Solar’s Share in India’s Installed Power Capacity Rises to 11.2%
Conventional power projects still hold the largest share in the overall power mix, with 62.6%
India’s installed renewable energy (including large hydro projects) capacity stood at 143.9 GW, accounting for a share of 37.4% in the overall power mix at the end of the second quarter (Q2) of 2021, according to preliminary data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker.
The share of renewable energy saw a marginal increase from the previous quarter (Q1 2021), when total renewable installations stood at 141.4 GW with a share of 36.94%. Meanwhile, at the end of Q2 2020, the installed renewable energy (including large hydro projects) capacity was 135.22 GW, accounting for 36.26% of the total power mix.
Based on the preliminary numbers, solar installations increased, accounting for 11.2% of the total installed capacity compared to 10.69% in Q1 2021. Wind installations also showed a marginal growth and accounted for 10.26% of the total capacity at the end of Q2 2021.
Meanwhile, biomass and small hydro accounted for 2.64% and 1.25%, respectively, in Q2 2021. Among renewables, solar accounted for nearly 30% of the total installed capacity at the end of June 2021.
According to Mercom India Solar Project Tracker, government agencies announced tenders for 8.5 GW of solar projects in the second quarter of the calendar year (CY) 2021, a 19% decrease compared to 10.6 GW in the previous quarter. However, the figures were up 60% compared to the same period last year, when only 5.3 GW of solar tenders were announced.
Energy from conventional sources
At the end of Q2 2021, conventional power sources had a cumulative installed capacity of nearly 240 GW, accounting for 62.59% of the total installed capacity – a small decrease from the last quarter’s number of 63%. The segment included power generated from thermal-based sources, including coal
(52.49%), gas (6.48%), lignite (1.72%), and diesel (0.13%); nuclear power made up 1.76% of the total cumulative installed power capacity mix.
Coal continued to lead the way with nearly 202 GW of installations at the end of Q2 2021, a marginal decrease from 202.6 GW at the end of Q1 2021. The overall market share of coal dipped slightly and stood at 52.49%, along with the installed capacity of coal in Q2 2021. Large hydropower projects had the second largest market share with 12.04% of the total installed capacity.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), coal accounts for 70% of India’s power generation while solar is less than 4%. However, solar energy will witness exponential growth and match coal’s share in the Indian power generation mix by 2040 or earlier. The share of coal is expected to decline from 44% in 2019 to 34% in 2040.
Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.