Solar Accounts for 15% of Installed Power Capacity in 2022; Coal Drops Below 50%

India's renewable energy capacity increased to 166.9 GW at the end of Q4 2022


At the end of the calendar year (CY) 2022, India’s renewable energy capacity, including large hydroelectric projects, made up 40.75% of the country’s cumulative power capacity, with 166.9 GW, according to data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), and Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker.

The total renewable energy share in the power mix increased marginally from 163.7 GW, which was 40.3% of the overall power capacity mix in the previous quarter.

Cumulative Power Mix %

According to the data, solar power accounted for a significant portion of the total power capacity and also renewables. It made up 15% of the total installed power capacity and 37% of the total installed renewable capacity. This is an increase of 0.6% from the last quarter, where solar accounted for 36.4% of the total renewable capacity.

Large hydro, with a total installed capacity of 46.85 GW, accounted for nearly 11% of the total installed power capacity as of December 2022.

Wind installations in India stood at 42 GW, making up 10.2% of the country’s overall installed power capacity.

Biomass and small hydro represented 2.49% and 1.21% of the total installed power capacity as of December 2022.

Energy from conventional sources

As of December 2022, the total installed energy capacity from conventional power sources stood at approximately 242.6 GW, making up 59.3% of all installations. This was a slight decrease from the previous quarter, where it made up 59.7% of all installations.

The data pertains to electricity generated from thermal sources, which includes coal (49.8%), gas (6.1%), nuclear (1.7%), lignite (1.6%), and diesel (0.14%) as the main components.

Coal remained the top power source, with a total of 203.8 GW of coal-powered installations by the end of December 2022, a slight decrease from the 204.1 GW in the previous quarter. As a result, the market share of coal power decreased to 49.8% in Q4 2022.

Last November, the Ministry of Power proposed that any coal-based thermal generation station coming up after April 1, 2024, must either install or procure renewable energy equivalent to 25% of the thermal generation capacity. The government is looking to operationalize a provision in the Tariff Policy, 2016, which says that the renewable energy produced by each generator could be sold after bundling it with thermal energy.

Earlier, the Ministry of Power had set the trajectory for replacing thermal power with renewables by the financial year (FY) 2025-26 to achieve 500 GW of non-fossil fuel-based capacity by 2030.