Read a news item recently on Mercom Capital’s latest quarterly update on the Indian solar market.

This report forecasts about 2,150 MW in solar installations for the 2015 calendar year and expects installations in 2016 to reach approximately 3,645 MW.

(Interestingly, the same report estimates the projects under construction at 7494 MW, but presumably they do not have enough trust in some of these projects. Who can blame them, with the kind of financial closures many solar power plants are facing!)

While Mercom is close to target in 2015, I doubt if folks from MNRE will like the forecast for 2016. 3645 MW! MNRE is probably targetting a much higher number, perhaps higher than 5000 MW.

Where does Solar Mango think the actual installations be?

At Solar Mango consulting, we completed a comprehensive study in September of how the solar installations in India will grow. While this was done to estimate the growth of the solar module sector, it gave us insights to what could be the actual growth in solar power plant installation in India in 2016.

Based on the September 2015 study, we estimated that India will add about 4500 MW of grid-connected ground mounted solar power plants and about 350 MW of rooftop solar in 2016. Together, that comes to 4850 MW, say about 5 GW.

Three months further, I am willing to bet that utility scale solar power plant installations will be slightly higher than 4500 MW, I think utility scale solar power plants alone will touch 5000 MW in 2016 (calendar year). On rooftops, I am not so bullish, I think it will be only the same as what we estimated.

So, what is my estimate of the total solar power plant installation in 2016? 5000 MW of ground mounted + 400 MW of rooftop, so that would be 5400 MW, or 5.4 GW.

Let’s round it up, so we all can remember it easily: 5.5 GW

Catch me around same time next year – either to congratulate me on my ability to gaze the crystal ball well, or to console me with “Forecasts are a really devious thing, you know!”.