Renewables Grew 34%, Coal 9% In India In 2016

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While the US saw domination of renewable energy technologies in its new capacity addition in 2016, India had an impressive milestone of its own last year.

Capacity addition in India’s renewable energy sector increased by 34% compared to 9% in the coal-based power sector in 2016. Interestingly, growth in the coal-based power sector is relatively in-sync with the economic growth of the country, while growth in the renewable energy sector surpassed it by more than 4 times.

The overall growth rate in the thermal power sector (includes coal, diesel, and gas) was lower at 8%, with capacity contraction in the diesel sector. There was no growth in the nuclear power sector and around 1% growth in the large-hydro power sector (projects with more than 25 megawatts of capacity).

Within the renewable energy sector, solar power grew by 107% with an addition of more than 4,600 megawatts. Bio-energy also grew by an impressive 78% but it was demoted to the third-largest renewable energy technology last year when solar power surpassed it.

Wind energy remained the largest renewable energy technology in India and grew by 18%.

42% Of India’s New Power Capacity Came From Renewables In 2016

While in rate of growth of renewables was almost 4 times that of the coal-based power sector, the absolute capacity added in the renewable energy sector was slightly lower than that in the coal sector. Nonetheless, this situation could soon be reversed as the Indian government has very ambitious solar capacity addition targets.

A total of 29,802 megawatts of new power generation capacity was added to India’s grid last year. More than 53%, or 15,950 megawatts, of this came from the coal-based power sector. Renewables contributed more than 42% to the new capacity added at 12,602 megawatts.

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An avid follower of latest developments in the Indian renewable energy sector.

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