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India’s Grid-Connected Renewable Energy Capacity Tops 50 Gigawatts

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India’s renewable energy sector recently achieved yet another major milestone, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy announced.

As of the 31st of December 2016, India had achieved an operational grid-connected renewable energy capacity of more than 50 gigawatts. More than half of this capacity is based on wind energy, while solar power remains a distant second. Other technologies like small hydro, bioenergy, and waste-to-energy have a much smaller share.

India’s wind energy capacity stands at 28.7 gigawatts and wind remains the largest and most trusted renewable energy technology in the nation. The country’s solar power capacity stands at just over 9 gigawatts and is expected to grow at a much faster rate compared to any other technology over the next few years.

The Indian government has already specified that solar power will be its focus for the several years. The government hopes to have an operational solar capacity of 100 gigawatts by March 2022, while the target for wind energy is 65 gigawatts. An additional 10 gigawatts capacity target is set for other technologies.

India plans to add 12 gigawatts of solar power capacity between April 2016 and March 2017. However, only around 2.1 gigawatts have been added between April and December 2016.

A large number of solar power tenders have been lined up, at the central as well as state level, but there are doubts about the timely execution of projects. The problem could simply be the sheer size of annual targets — up to 17 gigawatts capacity planned for addition every year.

India also recently conducted its first wind energy auction which is expected to yield the lowest-ever tariffs seen in the Indian market.

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