India adds record capacity of 11 GW in renewable energy in FY 17
The Dollar Business Bureau
According to a report published by ICRA, India added 11 GW to its renewable energy capacity in 2016-17, as against 7.1 GW in the previous fiscal, reporting a 60% increase in incremental capacity. Wind and solar power emerged as the popular forms of clean energy taking 5.4 GW and 5.5 GW share, respectively.
Record low tariffs and declining capital costs coupled with swift and transparent auctions and allotments have helped achieve a high capacity addition during the last fiscal.
While Karnataka, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh saw the maximum capacity augmentation in wind energy, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka took the trophy for solar energy.
While capacity addition in renewable sector has increased, in thermal power it has waned to 11.5 GW in FY 17 from a high of 22.5 GW in FY 2016.
“As per industry sources, the distribution utilities in states like Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Gujarat are evaluating the competitive bidding mechanism for awarding of wind power projects in the near term. In this context, the fresh capacity addition in the wind power segment could be affected in the near term (12-18 month period) and the same would depend upon the plans by the state-owned distribution utilities,” the report stated.
However, the 1000 GW wind power capacity awarded under the MNRE scheme in February 2017 is likely to cushion capacity addition figures for the next fiscal.
Execution delays and a lag in the process of tendering/awarding of projects has caused the government miss the target it had set for capacity addition in solar power during the year.
“While currently there is a temporary lull in the announcement of fresh bids, the magnitude of solar project awards in the past 12-18 months has been quite significant. The backlog against these awards itself would, in ICRA’s estimates, support a solar capacity addition of about 7-7.5 GW in grid connected utility segment in FY2018,” the report added.
As of March 2017, the total renewable energy capacity of India stood at 57 GW, accounting for 17% of India's power generation. Within renewable energy, wind energy makes up for a majority share of 56.3%. The share of solar capacity rose from 15.8% in March 2016 to 21.5% in March 2017.