For a fourth consecutive quarter, India added more renewable energy and solar capacity than thermal and coal-based capacity. A net capacity of 2.2 gigawatts was added across India, across technologies with solar grabbing a share of 62%.
According to latest data released by various agencies of the Indian government, India added more solar power capacity in Q2 2018 than in any second quarter. A total of 1,372 megawatts of solar power capacity was added during the April-June 2018 quarter. It was the fourth consecutive quarter when solar power capacity addition was more than coal and thermal power capacity addition.
India’s coal-based installed capacity shrunk once again as 215 megawatts of capacity was retired in the second quarter. In Q1 2018 India had reported net addition of 4.2 gigawatts of coal-based power capacity, the highest in nine quarters, i.e. since Q1 of 2016. Yet, the net capacity addition in the coal sector in the last four quarter has been just 2.4 gigawatts. In the period July 2017 to June 2018 India has retired 1.8 gigawatts in the coal sector.
Renewable energy sector has managed to add more capacity than the coal sector in eight of the last 12 quarters ending June 2018.
Solar power capacity addition declined sharply quarter-on-quarter — only 1,372 megawatts of grid-connected capacity added in Q2 against 4,599 megawatts added in Q1 2018. However, this was on expected lines as capacity addition in Q1 of each year spikes (India’s financial years end in March).
Year-on-year, however, the solar power capacity addition has been probably the highest ever. India saw addition of just 0.8 gigawatts of grid-connected solar power capacity in Q2 2017, and just over 1 gigawatts in Q2 2016.
Capacity addition in the wind energy sector remained stagnant, as it has been for several quarters. Of the last 12 quarters only thrice has the wind energy capacity addition exceeded 1 gigawatt. Wind energy capacity addition has been very low as projects are now being commissioned only through competitive auctions, which was not the case earlier. Before the current regime of competitive auctions developers could set up projects directly and seek buyers of power at feed-in tariff rates.
Wind energy capacity addition may pick up soon as the first projects allocated in auctions near commissioning deadline.
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