India’s Cumulative PV Capacity Exceeds 17 GW

Government Statistics Show 4.8 GW of Solar Capacity Added in Last 9 Months of 2017 Resulting In Total Of 17 GW; Mercom sees 9.5 GW Added in Calendar Year 2017
04:25 PM (Beijing Time) - 19. January 2018
n_mar_Asia_India_India's Cumulative PV Capacity Exceeds 17 GW_ab 2018-01-18

According to MNRE statistics, solar has been growing steadily, making its presence felt in the Indian power sector. The number for FY 2017-18 is expected to increase quite a bit over the last 3 months of the fiscal year. In calendar year 2017, around 9.5 GW was added, according to consultancy Mercom.

Key Takeaways

  • India says cumulative PV capacity surpassed 17 GW at the end of December 2017, while Mercom puts the figure at 19.5 GW
  • 4.5 GW of ground-mounted solar and 271.5 MW of rooftop PV added to the grid between April to December 2017
  • Cumulative rooftop solar was only 982 MW as of December 2017
  • Solar accounts for 25% of India’s 62.8 GW cumulative of renewable energy
  • Mercom puts calendar year PV capacity achieved in 2017 at 9.5 GW

India has surpassed 17 GW of cumulative solar by adding 47% of its targeted 10 GW of solar capacity for the financial year 2017-18 in the period from April to December 2017. But while it installed 4.5 GW of ground-mounted PV and 271.5 MW of rooftop capacity, it only has until the end of March to meet its FY target of 9 GW for utility-scale systems and 1 GW for rooftops. However, towards the end of the fiscal year there will be likely a rush to connect PV power plants to the grid. The government says it is trying to rework its rooftop PV strategy to speed up the slow pace of smaller installations.

India’s cumulative capacity of solar power includes 16.1 GW of ground-mounted solar and 982.3 MW of rooftop solar. According to India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), solar power was the fastest growing segment among renewables during the last 9 months of 2017. As of December, solar was responsible for over 25% of India’s cumulative renewable energy capacity of 62.8 GW. Still, solar’s cumulative numbers are nearly twice as much as wind power’s 32 GW.

9.5 GW PV during calendar year 2017 beats coal

According to a Jan. 16 press release from the India research arm of Mercom Capital Group, in 2017 solar took over from coal to become the leading source of new power capacity in a single year in India. Its estimates that 9.5 GW of solar power capacity was installed in the calendar year 2017, accounting for 45% of total annual power capacity installed in the country, followed by wind.

But Mercom’s cumulative solar figures appear to be higher than MNRE’s stats. It puts India’s total installed generation capacity at around 336 GW, of which 65 GW are renewables. According to Mercom’s preliminary figures, solar accounts for almost 30% of the installed capacity among renewables with a cumulative of 19.5 GW, or 2.5 GW more than the government numbers of 17 GW.

According to an April 2017 article in the Economic Times, during FY 2015-16, India installed 3 GW of new PV capacity, increasing to an annual number of 5.5 GW in FY 2016-17 (see India Installed Over 5 GW In FY 2016-17).


Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

Write, follow the author.

Anu Bhambhani