Renewable energy capacity additions continue to gain momentum in India and accounted for 20.32 percent of India’s capacity mix at the end of financial year (FY) 2017-18.
This is a substantial increase from the previous 17.5 percent share reported at the end of FY 2016-17, mainly due to the growth in solar.
At the end of FY 2017-18, the country’s total installed power generation capacity was 345 GW with renewables accounting for 70 GW of it, making up 20.32 percent. This was a 2.8 percent share increase over fiscal year 2016-17, which had cumulative renewable energy installations of 57 GW, or 17.50 percent of the total energy mix.
Due to an increase in installation activity, solar accounted for over 22 GW of the total installed capacity, representing 6.59 percent of overall capacity addition. Solar recorded the largest increase with capacity installations rising 89 percent YoY. The share of solar capacity grew from 3.76 percent as of March 2017 to 6.59 percent as of March 2018.
Wind currently accounts for over 34 GW of total installed capacity and 9.87 percent of overall power generation. But wind installations cratered in 2017-18, adding less than 2 GW in capacity additions, a decline of 68 percent YoY. The slowdown in installation activity can be blamed on the transition from a feed-in-tariff system to reverse auctions.
Recently, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) auctioned 2 GW of Interstate Transmission System (ISTS)-connected wind power projects under Tranche-IV, increasing the pipeline of new wind projects considerably. However, these projects will take some time to be installed.
Hydro power comprised approximately 13.12 percent with 45 GW of the capacity added in the country. In the previous financial year, hydro made up 13.61 percent. Capacity installations declined by 52 percent YoY.
The cumulative installed capacity of small hydro increased moderately with 4.5 GW of total installed capacity. The percentage share of small hydro in the energy mix has remained the same.
Nuclear power has a total capacity of 6,780 MW and makes up 1.96 percent of total capacity.
Despite the increase in renewable capacity addition, coal-fired capacity still dominates overall and accounts for 57.14 percent of India’s total installed capacity. Coal was the second most installed energy source but was less than half of solar with 5 GW installed compared to 10 GW of solar installations. Coal additions declined by 28 percent YoY.
By the end of FY 2017-18, the renewable energy numbers should have been more than where they stand currently. A slowdown in wind installations was the primary reason behind it.
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.