With solar boom, renewable sector doubles new capacity in first half

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Oct 26, 2016

Chennai: With solar power segment maintaining strong momentum, India’s renewable energy sector has almost doubled its new capacity addition during the first half of this fiscal when compared with the same period last fiscal.

During April-September 2016, renewable energy sector added 3,164 MW as against 1,629 MW added during April-September 2015. Perhaps, this is the first time the clean energy sector has added such huge capacity in a half-year period.

Ahead of wind

Solar power maintains its lead over wind in bringing new capacity to the grid. During the first half, solar energy sector added 1,750 MW while the wind segment added 1,305 MW, according to the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

Small hydro, bio-power and waste-power accounted for the remaining capacity added during the period.

Though first half saw an impressive growth when compared with previous period, the new capacity added was just about a fifth of the target set for this fiscal.MNRE has fixed a total capacity addition target of 16,600 MW for renewable sector this fiscal. So, more than 13,400 MW of new capacity has to come on board during the second half.

MNRE targets

Solar sector is expected to bring in12,000 MW new capacity, followed by wind (4,000 MW), bio-power (400 MW), small hydro (250 MW) and waste to power (10 MW).

As on September 30, 2016, total grid connected installed renewable power capacity in India stood at 45,917 (MW). Total capacity of wind power stood at 28,083 MW. Solar’s capacity was 8,513 MW. Bio-power segment had a total capacity of 4,882 MW. Small hydro and waste-to-power accounted for 4,323 MW and 115 MW respectively. New deployment of renewable energy has gathered considerable pace. The ambitious targets are now further backed by India’s global commitment under a formal multinational agreement.

Despite several key concerns that remain, this should help focus government policies for the sector, attract domestic and international capital into the sector and assure growth for all stakeholders, according to Bridge to India, a global solar energy consulting firm.Also, a significant increase in financing commitments from international agencies such as the World Bank, International Financing Corporation and Asian Development Bank, among others are expected in the coming years.

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