• India says it added 14.3 GW of total grid connected renewable energy capacity in the last 2.5 years
  • Wind power added 7.04 GW, while solar’s share is 5.8 GW
  • India aims to add 12 GW of solar power capacity in the current fiscal year

India added 14.3 GW of renewable energy to the grid in the past 2.5 years, according to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). This capacity comes from 5.8 GW of solar power, 7.04 GW from wind power, 0.53 GW from small hydro power and 0.93 GW from bio power.

Responding to a question in the upper house of the Indian Parliament, MNRE Minister Piyush Goyal said that his government is focused on creating conducive policies for the promotion of grid interactive renewable power to be able to achieve the aim of installing 175 GW by 2022. These measures also include low cost financing with long tenure for renewable energy technologies and projects, creation of transmission infrastructure for renewable power, focus on promoting indigenous technologies, technological innovation and R&D in the sector along with creating skilled manpower.

As per Mercom Capital Group, a clean energy consultancy and research firm, India expects 11,068 MW of solar to be commissioned by March 2017 including the capacity announced under state policies and by the NTPC and SECI. This includes both utility scale and rooftop PV capacity.

Several obstacles for renewables
Nevertheless, the Minister also mentioned the difficulties the administration is facing in the achievement of its target. The issues include, delays in payment for power generated through renewable sources, non-compliance of renewable purchase obligation (RPO), non-availability of low interest, long tenure loans for the development of the sector, insufficient evacuation and transmission infrastructure for RE being some such issues.

Slightly different statistics
The Indian government says that as on October 31, 2016, India’s installed solar power capacity was 8,727.61 MW, having added 1,964.76 MW in 2016-17. However at the recently held Intersolar India on October 19, 2016, consultancy Bridge to India had announced YTD installed capacity of 9.4 GW for the subcontinent.

Going forward, the Indian government has reiterated its renewable energy capacity target for the next three years at 59,325 GW, out of which solar’s share comes to 12 GW in 2016-17, 15 GW in 2017-18 and 16 GW in 2018-19.

Funding for Solar City Program
The minister also informed that the government has allocated 670.1 million INR ($9.82 million) for its Solar City program, out of which $241.6 million INR ($3.54 million) has been released on the preparation of master plans, solar city cells, promotional activities and installation of renewable energy projects. Through this program, the administration wants to promote the use of renewable energy in urban areas by helping municipal corporations.