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Renewables cross one-fifth of India’s total energy capacity

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on December 11, 2018 Published on December 11, 2018

With 24.33 GW, India is now the fifth largest solar market in the world in terms of installed capacity   -  A Shaikmohideen

Wind contributes 35 GW, solar 24 GW

With the rapid growth in capacity addition on the back of strong government push, the renewable sector now accounts for more than one-fifth of the country’s overall installed power capacity, a significant achievement in the clean energy push.

As of October 30 this year, the total installed energy capacity in the country stood at 347.37 GW. Renewables had a share of 21.12 per cent in it, with a total installed capacity of 73.35 GW, up from 15 per cent (46.33 GW) two years ago, according to government data.

Capacity addition

Of the 73.35 GW of renewable capacity, wind had a share of 34.98 GW, followed by solar at 24.33 GW, bio-power at 9.54 GW and small hydro power at 4.5 GW.

Though new capacity addition has slowed in the conventional segment, thermal power remains the largest with 63.84 per cent share (221.76 GW), followed by hydro power that had 13.09 per cent share with an installed capacity of 45.48 GW.

During the first seven months of this fiscal, thermal and hydro added 810 MW of new capacity to the grid. But the renewable sector added 3,568 MW of new capacity, which is about 23 per cent of the target (15,602 MW) set for 2018-19.

In Q3 and Q4, the renewable sector is expected to add significant capacity, while the outlook is remains bleak for the conventional segment.

In the renewable sector, projects aggregating 21.55 GW (13.8 GW in solar and 7.02 GW in wind) are under implementation, while 25.2 GW (22.8 GW of solar and 2.4 GW of wind) have been tendered out.

In the last four and half years (2014-15 to 2018-19), the renewable sector has added 37.84 GW of new capacity including 21.7 GW of solar, 13.98 GW of wind, 0.7 GW from small hydro power, and 1.5 GW from bio-power.

Solar market size

With 24.33 GW, India is now the fifth largest solar market in the world in terms of installed capacity. In wind power, India ranks fourth with a total installed capacity of 34.98 GW as of October. Tariff continues to stay at low levels with the registered lowest ever solar tariff of ₹ 2.44 per unit in reverse auctions carried out by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) in July for a 600 MW project. Also, the wind segment registered the lowest ever tariff of ₹2.43 per unit in a tender for a 500 MW project by the Gujarat Government a year ago.

Published on December 11, 2018
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