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India is running one of the largest and most ambitious renewable capacity expansion programs in the world. Newer renewable electricity sources are projected to grow massively by nearer term 2022 targets, including a more than doubling of India's large wind power capacity and an almost 15 fold increase in solar power from April 2016 levels. Such ambitious targets would place India amongst the world leaders in renewable energy use and place India at the centre of its "Sunshine Countries" International Solar Alliance project promoting the growth and development of solar power internationally to over 120 countries. Renewable energy in India comes under the purview of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). India was the first country in the world to set up a ministry of non-conventional energy resources, in the early 1980s. Solar Energy Corporation of India is responsible for the development of solar energy industry in India. Hydroelectricity is administered separately by the Ministry of Power and not included in MNRE targets.

In the electricity sector renewable energy (excluding large hydro) accounted for 18.37% of the total installed power capacity (60.98 GW) in India as of 31 October 2017.[1] In previous years the share of renewable grid capacity increased 6 fold from 2% (3.9 GW) in 2002 to around 13% (36 GW) by 2015.[2] India set a target of achieving 40% of its total electricity grid capacity generation from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030, as stated in its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions statement in the Paris Agreement.[3][2]

Large hydro installed capacity reached 44.41 GW[4] as of 28 February 2017 contributing to 13.6% of the total power capacity. Unlike most countries, India does not count large hydro power while accounting for renewable energy targets.Thus, renewable energy including large scale hydro-power currently adds up to more than 32% of the total installed power capacity in India.

Wind power capacity attained 32,746 MW, making India the fourth-largest wind power producer in the world as of year end 2017. According to a government press release dated 27 December 2017 the country had a strong manufacturing base in wind power with 20 manufactures of 53 different wind turbine models of international quality up to 3 MW in size with exports to Europe the USA and other countries.[1]

Installed solar power reached over 20 GW as of January 2018, through both solar parks as well as roof-top solar panels.[1] Three of the top six largest solar parks worldwide are in India including the third largest solar park in the world at Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, with a capcity of 1000 MW.

Biomass power from biomass combustion, biomass gasification and bagasse co-generation reached 8.18 GW installed capacity as of 30 November 2017.[1] Family type biogas plants reached 3.98 million biogas plants by the same date.[1]


Renewable energy overview and targetsEdit

Installed grid interactive renewable power capacity in India as of 28 February 2016 (excluding large hydro)[5][6]
Wind power in IndiaSolar power in IndiaBiofuel in IndiaSmall Hydro PowerWaste-to-Power 
  •   Wind Power: 29,151.29 MW (56.8%)
  •   Solar Power: 9,566.66 MW (18.6%)
  •   Biomass Power: 8,182 MW (15.9%)
  •   Small Hydro Power: 4,346.85 MW (8.5%)
  •   Waste-to-Power: 114.08 MW (0.2%)

The 2022 electrical power targets include achieving 175 GW of energy from renewable sources - nearly 100 GW through solar power, 60 GW from wind power, 10 GW from biomass power and 5GW from small hydro power.[7] The bidding process for the further additional 115 GW or thereabouts to meet these targets of installed capacity from January 2018 levels will be completed by the end of 2019-2020.[8] The government has announced that no new coal-based capacity addition is required beyond the 50 GW under different stages of construction likely to come online between 2017 and 2022.

Grid connected renewable electricityEdit

Installed grid interactive renewable power capacity (excluding large hydropower) in India as of 31 October 2017 (RES MNRE)[9][10]
Source Total Installed Capacity (MW) 2022 target (MW)
Wind power 32,715.37 60,000.00
Solar power - Ground Mounted 14,751.07 100,000.00
Solar power - Rooftop 823.64
Biomass power
(Biomass & Gasification and Bagasse Cogeneration)
8,181.70 *10,000.00
Waste-to-Power 114.08
Small hydropower 4,399.35 5,000.00
TOTAL 60,985.21 175,000.00

* The target is given for "bio-power" which includes biomass power and waste to power generation.

