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Installed solar capacity tops wind in India for first time

February 04, 2021

Mercom India:

The share of solar power in India’s installed power capacity mix reached 10.3%, exceeding that of wind-based power sources for the first time, according to Mercom’s data. The share of installed wind capacity is 10.25%.

“Wind in India has had over a decade plus in head start over solar. By the time solar installations in India began in 2010, wind had already surpassed 10 GWs. However, solar in recent years has seen explosive growth driven by falling costs. We expect solar to be the dominant source of energy for the foreseeable future,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

The installed capacities of solar and wind power stood at 38.8 GW and 38.6 GW, respectively, as of December 2020.

According to Mercom India Research’s Q3 2020 India Solar Market Update, India added 1.73 GW of solar in the first nine months of 2020, a 68% decline compared to 5.48 GW added in the same period the year before due to COVID-19 related market disruptions.

Wind power installations in the country peaked in 2016-17 with 5.5 GW. They have been on a downtrend ever since the reverse auctions were introduced to the wind power project tendering process in 2017, and tariffs slid to ₹2.44 (~$0.0334)/kWh.

Recently, the overall share of renewable energy (including large hydro projects) in the country’s installed power capacity mix stood at 138.27 GW, with a total share of 36.7% at the end of 2020, as per data from the Central Energy Authority (CEA), the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), and Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker.

[Nithin Thomas Prasad]

More: Solar is the new king as installed capacity surpasses wind

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