India Adds 7.1 GW Renewable Energy Capacity In FY2015–16, Beats Target

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The renewable energy sector in India registered impressive growth in the financial year 2015–16, which ended March 31st, 2016.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy recently reported that India added 6,937 MW of grid-connected renewable energy capacity during FY2015–16. This is one and a half times more than the target of 4,460 MW set at the start of the financial year. Additionally, 176 MW of distributed renewable energy capacity was also added.

Capacity additions in solar and wind energy beat the targets comprehensively in the grid-connected segment. Against a target to add 2.4 GW of wind energy capacity, a total of 3.3 GW capacity was added. One of the reasons for this high quantity of capacity addition is the rush among project developers to commission projects before critical financial incentives expire, or are reduced, starting 1 April 2017. Wind energy remains the most attractive renewable energy technology in terms of capacity addition. At the end of the last financial year, grid-connected wind energy capacity in India stood at 26.7 GW, representing a share of 62.5% of the total grid-connected renewable energy capacity installed in the country.

Grid-connected solar power capacity additions were more than twice the target. Against the target capacity addition of 1.4 GW, just over 3 GW of grid-connected solar power capacity was added in India. This was the largest solar power capacity addition in a financial year. The high capacity addition was the result of slew of solar power auctions at the central and state government levels.

Capacity additions in off-grid bioenergy projects also beat the target, but the off-grid solar power sector saw a sharp jump in capacity addition against the target. A total of 50 MW of distributed solar power capacity was targeted for addition, against which 87.7 MW capacity was added, taking the total off-grid solar power capacity operation in the country to 314 MW.

The total power generation capacity installed in India on 31 March 2016 was 298 GW, of which renewable energy projects represent just over 14% at 43 GW capacity.

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