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Indian Solar sector to report highest-ever annual new capacity addition in 2021

G. Balachandar | | | Updated on: Nov 30, 2021
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India's solar capacity addition has already crossed 10 GW so far

The renewable energy sector is likely to end 2021 with record new capacity additions by solar sector and a strong revival in wind power segment. New capacity addition in the solar power segment has is 10.19 GW (including utility scale, rooftop and off grid systems) for the period January-October 2021. Solar sector’s previous highest capacity addition in a calendar year was 9.6 GW in 2017.

“2021 is going to witness the highest ever solar installations in India to date. Projects that got delayed because of the Covid situation are now getting commissioned and the next two quarters are going to witness huge capacity additions,” Jyoti Gulia, founder, JMK Research and Analysis, told BusinessLine .

Surge in installations

The current quarter will see a substantial surge in installations, with expected addition of about 3.5 GW of utility scale solar, 1.2 GW of wind capacity and 1 GW of hybrid capacity. JMK Research estimates that about 11 GW of utility scale solar capacity and about 3 GW rooftop are expected to be added in 2021. Wind power segment is likely to add 2.8 GW of new capacity, the highest number in recent years.

If the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic does not strike between November and December 2021, then it is likely that the renewable sector will achieve this target, it added. The Centre has set a target for achieving 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by the year 2022. As of October 31, 2021, India had 103.04 GW of renewable capacity, of which solar accounted for 47.66 GW while wind power contributed 39.99 GW. Biopower and small hydro accounted for 10.58 GW and 4.82 GW respectively. But including the large hydro sector, the total installed capacity in the renewable sector is about 150 GW.

Meanwhile, projects worth 63.64 GW capacity are under various stages of implementation and 32.06 GW capacity under various stages of bidding. Therefore, a total of 245.70 GW capacity has either been installed or under various stages of implementation/bidding, says a government document.

Also, letters of award were issued on October 4, 2021, to establish aggregate capacity of 5,000 MW of solar PV power plants using domestically produced solar PV cells and solar PV modules by IREDA under Tranche-III of Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s CPSU Scheme Phase-II.

Published on December 01, 2021

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