Electrical Monitor

Record 12 GW clean capacity in three years

Em News BureauThursday, March 14, 2013, 17:12 Hrs  [IST]

In less than years - FY11, FY12 and FY13 (up to January 31, 2013) - India could add a record 12,436 mw of grid connected renewable energy capacity, according to official figures released by the government. This has by far exceeded the target of 9,623 mw set for the period. While wind energy contributed the most, it was solar energy that put up a promising performance. India added as much as 1.2 GW of solar power capacity that even exceeded additions from a more traditional source like small hydropower.

Wind energy contributed 67 per cent to the total renewable energy capacity added during the period under study. Biomass (including cogeneration and waste-to-energy projects) had a share of 14.6 per cent, followed by solar energy (9.9 per cent) and small hydropower (8.7 per cent).

Taking all renewable energy sources in consideration, Tamil Nadu added 3,113.7 mw of new capacity that stood for a quarter of the country's achievement. Gujarat came second with a share of 19.2 per cent followed by Rajasthan with 15.5 per cent. It is interesting to note that while Tamil Nadu scored solely on account of wind, Gujarat and Rajasthan witnessed significant contributions from both solar and wind. In fact, Gujarat fueled India's solar success story with additions of 824.1 mw, accounting for two-thirds of the country's total additions. Desert state Rajasthan came second, albeit distantly, with 251.3 mw of grid-connected solar power capacity. India's solar energy accomplishments have been largely driven by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, complemented by state government-run incentive schemes.

Maharashtra, though ranking fourth, did show a balanced performance with respect to various clean energy sources. It added 562.9 mw of agro-based power generation capacity, largely due to bagasse-based cogeneration making it the topmost state in this regard. The western state also added 1 GW through wind energy but relatively very little — only 25 mw— through solar energy.

Karnataka continued its dominance in the field of small hydropower having added 405.7 mw, much ahead of second-seeded Himachal Pradesh with 275.7 mw. Karnataka has been tapping its small hydropower potential very seriously and available information indicates that the state's known technical potential has been fully exploited. Studies indicate that India's overall SHP potential lies untapped to the extent of as much as 70 per cent.

Untitled Document
State Biomass Small Hydro Solar Wind Total % to
Tamil Nadu 207.4 33.0 17.1 2,856.2 3,113.7 25.0
Gujarat 30.0 8.6 824.1 1,526.4 2,389.1 19.2
Rajasthan 62.0 0.0 251.3 1,616.8 1,930.1 15.5
Maharashtra 562.9 74.2 25.0 1,037.0 1,699.1 13.7
Karnataka 188.5 405.7 14.0 786.0 1,394.2 11.2
Andhra Pradesh 35.0 37.0 23.2 313.0 408.1 3.3
Uttar Pradesh 361.9 0.0 12.0 0.0 373.9 3.0
Himachal Pradesh 0.0 275.7 0.0 0.0 275.7 2.2
Madhya Pradesh 17.4 15.0 7.8 173.2 213.4 1.7
Punjab 96.5 30.6 9.0 0.0 136.1 1.1
Rest of India 248.7 196.5 50.4 8.1 503.8 4.1
All India Total 1,810.3 1,076.4 1,233.7 8,316.6 12,436.9 100.0
% to total 14.6 8.7 9.9 66.9 100.0 ---
*From 1 April 2011 up to 31 January 2013

Wind and solar energy will continue to fire India's renewable energy pursuits in the coming years. However, withdrawal of fiscal benefits for wind power projects might dampen the pace of capacity addition in the coming years. All the same, industry experts widely believe that the fiscal benefits will be restored. Solar energy will continue to benefit from fiscal incentives available at the Central and state level. It is however feared that cost of solar equipment might go up following anti-dumping duties being imposed on Chinese and Thai solar cells. Further, China would also need solar equipment to meet its own solar power objectives, which may cause price increase due to a demand supply mismatch in the global market.

While India is doing well on in terms of addition of renewable energy capacity, there is much scope to improve the contribution of clean energy sources to the total power generation. costs.