Solar now accounting for almost 1% of India’s total electricity generation


India’s solar market is a classic zero to hero story, from being basically nonexistent in 2013, it is now up among the heavyweights of the solar world, with 4 GW of PV installed in 2016 and over 9 GW forecasted for 2017. With this increase in solar deployment, it comes as no surprise that it is commanding a bigger share of the country’s total power generation, now at almost 1%.

In fact, fresh data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) shows that during the 7-month period from April to October 2016, 7,002.71 million units of energy were generated by solar, which accounted for 0.9% of the total electricity generated in India during this period. Comparing this to previous totals, it is more than double the 0.4% that solar accounted for in 2014-15, and then another significant increase on the 0.6% that solar accounted for in 2015-16.

Solar has also increased its share of the renewable energy generated in the country, as it makes up 13% of the total, up from 7.4% in 2015-16. What is also significant is that renewable energy in general is taking a larger chunk of India’s power generation, from 5.6% in 2015-16 to 7.3% in the April to October period of 2016.

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This increase can simply be put down to a huge increase in the amount of solar installed in the country. In 2016, 4 GW of solar PV was installed across the various states and territories, which is almost double the 2.3 GW that was installed in 2015.

And things are only due to get better. According to market analysts Mercom Capital, over 9 GW of solar is due to be installed in the country in 2017. This would be more than double the figure from 2016, and would put the Indian solar market right up there amongst solar’s heavyweights: China, the U.S. and Japan.

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