Indian power sector adds more new capacity in FY20 vis-à-vis FY19

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on May 11, 2020 Published on May 11, 2020

Renewables’ share grows to about one-fourth from 12% in 5 years

The Indian power sector (includes both conventional and renewables) managed to add more new capacity in FY20 than the previous fiscal amid some challenges.

For the third year in a row, the renewable sector added more new capacity than conventional energy sector and the clean energy sector now accounts for close to one-fourth of the total installed energy capacity in the country.

The total capacity addition of conventional and renewable segments stood at 15,776 MW in 2019-20 when compared with 14,204 MW in 2018-19.

For 2019-20, the conventional sector (including coal-fired and hydro categories) added a new capacity of 7,065 MW, up 25 per cent from 5,672 MW in 2018-19. In this, the coal-fired sector added a net capacity of 6,765 MW when compared with 5,532 MW in 2018-19. Hydro segment added 300 MW when compared with 140 MW in FY19, according to the data of Central Electricity Authority.

The renewable energy sector’s total new capacity addition stood at 8,711 MW in 2019-20 when compared with 8,532 MW in 2018-19. But, in these periods, both conventional and clean energy segments failed to meet the capacity addition targets due to several challenges faced by the respective sectors.

While renewable energy sector achieved only 74 per cent of the target (11,802 MW) for 2019-20, conventional segment’s new addition in FY20 was only 58 per cent of the target (12,186 MW) for the fiscal.

Renewables on the rise

Even though the Indian power sector continues to be dominated by conventional sources of energy (coal, diesel, gas, nuclear and large hydro), which accounts for nearly three-quarters of the country’s installed power generation capacity, there has been a progressive shift towards renewable sources (wind, solar, bio and small hydro).

In the last five years, the share of renewable energy (wind, solar, biopower and small hydro) in installed capacity has increased from 11.8 per cent (32 GW in March 2015) to 23.5 per cent (87 GW in March 2020). On the other hand, the share of thermal sources viz coal in installed capacity has been on the decline — from 61 per cent to 54 per cent — during this period, according to analysts at CARE ratings.

As of March 31, 2020, India’s total installed capacity (includes thermal, nuclear, hydro and renewable) stood at 3,70,317 MW. In this, the coal-fired segment’s share was 1,98,734.5 MW, while renewable energy sources accounted for 87,028 MW. Though the gap is wide, renewable is the second big segment after coal-fired category in total capacity.

While the western region leads in coal-fired power capacity at 72,935 MW, the southern region leads in renewable capacity at about 42,400 MW.

The power sector in the country has been affected by the prevailing slowdown in the Indian economy. The emerging economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic would add to the weakness in the sector. As a result, India’s power sector performance is expected to see a significant decline in 2020-21, pointed out CARE Ratings’ analysts.

Published on May 11, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!


Support Quality Journalism
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.