Renewable Energy Capacity Surpasses the Hydel Projects Capacity in India

Renewable energy is crucial in mitigating climate change, but that will not be its only benefit. These technologies will also yield a cleaner environment and job opportunities around the world.  

Both solar and wind are competitive today due to the persistence of pioneer countries in pushing their technological development over decades.   

The United States supports the Government of India’s ambitious national goals to install 175 GW of renewable power which includes 100 GW from solar power.  

Recently, India and the US announced the setting up of two financial assistance programs worth $60 million for supporting India’s much-needed clean energy initiatives including solar power and other renewable, reports TOI.   

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Image source: NDTV  

Renewable Energy in India

Renewable energy is fast emerging as a major source of power in India. Wind energy is the largest source of renewable energy in India. It accounts for an estimated 60 percent of total installed capacity (21.1GW).   

There are plans to double wind power generation capacity to 20GW by 2022. India has also raised the solar power generation capacity addition target by five times to 100GW by 2022.  

The total capacity of renewable energy projects expanded to 42,850 megawatts, overtaking hydropower that stood at 42,783 MW, out of the country’s total capacity of about 3 lakh MW on April 30, as per the latest assessment of the Central Electricity Authority. However, the country still depends primarily on thermal power, which has a much higher installed capacity, reports The Economic Times.  

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Source: The Economic Times  

Hydropower capacity has increased only marginally — from 40,531.41 MW in March 2014 to 41,267.42 MW in March 2015, to 42,783.43 MW at present. In contrast, renewable energy capacity has grown from 34,351mw in March 2015 to 42,849 MW at present.   

Supply from renewable plants depends on sunshine or wind, which are not consistently available. Nevertheless, officials said the surge in renewable capacity marks a significant structural change in the energy landscape of India, which has emerged as the world’s fastest-growing renewable energy market that has companies from Finland and South Africa participating in auctions for solar-powered projects.   

Power, Coal, and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal have set a Rs 6-lakh-crore target of building renewable energy plants. This includes 1lakh MW of solar power capacity by 2022, five times the earlier target of adding 20,000 MW. “Initially, the target looked very ambitious, but it now looks achievable,” a government official said.  

Officials said India is on track to becoming one of the world’s largest producers of green energy and will surpass many developed countries in this endeavor. (Source: The Economic Times)

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