Solar power has overtaken wind power in new capacity addition for the first time in the country. During the first quarter of current fiscal, solar power sector added 1,031 MW of new capacity when compared with 374 MW of new capacity added by the wind segment, according to Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
However, total capacity addition by the renewable sector in the first quarter was modest at 1,465 MW given the huge target set for the current fiscal. MNRE has fixed a total capacity addition target of 16,600 MW for 2016-17 and solar is expected to be the major contributor with about 12,000 MW of new capacity, followed by wind (4000 MW), biopower (400 MW), small hydro (250 MW) and waste to power (10 MW).
As on June 30, total grid connected installed renewable power capacity in India stood at 44,237 (MW). Total capacity of wind power stood at 27,151 MW. Solar continues to be second major category with a total capacity of 7,805 MW. Bio Power segment had a total capacity of 4861 MW. Small hydro and waste-to-power accounted for 4,304 MW and 115 MW respectively. While solar has become fastest growing category in renewable energy sector, wind is also getting back to its strong capacity addition phase. Despite some challenges, wind industry is hopeful of exceeding the target like it did in the previous years.
“We see strong signals for adding 4000-4500 MW of new capacity this year. Apart from the new installations, there are some carry-overs of last year. So, both backlogs and new capacity to help add close to 4500 MW,” said DV Giri, Secretary General, Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA). He said Andhra Pradesh would be a key driver of capacity and the southern State was showing indications to add 1000-1500 MW. “Tariff is the main driver in AP,” he added.
Other potential States include Karnataka, Telangana and Gujarat. In Gujarat, the industry is awaiting a better tariff. “The plus point of Gujarat is that payments are not only prompt, but we can also get some discounts for cash on delivery,” he said. Referring to state level challenges, he highlighted that there were some DISCOM PPA (power purchase agreement) related issues in Maharashtra and RPO (renewable purchase obligations) challenges and delayed payments in Rajasthan. However, he was optimistic that three States — Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh — would also chip in with some capacities despite challenges.