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India's Solar Energy Sector Faces a Setback Amid Global Renewable Energy Growth

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Dil Bar Irshad
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India's Solar Energy Sector Faces a Setback Amid Global Renewable Energy Growth

In a notable shift in India's renewable energy landscape, the country saw a 47% decline in solar installations over the first three quarters of 2023. The drop, which equates to 5.6 GW of installed capacity from January to September, comes amid various challenges faced by the solar industry. The factors contributing to the decrease include project execution delays, pricing fluctuations due to an oversupply of solar modules in China, and uncertainties around transmission connectivity procedures.

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India's Solar Energy Stumbles

India's solar energy sector experienced a substantial setback, recording a 47% decline in installations in the first three quarters of 2023. Despite a quarter-over-quarter improvement of nearly 6%, the annual trend indicates a significant slowdown. The reasons behind the decline range from project execution delays to the effects of an oversupply of solar modules from China, leading to unstable pricing. Uncertainties in transmission connectivity procedures further compounded the issues, collectively hindering the growth of solar energy installations in India.

Buoyancy in Global Renewable Energy

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While India grapples with its solar energy challenges, elsewhere, companies like German energy giant RWE and JSW Energy of India are forging ahead with ambitious growth plans. RWE aims to increase its clean energy capacity to 65GW by 2030, with a total investment target of €55 billion. JSW Energy, on the other hand, plans to add another 10.2GW of renewable energy projects by FY30, demonstrating a strong commitment to green energy.

Manufacturing Advancements and Market Expansion

On the manufacturing front, GCL SI, a leading solar manufacturer, is expanding its solar module manufacturing capacity to meet growing demand. Solar Steel is also extending its footprint, moving into the Latin American market with significant solar tracker supply deals. These advancements and market expansions underline the global momentum towards solar energy adoption.

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Wind Power Market Trends

The global wind power market is on an upward trajectory, adding nearly 78GW of capacity in 2022, and projected to add over 100GW in 2023. Although there have been challenges in onshore wind installations, the offshore wind sector has shown strong growth. The cumulative installed wind capacity currently stands at 906GW, with an expected addition of 680GW over the next five years. This robust growth, however, only represents 68% of the capacity needed for alignment with net zero goals, highlighting the need for an accelerated push in the wind power sector.

Implications and Opportunities

The challenges faced by India's solar energy sector underscore the need for addressing regulatory uncertainties and market dynamics. Conversely, the ambitious growth strategies of companies like RWE, JSW Energy, GCL SI, and Solar Steel signal a global momentum towards clean energy. The continued expansion of the wind power market also offers opportunities for meeting climate goals and promoting renewable energy sources. Collaborative efforts, innovation, and investment are essential to accelerate this transition towards a sustainable and low-carbon energy landscape.

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