Monday, June 27, 2022
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Solar Revolution in India

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The government of India has already set an ambitious target to achieve 100 gigawatt by 2022

India is at the cusp of a solar revolution, the government has already set an ambitious target to achieve 100 gigawatt (GW) by 2022. Keeping the target in mind, Indian states have already started ramping up their installed solar and wind powered capacity.

Solar power generation in India has increased substantially over the past few years. According to the data released by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), solar power accounted for over 11.4 BUs of electricity produced in Q1 2019. This marks a growth of 34% year-over-year (YoY) from the 8.5 BUs generated in the Q1 2018.

Even though renewable capacity additions are growing at a rapid pace, due to its lower capacity factor, the actual electricity generation tends to be much lower compared to nuclear, coal or a gas power plant.

Even with all the new solar and wind installations, renewables still barely make up 10% of the total energy generation in the country showing how far the country has to go before renewables start making a dent in the carbon emissions.

During FY 2018-19, India produced approximately 39.2 BUs of solar power, an increase of nearly 52% compared to the preceding FY 2017-18.

Of the total electricity generation in FY 2018-19, over 90% came from non-renewable sources followed by renewables which stood at just 9%. Compared to the last four years, generation from non-renewable sources has declined, with the share of the generation coming down to 91% in FY 2018-19 from 94% in FY 2015-16. Meanwhile, energy generation from renewables has increased from 5.6% to 9.2% during the same period.

According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, solar installed capacity in the country at the end of FY 2018-19 reached 30 GW, a 32% increase compared to 22.7 GW installed as of FY 2017-18. Even with impressive year-over-year (YoY) growth, solar accounted for just 2.85% of the total power generated in the country and still has a long way to go.

Thermal power (coal, gas, lignite, and diesel) still makes up the majority of power generation at nearly 78%. Wind power generation has increased by 18% YoY, followed by bagasse at 14% and small-hydro with 13%. The generation from hydro and nuclear accounted for 9.8% and 2.7% respectively in FY 2018-19.

India’s transition towards renewable energy presents an incredible opportunity but also challenges. Increasing the power system flexibility is not easy as more intermittent renewables are added to the grid. Grid integration has already become a significant issue as more solar power comes online in several regions of the country.

Top 10 states by installed solar powered capacity. The data is provided by solar power consultancy firm Bridge To India.

Karnataka

Karnataka tops the list of states with the highest installed solar power generation capacity in the country. The state’s total solar capacity at the end of 2018 stood at 5,328 megawatt (MW). While, its total installed electricity generation capacity stood at 27,199 MW at the end of 2018, with solar sector’s share at 19.58 per cent.

Telangana

Telangana houses the second-highest installed solar power generation capacity in the country. The state’s solar capacity at the end of 2018 stood at 3,501 MW. Its total installed electricity generation capacity stood at 15,944 MW at the end of 2018, with solar sector’s share at 22 per cent.

Rajasthan

Rajasthan houses the third-highest installed solar power generation capacity in the country. The state’s solar capacity at the end of 2018 stood at 3,081 MW. Rajasthan’s total installed electricity generation capacity stood at 21,833 MW at the end of 2018, with solar sector’s share at 14.11 per cent.

Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh houses the fourth-highest installed solar power generation capacity in the country. The state’s solar capacity at the end of 2018 stood at 2,829 MW. Andhra Pradesh’s total installed electricity generation capacity stood at 23,726 MW at the end of 2018, with solar sector’s share at 12 per cent.

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu houses the fifth-highest installed solar power generation capacity in the country. The state’s solar capacity at the end of 2018 stood at 2,055 MW. Tamil Nadu’s total installed electricity generation capacity stood 30,447 MW at the end of 2018, with solar sector’s share at 6.74 per cent.

Gujarat

Gujarat houses the sixth- largest installed solar power generation capacity in the country. The state’s solar capacity at the end of 2018 stood at 1,607 MW. Gujarat’s total installed electricity generation capacity stood at 31,382 MW at the end of 2018, with the solar sector’s share at 5.12 per cent.

Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh houses the seventh-largest installed solar power generation capacity in the country. The state’s solar capacity at the end of 2018 stood at 1,526 MW. Madhya Pradesh’s total installed electricity generation capacity stood at 21,873 MW at the end of 2018, with the solar sector’s share at 7 per cent.

Maharashtra

Maharashtra houses the eighth-largest installed solar power generation capacity in the country. The state’s solar capacity at the end of 2018 stood at 1,311 MW. Its total installed electricity generation capacity stood at 43,779 MW at the end of 2018, with the solar sector’s share at 3 per cent.

Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh houses the ninth-largest installed solar power generation capacity in the country. The state’s solar capacity at the end of 2018 stood at 875 MW. Madhya Pradesh’s total installed electricity generation capacity stood at 25,061 MW at the end of 2018, with the solar sector’s share at 3.49 per cent.

Punjab

Punjab houses the 10th-largest installed solar power generation capacity in the country. The state’s solar capacity at the end of 2018 stood at 845 MW. Punjab’s total installed electricity generation capacity stood at 13,432 MW at the end of 2018, with the solar sector’s share at 6.29 per cent.

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