Solar Now Accounts for 9.2% of India’s Total Installed Power Capacity

The share of solar in the total power capacity mix grew by around 0.5% in the third quarter of 2019


In the quarter ending September 2019, India’s total renewable energy capacity (including large hydro) stood at 130.68 GW.

This translates into approximately 35.7% of the total installed power capacity in the country, which is around 366 GW. The share of solar in the total power capacity mix grew from 8.73% at the end of June 2019 to 9.2% at the end of September 2019.

India - Cumulative Installed Power Capacity Mix

According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, between July 2019 and September 2019, India added more than 2.2 GW (tentative) of solar energy capacity. Cumulative solar installations at the end of September 2019 reached 33.8 GW, representing 9.2% of the total power generation capacity in India.

Wind power accounted for 36.9 GW of the total installed power capacity and nearly 10.09% of the overall power capacity mix as of September 2019.

Large hydropower projects account for a significant part of the capacity installed in the renewable energy mix. It is around 45.4 GW or 34% of the total renewable energy capacity installed and 10.1% of the total power generation capacity installed.

Earlier this year, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the reclassification of large hydropower projects in the renewable energy mix. The inclusion of large hydro is part of India’s push to achieve the Paris Climate Agreement goal of generating 40% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030.

In May 2019, Mercom debated on whether the inclusion of hydropower in India’s renewable mix was a good move.

Small hydro accounted for 1.3% of the total capacity, with 4.6 GW installed while the installed biomass power capacity was more than twice of that of small hydro at around 9.8 GW or 2.7% of the total power generating capacity.

The installed power generation capacity of waste to energy sources was 139 MW.

In August 2019, renewable energy capacity additions crossed the 120 GW mark (including large hydro) and accounted for nearly 35.4% of India’s capacity mix at the end of June 2019.

To address the shortage of transmission infrastructure with rising wind and solar projects, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) has come up with a detailed proposal for establishing a transmission system for the evacuation of power from potential solar and wind energy zones in the country’s western region.

Image credit: INvergy

Shaurya is a staff reporter at with experience working in the Indian solar energy industry for the past four years in various roles. Prior to joining Mercom, Shaurya worked with a renewable energy developer and a consulting company. Shaurya holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.