Installed grid power capacity from all sources in India as of 28 February 2017[4]
Coal: 189,047.88 MW (59.9%)Renewable, except large Hydroelectric: 50,018 MW (15.9%)Large Hydro: 44,413.43 MW (14.1%)Gas: 25,329.38 MW (8.0%)Nuclear: 5,780 MW (1.8%)Diesel: 837.63 MW (0.3%) 
  •   Coal: 189,047.88 MW (59.9%)
  •   Renewable, except large Hydroelectric: 50,018 MW (15.9%)
  •   Large Hydro: 44,413.43 MW (14.1%)
  •   Gas: 25,329.38 MW (8.0%)
  •   Nuclear: 5,780 MW (1.8%)
  •   Diesel: 837.63 MW (0.3%)

The figures above refer to newer and fast developing renewable energy sources and are managed by the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). In addition as of 31 December 2016 India had 50,017.97 MW of installed large hydro capacity, which comes under the ambit of Ministry of Power.[4]

In terms of meeting its ambitious 2022 targets, as of 31 March 2017, wind power was more than halfway towards its goal, whilst solar power was below 13% of its highly ambitious target, although expansion is expected to be dramatic in the near future. Bio energy was at just above 80% mark whilst small hydro power was already 85% of the way to meet its target. Overall India was at 33% towards meeting its 2022 renewable installed power capacity target of 175 GW. The total breakdown of installed grid connected capacity from all sources including large hydro was as follows:

Grid connected installed capacity from all sources as of 28 February 2017[4]
Source Installed Capacity (MW) Share
Coal 189,047.88 59.93%
RES MNRE 50,018.00 15.86%
Large Hydro 44,413.43 14.08%
Gas 25,329.38 8.03%
Diesel 837.63 0.27%
Nuclear 5,780.00 1.83%
Total 315,426.32 100.00%

The first figure at the top of the table refers to the fast growing renewable energy sources under the responsibility of the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy and slightly exceeded the installed capacity of large hydro installations. This figure is targeted to reach 175 GW by 2022. Coal power currently represents the largest share of installed capacity at just under 186 GW. Total installed capacity as of 30 April 2016, for grid connected power in India stood at a little under 303 GW.[11]

Off-grid renewable energyEdit

Off-grid power as of 31 October 2017 (MNRE) Capacities in MW(EQ)[10]
Source Total Installed Capacity (MW)
Biomass(non-bagasse) Cogeneration 661.41
SPV Systems 539.13
Biomass Gasifiers 163.37
Waste to Energy 175.45
Aero-Generators / Hybrid systems 3.29
TOTAL 1,542.65
Other Renewable Energy Systems
Family Biogas Plants (in Lakhs) 49.56
Water mills / micro hydel (Nos.) 2690/72

Hydroelectric powerEdit

Large hydropowerEdit

India is the 7th largest producer of hydroelectric power in the world. As of 30 April 2017, India's installed utility-scale hydroelectric capacity was 44,594 MW, or 13.5% of its total utility power generation capacity.[12]

Small hydropowerEdit

Additional smaller hydroelectric power units with a total capacity of 4,380 MW (1.3% of its total utility power generation capacity) have been installed.[13][14] Small hydropower comes under the ambit of the Ministry of New and Renewable energy (MNRE) whilst large hydro comes under the ambit of Ministry of Power.[4]

Wind powerEdit

The largest wind farm of India in Muppandal, Tamil Nadu.

The development of wind power in India began in the 1990s, and has significantly increased in the last few years. Although a relative newcomer to the wind industry compared with Denmark or the US, domestic policy support for wind power has led India to become the country with the fourth largest installed wind power capacity in the world.[15]

As of 28 February 2017 the installed capacity of wind power in India was 29151.29 MW,[5] mainly spread across Tamil Nadu (7,269.50 MW), Maharashtra (4,100.40 MW), Gujarat (3,454.30 MW), Rajasthan (2,784.90 MW), Karnataka (2,318.20 MW), Andhra Pradesh (746.20 MW) and Madhya Pradesh (423.40 MW)[16] Wind power accounts for 14% of India's total installed power capacity.[17] India has set an ambitious target to generate 60,000 MW of electricity from wind power by 2022.[18]

Some of India's largest wind farms are:

Largest wind farms in India[19]
Wind farm Producer State Current capacity
Muppandal wind farm Muppandal Wind Tamil Nadu 1,500 [20]
Jaisalmer Wind Park Suzlon Energy Rajasthan 1,275 [21]
Brahmanvel windfarm Parakh Agro Industries Maharashtra 528 [22]
Dhalgaon windfarm Gadre Marine Exports Maharashtra 278 [23]
Chakala windfarm Suzlon Energy Maharashtra 217 [24]
Vankusawade Wind Park Suzlon Energy Maharashtra 189 [25]
Vaspet Windfarm ReNew Power Maharashtra 144 [26]

