With the addition 8.40 GW to the grid, the solar power segment in the country has achieved its highest ever half-early capacity addition in this calendar year. 

The new capacity addition in the solar power segment during January-June 2022 period stood at about 8.36 GW (includes utility-scale, rooftop and off-grid), based on data provided by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. 

According to JMK Research, the solar segment’s new capacity addition during the first half is 71 per cent higher compared to the year-ago period. Among the states, Rajasthan, which is the leader in renewable capacity in the country, added the highest capacity of 4.5 GW capacity, followed by Gujarat (1.5 GW) and Tamil Nadu (0.86 GW) during H1 of 2022. 

Capacity addition

During the first half of 2022, the total renewable capacity addition was about 9 GW, of which about 8.4 GW came from the solar segment alone. Given the current level of growth, the solar segment is expected to end 2022 with a record level of capacity addition. In 2021, it added a new capacity of 11.88 GW, which was the highest-ever annual capacity addition in a calendar year. 

As of June 30, 2022, the total grid-connected capacity of renewables stood at 114 GW. Of this, the solar power segment accounted for 57.71 GW, followed by wind power at 40.79 GW and biopower at 10.21 GW. The small hydro segment accounted for 4.89 GW.    

The Central Government had set a capacity addition target of 175 GW of renewable power by the end of 2022. In this, solar power capacity should be at 100 GW, while wind power’s capacity is expected to reach 60 GW. Biomass power and small hydropower segment capacities are expected to be 10 GW and 5 GW respectively.  

On track

“The country’s capacity addition in the utility-scale domain has been commendable and it is on track to achieve nearly 97% of its 60 GW target. While on the other hand, in rooftop solar, just over a quarter of the 40 GW target is likely to be achieved. By December 2022, this segment is expected to fall short of its target by 25 GW,” JMK Research said. 

Meanwhile, the Union Minister of New and Renewable Energy told Lok Sabha last week that solar projects of 48.71 GW capacity are under implementation, and 16.69 GW are at tendering stage. Thus, 123.11 GW of solar power capacity has either been commissioned or is in the pipeline. 

In November 2021, the Central Government enhanced the national target for non-fossil fuel-based installed capacity to 500 GW, to be achieved by 2030. Out of which, solar’s contribution is estimated at 300 GW. Thus, a yearly augmentation of about 27 GW of solar capacity would be required. 

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