Renewables surpass other energy sources in capacity addition in FY17

India added 12.5 gigawatt of renewable energy capacity compared to 10.2 gigawatt from conventional sources of fuel in financial year 2017


Solar capacity addition was 6.8GW in FY17. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Solar capacity addition was 6.8GW in FY17. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

New Delhi: Capacity addition from renewable energy sources surpassed conventional sources for the first time in financial year 2017 as India added 12.5 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy capacity compared to 10.2GW from conventional sources of fuel.

“India added 12.5GW of renewable energy capacity during financial year 2017, surpassing capacity addition from conventional sources of fuel estimated at 10.2GW, in sync with global trends,” said a report by Elara Capital, which was released on Wednesday.

Of the 10.2GW of capacity addition from conventional energy, 74% came from thermal, while the rest came from hydro and nuclear power projects.

In financial year 2016, capacity addition from renewable energy was about 6.9GW, and from conventional sources about 23.3GW.

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The report is based on data from the Union power ministry and the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE).

The analysis said it signals a clear shift to renewable energy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has set an ambitious renewable energy target for India.

Under the Paris Climate Agreement, the Central government has committed to install 175GW of renewable power by 2022 of which 100GW will be from solar power and 60GW from wind power. India had also promised to have about 40% of its power from renewable sources by 2030. India’s total installed capacity of power stations is about 315.4GW, according to government data. Of that, about 50GW is from renewable energy.

The analysis highlighted that within renewable energy sources, solar exceeded wind for the first time.

“During financial year 2017, solar capacity addition stood at 6.8GW... This is 26% higher than wind addition of 5.4GW,” it said.

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However, the analysis clarified that “in terms of targets, wind shines” and “solar disappoints”.

“Wind addition of 5.4GW is well above industry estimates, 35% above MNRE target (of 4GW). But, solar addition was 43% below target of 12GW (7GW utility, 5GW rooftop). A significant part of the under-achievement was in solar rooftop additions,” the report added.

India added a record 5,400 megawatts (MW) of wind power in 2016-17, exceeding its 4,000MW target.

The report also stressed that the month of March signalled a clear shift to renewable energy. India added 7GW of renewable capacity in March compared to 4GW from conventional sources.

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