Solar’s Share in India’s Installed Power Capacity Mix Rises to 9.8% as of Q1 2020

The share of renewable energy (including large hydro) in India’s overall installed power capacity mix rose marginally to 36.2% at the end of the first quarter of 2020, from 35.9% at the end of the calendar year (CY) 2019, according to the data from the Central Energy Authority (CEA), and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

As of March 31, 2020, the country’s total installed power capacity stood at about 372 GW, up from 358.6 GW during the same time last year. Of this, the installed power capacity from renewable sources (including large hydro) accounted for about 134.7 GW, up from about 125.5 GW as of Q1 2019. Solar installations accounted for about 27.2% of the overall renewable capacity.

Renewable Power

Excluding large hydro projects, the contribution of renewables accounted for 23.9% of the country’s total power capacity mix. This includes installed power capacity from solar power (9.8%), wind power (10.1%), bio-power (2.7%), small hydro projects (1.3%), and waste-to-energy projects (0.04%).


MNRE’s data also showed cumulative wind power installations were higher than solar installations with about 37.7 GW of installed capacity, as of March 31, 2020, up from 35.6 GW last year. Large hydro projects were still the leading source of renewable power, with about 45.7 GW of installed capacity, up slightly from 45.4 GW, previously.

India - Cumulative Installed Power Capacity Mix

According to Mercom India Solar Project Tracker, India added ~950 MW (preliminary figures) of solar capacity in Q1 2020, and cumulative solar installations in India stood at ~36.6 GW by end of Q1 2020. Solar power represents 9.8% of the total installed power capacity in India as of Q1 2020.

Small hydro installations contributed a lower share than the same time last year at 1.26%, down from 1.28% last year. Installed capacity, however, was up at 4.68 GW from 4.59 GW the previous year.

Non-Renewables

Thermal power continued to hold a significant share of India’s installed power capacity mix. This includes installed power of coal (53.36%), gas (6.71%), lignite (1.78%), and diesel (0.14%). stood at about 230.6 GW up from 226.3 GW in the same period last year. However, the overall share of thermal power fell to about 62%, down from 63.1% percent last year, highlighting the progress made by renewable energy.

Coal-based power continued to be the dominant source of energy in India, with about 198.5 GW of capacity, up from 194.4 GW at the same time last year. Gas-based power installations rose marginally to 24.96 GW from 24.94 GW, previously. Lignite-based power installations rose marginally to 6.61 GW from 6.26 GW, previously.

The share of diesel-based power, however, fell to 509.7 MW from 637.6 MW as of Q1 2019. Nuclear power capacity remained unchanged from last year at 6.78 GW.

From the installation target of 175 GW of renewable capacity by the end of 2022, India aims to raise its renewable capacity to 450 GW by 2030.

MNRE Secretary Anand Kumar recently spoke about India’s plans for the renewable sector in the country in Mercom’s webinar that discussed the key trends in the renewable energy sector. A recorded version of the webinar can be viewed here.