Renewable energy generation in India is on the rise. As of March 31, 2017, renewable energy sources accounted for 17.5 percent of all power generated in India. The country’s total installed power generation capacity was 326,848.54 MW with renewables accounting for 57,260.23 MW.
At the end of the fiscal year (FY) 2015-16, cumulative renewable energy installations were 42,726.49 MW, which constituted 14.15 percent of the total energy mix. Installations for the year grew substantially, increasing their share by 3.37 percent.
Hydro power makes up 13.61 percent with 44,478.42 MW of the total power generated in the country. In the previous financial year, hydro made up 14.17 percent with 42,783 MW of the total power generated.
The cumulative installed capacity of small hydro has increased slightly with 4,379.85 MW of total installed capacity. The share of small hydro in the energy mix has dropped by 0.08 percent from FY 2015-16.
Nuclear power has a total capacity of 6,780 MW and makes up 2.07 percent of the energy generation, up from 5,780 MW in the previous financial year.
The solar sector is witnessing installations at a rapid pace and had the largest gain in share with ~5.5 GW of installations in FY 2016-17. Solar accounts for 12,288.83 MW of the total installed capacity which represents 3.76 percent of the overall power generation. The installed capacity of solar has almost doubled from 6,762.85 MW in the previous financial year. Solar recorded the largest increase with its share rising from 2.24 percent at the end of FY 2015-16 to 3.76 percent as of March 31, 2017, an increase of 1.52 percent.
The wind sector recently implemented competitive bidding process to develop wind power projects of 1,000 MW at a record low tariff, giving a boost to future wind auctions and installations. Wind currently accounts for 32,279.77 MW of the total installed capacity and 9.88 percent of overall power generation. At the end of the FY 2015-16, wind energy comprised 8.86 percent of the cumulative energy mix with installed capacity of 26,743.31 MW. Wind’s share has risen by 1.02 percent as of March 2017.
India’s energy sector is undergoing a steady transformation. Renewable energy capacity addition is rising while thermal power’s share is gradually declining. For the first time ever, the percentage of coal (thermal) in India’s energy mix has gone below 60 percent even though nearly 7 GW were installed in FY 2016-17. Coal’s share slumped the most, decreasing by 2.53 percent from 61.32 percent to 58.79 percent as of March 2017.
According to the recently released Q1 India Solar Market Update, Mercom forecasts 2017 solar installations to reach approximately 10 GW, a ~130 percent increase year-over-year compared to 4.3 GW installed in 2016 as India becomes one of the top solar markets in the world after China and the United States.