Solar powerEdit

India is densely populated and has high solar insolation, an ideal combination for using solar power in India. Much of the country does not have an electrical grid, so one of the first applications of solar power has been for water pumping, to begin replacing India's four to five million diesel powered water pumps, each consuming about 3.5 kilowatts, and off-grid lighting. Some large projects have been proposed, and a 35,000 km2 (14,000 sq mi) area of the Thar Desert has been set aside for solar power projects, sufficient to generate 700 to 2,100 gigawatts. Solar power in India has been growing at a rate of 113% yoy[27] and now dropped to around 4.34 (6.6¢ US) per kWh, which is around 18% lower than the average price for electricity generated by coal-fired plants.[28][29]

As part of India's ambitious solar programme the central government has set up a US$350 million fund and the Yes Bank will loan US$5 billion to finance solar projects (c. January 2018).[8] India is also the home to the world's first and only 100% solar powered airport, located at Cochin, Kerala[30]

The Indian Solar Loan Programme, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme has won the prestigious Energy Globe World award for Sustainability for helping to establish a consumer financing program for solar home power systems. Over the span of three years more than 16,000 solar home systems have been financed through 2,000 bank branches, particularly in rural areas of South India where the electricity grid does not yet extend.[31][32]

Announced in November 2009, the Government of India proposed to launch its Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission under the National Action Plan on Climate Change with plans to generate 1,000 MW of power by 2013 and up to 20,000 MW grid-based solar power, 2,000 MW of off-grid solar power and cover 20×10^6 m2 (220×10^6 sq ft) with collectors by the end of the final phase of the mission in 2020.[33] The Mission aims to achieve grid parity (electricity delivered at the same cost and quality as that delivered on the grid) by 2020. Achieving this target would establish India as a global leader in solar power generation.[34]

Launched in 2003, the Indian Solar Loan Programme was a four-year partnership between UNEP, the UNEP Risoe Centre, and two of India's largest banks, the Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank.[32]

Waste to energyEdit

Every year, about 55 million tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) and 38 billion litres of sewage are generated in the urban areas of India. In addition, large quantities of solid and liquid wastes are generated by industries. Waste generation in India is expected to increase rapidly in the future. As more people migrate to urban areas and as incomes increase, consumption levels are likely to rise, as are rates of waste generation. It is estimated that the amount of waste generated in India will increase at a per capita rate of approximately 1-1.33% annually. This has significant impacts on the amount of land that is and will be needed for disposal, economic costs of collecting and transporting waste, and the environmental consequences of increased MSW generation levels.[35]

India has had a long involvement with anaerobic digestion and biogas technologies. Waste water treatment plants in the country have been established which produce renewable energy from sewage gas. However, there is still significant untapped potential.[36] Also wastes from the distillery sector are on some sites converted into biogas to run in a gas engine to generate onsite power. Prominent companies in the waste to energy sector include:[37]

  • A2Z Group of companies
  • Hanjer Biotech Energies
  • Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd
  • Hitachi Zosen India Pvt Limited
  • Clarke Energy
  • ORS Group


India is an ideal environment for Biomass production given its tropical location and abundant sunshine and rains. The countries vast agricultural potential provides huge agro-residues which can be used to meet energy needs, both in heat and power applications..According to IREDA "Biomass is capable of supplementing the coal to the tune of about 260 million tonnes", "saving of about Rs. 250 billion, every year."[38] It is estimated that the potential for biomass energy in India includes 16,000 MW from biomass energy and a further 3,500 MW from bagasse cogeneration.[38] Biomass materials that can be used for power generation include bagasse, rice husk, straw, cotton stalk, coconut shells, soya husk, de-oiled cakes, coffee waste, jute wastes, and groundnut shells and saw dust.

