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Renewable energy capacity additions continue to increase at a significant pace in India, accounting for approximately 22 percent of India’s power capacity mix at the end of December 2018.

India’s total installed power capacity stood at around 353 GW at the end of December 2018, with renewables accounting for 77.5 GW making up 22 percent,  compared to cumulative renewable energy installations of 65.3 GW at the end of December 2017 which represented a  19.4 percent increase.

According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, solar accounted for approximately 27.9 GW of the total installed generation, which is 7.91 percent of the total installed power capacity. The share of solar in the energy generation mix grew from 5.79 percent in December 2017 to 7.91 percent in December 2018. Among the renewables, solar accounted for approximately 36 percent of the installed capacity.

Solar’s Share in India’s Total Installed Capacity Rises to 7.9% at the End of 2018

Wind accounts for 35.1 GW of the total installed power capacity and nearly 10 percent of the overall power capacity mix as of December 2018. Due to slowdown in 2018, this implies a slight rise from the 32.8 GW of installed capacity and 9.8 percent of the overall power capacity mix in December 2017.

Hydro power’s cumulative installations stood at 45.4 GW, making up 12.9 percent of India’s total installed capacity, a decline compared its share of 13.4 percent at the end of 2017.

Small hydro had a cumulative installed capacity of 4.5 GW, representing 1.28 percent of the total installed capacity at the end of December 2018.

The share of nuclear power has declined from 2.02 percent as of December 2017 to 1.92 percent as of December 2018, with no capacity installed during the year.

Thermal power (which includes coal, lignite, gas and diesel) is still the predominant source of power in the country with its cumulative installations reaching 223 GW, representing 63.2 percent of the total installed power capacity. Coal power accounted for a significant share of the mix, with 54.2 percent of the total installed power capacity, followed by natural gas at 7.1 percent, lignite at 1.8 percent and diesel with a minute 0.18 percent share.

However, thermal power’s share of the overall power mix is gradually declining with the significant rise in renewable energy capacity additions. Coal power’s contribution (including lignite) fell to 56 percent in December 2018, while it accounted for more than 57 percent of the total installed power capacity back in December 2017.

Current installation trends show the country’s steady transformation from fossil fuels towards renewable energy.


is a Research Associate at Mercom India. Prior to Mercom, Pratheeksha was an Associate Analyst at GlobalData where she authored and published syndicated research reports in the power generation industry. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Electrical & Electronics from PESITM and Master’s degree in Electrical Power Systems from the Adichunchanagiri Institute of Technology at VTU University.