal reward.

According to the proposed time line, these 750 MW of JNNSM Phase II projects will not be commissioned until at least May 2015. Therefore, projects under Indian state schemes are where the action will be in 2014.

The challenges faced by the Indian economy this year also affected the solar industry. This year the market has seen high inflation, an ~8 percent rise in module prices and a ~15 percent rupee depreciation, all of which contributed to