Various Types of Agro field / Industrial Residues[38]
Type of Agro residues Quantity(Million Tonnes / annum)
Straws of various pulses & cereals 225.50
Bagasse 31.00
Rice Husk 10.00
Groundnut shell 11.10
Stalks 2.00
Various Oil Stalks 4.50
Others 65.90
Total 350.00



Ethanol market penetration reached its highest figure of a 3.3% blend rate in India in 2016.[39] It is produced from sugarcane molasses and partly from grains and can be blended with gasoline. Sugarcane or sugarcane juice may cannot be used for the production of ethanol in India.


The market for biodiesel remains at an early stage in India with the country achieving a minimal blend rate with diesel of 0.001% in 2016.[39] Intitally development was focussed on the jatropha ( jatropha curcas) plant as the most suitable indedible oilseed for biodiesel production. Development of biodiesel from jatropha has met a number of agronomical and economic restraints and attention is now moving towards other feedstock technologies which utilize used cooking oils, other unusuable oil fractions, animal fat and indedible oils.[39]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e "Press Information Bureau". Retrieved 2017-12-27. 
  2. ^ a b "INDC submission" (PDF). 
  3. ^ "Here are India's INDC objectives and how much it will cost". The Indian Express. 2015-10-02. Retrieved 2017-12-27. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Executive Summary Power Sector February 2017" (pdf). report. Central Electricity Authority, Ministry of Power, Govt. of India. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "Physical Progress (Achievements)" (web). report. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Govt. of India. Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  6. ^ "Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Physical Progress (Achievements)". 
  7. ^ "Tentative State wise break up of Renewable Power target to be achieved by the year 2022, MNRE" (PDF). 
  8. ^ a b Govt to set up $350 million fund to finance solar projects, Hindustan Times, 18 Jan 2018.
  9. ^ "Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Annual Report 2015-2016". 
  10. ^ a b "Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Physical Progress (Achievements)". 
  11. ^ "Executive Summary Power Sector September 2016" (pdf). report. Central Electricity Authority, Ministry of Power, Govt. of India. 30 September 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  12. ^ "Executive summary of Power sector, April 2017" (PDF). Retrieved 25 May 2017. 
  13. ^ "Renewable Energy Physical Progress as on 31-03-2016". Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, GoI. Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  14. ^ "All India Installed Capacity of Utility Power Stations" (PDF). Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  15. ^ "Global statistics". Global Wind Energy Council. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  16. ^ "Energy Statistics 2015" (PDF). Central Statistics Office, Govt. of India. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  17. ^ "Executive summary of Power Sector as on 31-03-2016" (PDF). Central Electricity authority, GoI. July 2015. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  18. ^ "Physical Progress (Achievements)" (PDF). Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  19. ^ "Wind farm list". Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  20. ^ "Muppandal windfarm". Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  21. ^ "Jaisalmer windfarm". Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  22. ^ "Brahmanvel windfarm (India)". Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  23. ^ "Dhalgaon windfarm". Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  24. ^ "Chakala windfarm". Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  25. ^ "Vankusawade Wind Park windfarm". Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  26. ^ "Vaspet windfarm". Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  27. ^ Kenning, Tom (19 October 2016). "India surpasses 1GW rooftop solar with grid parity for most C&I consumers". report. PVTECH. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  28. ^ Dockrill, Peter (20 April 2017). "India surpasses 1GW rooftop solar with grid parity for most C&I consumers". report. scienceAlert. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  29. ^ McGrath, Matt (1 June 2017). "Five effects of a US pull-out from Paris climate deal". BBC. Retrieved 1 June 2017. 
  30. ^ Crew, Bec (20 August 2015). "India Establishes World's First 100 Percent Solar-Powered Airport". report. scienceAlert. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  31. ^ Consumer financing program for solar home systems in southern India
  32. ^ a b UNEP wins Energy Globe award
  33. ^ Sethi, Nitin (18 November 2009). "India targets 1,000mw solar power in 2013". Times of India. 
  34. ^ Transforming India into a solar power. Downloaded 31 July 2013
  35. ^ Emmanual, William. "Energy Alternatives India". Energy Alternatives India. EAI. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  36. ^ Electricity from sewage in India,, retrieved 15 August 2014
  37. ^ Emmanual, William. "Energy ALternatives India". Energy ALternatives India. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  38. ^ a b c "Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. | Bio Energy". Retrieved 2018-03-04. 
  39. ^ a b c "USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, GAIN Report" (PDF). 

External linksEdit

  Media related to Renewable energy in India at Wikimedia Commons