Solar's Share in India's Installed Power Capacity Rises to 10.7%

India’s installed renewable energy (including large hydro projects) capacity stood at 141.4 GW, accounting for a share of 36.94% in the overall power mix at the end of Q1 2021, according to data from the Central Energy Authority (CEA) and Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker.

The share of renewable energy saw a marginal increase from the previous quarter when total renewable installations stood at 138.27 GW with a share of 36.7%. At the end of Q1 2020, the installed renewable energy (including large hydro projects) capacity was 134.69 GW, accounting for 36.20% of the total power mix.

Based on the preliminary numbers, solar installations increased, accounting for 10.69% of the total installed capacity compared to 10.33% in Q4 2020.  Wind installations also showed a marginal growth and accounted for 10.25% of the total capacity at the end of Q1 2021.

Meanwhile, biomass and small hydro accounted for 2.65% and 1.24%, respectively. Among renewables, solar accounted for nearly 29% of the total installed capacity at the end of March.

Energy from Conventional Sources

At the end of Q1 2021, conventional power sources had a cumulative installed capacity of nearly 241 GW, accounting for 63% of the total installed capacity – a small decrease from the last quarter’s number of 63.3%. The segment included power generated from thermal-based sources, including coal (52.9%), gas (6.5%), lignite (1.9%), and diesel (0.1%).

Coal continued to lead the way with nearly 202 GW of installations at the end of Q1 2021, a marginal increase from 199.8 GW at the end of Q4 2020. While the overall market share of coal dipped slightly and stood at 52.9%, the installed capacity of coal increased in Q1 2021. Large hydropower projects had the second largest market share with 12.07% of the total installed capacity.

Recently, India’s cumulative solar installations hit the 40 GW milestone, according to Mercom India Research. As of February 2021, the country’s total installations comprised 34.9 GW of utility-scale solar installations and 5.1 GW of rooftop solar installations

In February this year, Mercom reported that the share of solar power in India’s installed power capacity mix reached 10.3%, exceeding that of wind-based power sources for the first time. The share of installed wind capacity was 10.25%.