There has been a marked increase in new capacity additions of wind and solar, particularly rooftop solar, in the first quarter of 2020-21. The total renewable energy capacity in the country, as of July 31, was a shade under the 1-lakh MW mark — which means it could well touched the mark as of today.

Notably, the achievement in the three-month period accounts for 50 per cent of the target for the year.

What stands out starkly is the performance of the rooftop solar sector, where the achievement of 1,924.44 MW is 96.2 per cent of the annual target. After languishing for years, the rooftop solar sub-segment has perked up, with total grid-connected installations at 5,099 MW.

With these installations, India’s cumulative renewable energy capacity, at 98,882.73 MW, accounts for 25.2 percent of the country’s total energy capacity, crossing the 25 per cent mark for the first time.  

This, it must be pointed out, is not all of non-fossil fuel energy, because it doesn’t count the large hyrdo capacity, which is another 46,367 MW. Together with wind and solar, the total non-fossil fuel-based electricity installed capacity accounts for 37.54 per cent of the total installed capacity of 3,86,888.15 MW. 

Pertinent to note that in the 2015 Paris Agreement, one of the three commitments of India was that by 2030, forty per cent of India’s electricity capacity would be of non-fossil fuels. 

The Delhi-based cleantech think-tank, Council for Energy, Environment and Water, (CEEW), has pointed out that no fresh coal-power capacity was added during the quarter — for the first time in over 14 quarters.