W Power 2024

Clean Power: At 7 GW, India installs highest renewable energy sources in March

Total renewable energy installation reached 18.5 GW in FY24, 103 GW under construction

Fazal Rahim
Published: Apr 24, 2024 02:26:28 PM IST
Updated: Apr 24, 2024 08:05:53 PM IST

Clean Power: At 7 GW, India installs highest renewable energy sources in March(File) Pavagada solar park in Karnataka state that is one of India's biggest solar energy producers. Image: Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images
India’s ambition to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels for electricity production and boost clean energy production is picking up as renewable energy installation reaches new heights. According to the latest data by Rystad Energy, India installed a record 7.1 gigawatts (GW) capacity renewable energy sources in March. With this, the annual renewable energy installation reached 18.5 GW in FY24.

The primary driver of India’s clean energy is solar installation, contributing about 40 percent to the total renewable energy installation in 2023. In March alone, solar installation was over 6.2 GW. The Ministry of Power states that renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, hydro, and other clean energy, with a capacity of 103 GW are under construction.

Despite promising growth, a clean energy-based power grid remains challenging as India heavily relies on fossil fuels. In 2023, total electricity generation in India was 428 MW, and about 56 percent was produced from fossil fuels such as coal, gas, and diesel. The government has set a target of generating 500 GW of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2032, which requires 30 GW capacity annual installation. A consistent and robust increase in clean energy installation is imperative to meet the target of 500 GW.

“Despite ambitious climate goals to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, achieving them is only achievable if the country maintains the fervour witnessed in recent months. However, critical challenges persist. Like, ensuring grid stability alongside the higher integration costs that come with introducing more renewable capacity, says Rohit Pradeep Patel, vice president of renewables and power research at Rystad Energy.

Also read: Praveer Sinha: Charting aggressive renewables strategy for Tata Power

As per the Ministry of Power, the government is setting up Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Parks in several states to boost clean energy production. It has created Green Energy Corridors and 13 Renewable Energy Management Centres nationwide. Several Indian states have shown promise in clean energy production. Gujarat is India’s most significant contributor to clean energy production, as the state’s annual clean energy output amounted to 29,450 million units in 2023. Solar projects, such as the 1.6 GW installation by Adani Group earlier this year, are fuelling the clean energy growth in the state.

The growing demand for clean energy is leading to an almost 100 percent increase in solar panel production in India—it reached 48 MW capacity by the end of 2023, up from 24 GW in 2022. The government has started several Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes to empower domestic manufacturers as they face challenges from Chinese manufacturers in the international market. The US remains the primary market for Indian solar panel exports.

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