Solar power has overtaken biomass-based power generation to become India’s 2nd largest renewable energy technology in terms of installed capacity.
According to the latest data issued by the Indian Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, solar power’s installed capacity stood at 4,579 MW on 31 October, while biomass-based power generation capacity stood at 4,550 MW.
A total of 827 MW solar power capacity has been added in this financial year so far (April to October) against a full year target of 1,400 MW. In the biomass-based power sector, only 132 MW capacity was added during the first 7 month of the financial year against a full year target of 400 MW. Small hydro power installed capacity is right behind at 4,162 MW with 107 MW capacity added so far against a target of 250 MW.
Installed capacity in the solar power sector is expected to jump sharply over the next few months, and is expected to easily beat the target. Estimates on capacity additions remain extremely bullish, not only for the current year, but also for the next few years. The Ministry, in a document released earlier this year, stated that 4.3 GW capacity its expected to be commissioned during the next financial year ie, between April 2015 and March 2016. During the subsequent financial year, the ministry expects 10.8 GW capacity addition. Thus, India might have an installed solar power capacity of 19 GW by March 2017.