Solar Makes Up for 11.8% of India’s Total Installed Power Capacity
Coal still led the way with a total market share of 52% at the end of Q3 2021
India’s installed renewable energy (including large hydro projects) capacity stood at 147.8 GW, accounting for 38% in the overall power mix at the end of the third quarter (Q3) of 2021, according to data released by the Central Electricity Authority, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker.
The share of renewable energy increased from the previous quarter (Q2 2021) when total renewable installations stood at 144.4 GW with a share of 37.5%.
Based on CEA’s preliminary numbers, solar accounted for 11.8% of the total installed power capacity at the end of Q3 2021, compared to 11.3% in Q2 2021. Wind capacity also increased marginally to 10.3% compared to 10.2% at the end of the last quarter.
Biomass and small hydro accounted for 2.6% and 1.2%, respectively, at the end of Q3 2021.
India added 2,488 MW of solar capacity, an increase of 19% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) compared to 2,090 MW installed in Q1 2021, according to Mercom’s Q2 2021 India Solar Market Update. The cumulative solar installations at the end of Q2, 2021, reached 43.6 GW.
Energy from conventional sources
At the end of Q3 2021, conventional power sources had a cumulative installed capacity of 240.8 GW, accounting for 62% of the total installed capacity – a slight decrease from last quarter’s 62.5%. The segment included power generated from thermal-based sources, including coal (52%), gas (6.4%), nuclear (1.8%), lignite (1.7%), and diesel (0.1%).
Coal continued to lead the way with 202 GW of installations at the end of Q3 2021. The numbers marked a slight decrease from 202.01 GW in Q2 2021. The overall market share of coal also decreased slightly to 52%, compared to 52.4% in the previous quarter. Large hydro with a market share of 12% accounted for the second-largest share of the total installed capacity at the end of Q3 2021.
An earlier report by the International Energy Agency said that solar energy will witness exponential growth and match coal’s share in the Indian power generation mix by 2040 or earlier.