With solar boom, 5.6GW RE added in 9 months

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on January 17, 2018

Rooftop capacity to cross 1 GW

The solar power sector continues to drive the addition of renewable energy capacity in the country. Also, rooftop solar capacity is in the verge of crossing the 1GW mark during this fiscal.

In the first nine months of this fiscal, the renewable energy sector added 5,603MW of new capacity, of which 85 per cent came from solar. The clean energy sector had added 4,341MW of new capacity in the same period previous fiscal.

In April-December 2017, ground-mounted solar projects added 4,492MW, and rooftop projects brought in 272MW. Capacity addition in the wind power sector was 569 MW. Bio power and small hydro added 232 MW and 38MW, respectively.

Telangana was the front-runner, with grid-connected solar power capacity of 2,990MW as on December 15, 2017.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has fixed a total capacity addition target of 14,550MW for this year. In this, solar is expected to add 10,000MW and wind 4,000 MW. “Wind industry is poised to grow to 8-10GW annually, with 5-6GW annual bidding from the Central government level, 3-4 GW capacity auctions from the nine windy States and 1GW capacity expected from the PSU and captive markets,” according to Tulsi Tanti, Chairman, Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association.

He said there are challenges in capacity addition in the wind segment. “While the wind industry’s transition to the bidding regime created short-term challenges in 2017, it has laid the foundation for sustainable and inclusive sector growth,” he added.

As of December 31, 2017, the total installed renewable power capacity in the country stood at 62,847 MW. The wind power segment accounted for 32,848MW. Solar was the second major segment with a total capacity of 17,053MW, which includes 982MW of rooftop. Bio, small hydro and waste-to-power segments had cumulative capacities of 8,414 MW, 4,418MW and 114 MW, respectively.

Presently, six waste-to-energy plants using municipal solid waste, with a cumulative installed capacity of 65.75MW, operate in the country.

Published on January 17, 2018

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