Despite the recent slowdown in capacity addition in the renewable energy capacity in India, and doubts related to future investments in the sector, the share of fossil fuel-based capacity in the country’s installed mix continues to contract.
According to CleanTechnica Research, the share of fossil fuel-based capacity in India’s total installed capacity declined for a 14th consecutive quarter at the end of June 2019. At the end of Q2 2019, the share of power generation capacity based on coal, diesel, natural gas, and naphtha had fallen to 63.05%.
CleanTechnica Research analyzed the trends for 17 quarters between Q2 2015 and Q2 2019 and found that the share of fossil fuel-based generation increased only in two quarters, i.e., Q3 2015 and Q4 2015 when it registered the highest share of 69.81%. Since Q4 2015 this share has declined at a compound annual rate of 0.78%. At the end of Q2 2015, the total installed capacity in the fossil fuel sector was 191 gigawatts which increased to 226 gigawatts at the end of Q2 2019.
The declining share is the direct result of the slow rate of new capacity addition in the fossil fuel sector compared to solar, wind, and the overall renewable energy sector over the last few years. Additionally, there have been several retirements as well as in the fossil fuel sector.
The share of wind energy in the installed capacity mix has grown at a compound annual rate of 1.29% since Q4 2015. Wind energy crossed the milestone of 10% share in the installed power mix in Q4 2018. At the end of Q2 2015, the operational wind energy capacity in India was 23.4 gigawatts which increased to 36.3 gigawatts at the end of Q2 2019.
The share of solar energy grew at a stellar compound annual rate of 13.8% between Q4 2015 and Q2 2019. The actual share of solar energy increased from just 1.53% at an installed capacity of 4.3 gigawatts at the end of Q4 2015 to 8.23% at an installed capacity of 29.5 gigawatts at the end of Q2 2019.
This share jump in solar energy capacity has been the major contributor towards the 4.18% compound annual growth rate in share for the entire renewable energy capacity between Q4 2015 and Q2 2019. At the end of Q4 2015, the share of all renewable energy in India’s power mix was 13.2% which increased to 22.4% at the end of Q2 2019.
Over the last few years, India has virtually completely neglected the nuclear and large hydropower sectors due to several reasons including long gestation periods to environmental concerns. Share of both these technologies has steadily declined over the last 17 quarters. Together, these technologies now contribute less than 15% to the country’s total installed capacity.