Solar Continues to Shine, Makes Up 8.7% of India’s Total Power Capacity as of June 2019

Renewables (including Large hydro) comprise ~35% of India’s total installed capacity


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

The share of solar capacity in the energy generation mix grew from 7.03% in June 2018 to 8.7% as of June 2019. Among the renewables, solar accounted for approximately 25% of the installed capacity.

According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, during the period between April and June 2019, Indian solar installations totaled approximately 1.5 GW (preliminary numbers). Cumulative solar installations at the end of June 2019 reached 31.5 GW, representing  8.73% of the total power capacity in India.

India - Cumulative Installed Power Capacity Mix (%)

India’s total installed power capacity stood at approximately 361 GW at the end of June 2019, with renewables accounting for 128 GW and making up 35%, an increase of 15% compared to the cumulative renewable energy installations at the end of June 2018.

The inclusion of large hydro as part of India’s push to achieve the Paris Climate Agreement goal of generating 40% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030, adds 45 GW to the renewable energy basket and the rest of the 82 GW comes from other renewables. As of June 2019, hydro made up 12.6% of total installed capacity with no new capacity added during the first half of 2019.

Wind power accounts for 36 GW of the total installed power capacity and nearly 10% of the overall power capacity mix as of June 2019. Since 2016, over 12 GW of wind projects have been auctioned and awarded by various state agencies in India. Of this, around 2.2 GW was auctioned between April and June of 2019. Mercom has previously reported on how low tariffs for wind projects are a bone of contention between the stakeholders and the government agencies.

Since the introduction of reverse auctions, tariffs have plummeted and have remained below the ₹3 (~$0.043)/kWh mark. To address the shortage of transmission infrastructure for wind and solar projects, 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.

Small hydro had a cumulative installed capacity of 4.6 GW, representing 1.28% of the total installed capacity and 4% among the renewable installed capacity at the end of June 2019.

Nuclear power has a total capacity of 6,780 MW and makes up 2% of the total installed power. There was no change in the capacity installed, but as installations from other sources are increasing, the share of nuclear power has continued to decline.

The share of thermal power is gradually declining as renewable energy capacity additions are rising. Coal power’s contribution (including lignite) fell to 56% in June 2019, while it accounted for 57% of the total installed power capacity back in June 2018.

India has set an ambitious target of adding 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, which includes 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from biomass and 5 GW from small hydro power. So far, the country has achieved around 47% of its 175 GW target capacity. This is well below the run-rate expected by the government. To achieve the 2022 target, India will have to greatly accelerate the pace of renewable installation goals.


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