Solar Power Generation in India Sees the Lowest YoY Increase in FY 2019-20
Electricity generated from solar represented 3.6% of the overall power generation
According to the data released by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), solar-generated electricity accounted for 50.1 billion units (BU) in FY 2019-20. This shows a growth of 28% year-over-year (YoY) compared to the FY 2018-19, where the total solar energy generated was 39.3 BUs.
However, the YoY increase was the lowest in the past six years as solar installations have slowed down considerably.
The quarterly (January-March, 2020) solar power generation reached a high of 15.3 BUs. In January-March, 2019, solar generation was 11.4 BUs, a 33% increase compared to the January-March quarter in 2019.
The solar power generation in March 2020 was 5.6 BUs. During January and February 2020, solar generation was 4.6 BUs and 5 BUs, respectively. Last year, in March 2019, the electricity generated from solar was 4.3 BUs.
During the FY 2019-20, electricity generation from all sources, which includes thermal, nuclear, hydro, biomass, bagasse, wind, solar, and other renewables, accounted for a total of 1,391 BUs.
According to the CEA report, the electricity generated from solar in FY 2019-20 accounted for 3.6% compared to 2.85% in FY 2018-19. It was even less in FY 2017-18, where solar-generated electricity was only 1.98% and just over 1% in FY 2016-17.
Even though solar was the most installed new power generation source over the past three years, in terms of generation, its contribution compared to coal is still very small.
Wind power generation was 4.65%, while hydro contributed 11.21% to the total power generation in the FY 2019-20.
Looking at the percentage of electricity generated from conventional and renewables sources, renewables, including large hydro, accounted for 21.2% against 78.8% generated from conventional sources, including electricity imported from Bhutan.
Compared to the previous two financial years – FY2017-18 and 2018-19 – renewable energy has increased by 3.8% and 2.2%, respectively.
Mercom also reported that, as of March 31, 2020, the country’s total installed power capacity stood at about 372 GW, up from 358.6 GW during the same time last year. Of this, the installed power capacity from renewable sources (including large hydro) accounted for about 134.7 GW, up from about 125.5 GW as of Q1 2019. Solar installations accounted for about 27.2% of the overall renewable capacity.
Image credit: Atlas Renewable Energy
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.