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India to miss green power target due to slowdown

According to reports, renewable energy sector in the country appears to be facing the brunt of a weak economy, as there has been tardy progress in new capacity addition during the current financial year. Given the slow progress during the first four months of current financial year, the sector may miss the capacity addition target for the second consecutive year.

Amid concerns over reaching the annual target, the wind sector is expected to create a landmark with its total installed capacity crossing 20,000 mw during FY14.

After adding 566 mw of new capacity from three renewable energy sources during the first quarter of current financial year, the country has seen addition of 196 mw in July. Thus, the first four months saw India adding just 835 mw from three sectors – wind, solar and small hydro, while the capacity addition target is pegged at 4325 mw for the current financial year.

Of the 835 mw new capacity added during April-July period, wind sector contributed about 608 mw, while the rest was contributed by solar and small hydro at 153 mw and 74 mw respectively. Besides, 24 mw of off-grid/ captive power generation capacity from different renewable energy sources were added during the period, according to union ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE).

With new capacity addition of 835 mw during April-July period, India’s cumulative grid-interactive renewable energy installed capacity stood at 28,905 mw as on July 30.

After an ambitious take off, the solar sector is also facing the heat of economic crisis. So currently wind power sector continues to lead the new capacity addition. “The fundamentals of the solar sector have shifted. After years of panel price drops, module prices have gone up this year by about 10 per cent, while the rupee has fallen about nine per cent. As this occurs, policy, with all its changes and delays have not been able to keep up with the rapidly changing solar market environment,” said a report of Mercom Capital.

“There has been a total of 622 mw of installations in India in the first seven months of 2013, with only 73 mw installed in the last three months. Solar has tremendous promise as one of the most attainable sources of power in India and represents a great future for the economy, industry, jobs, and environment. To achieve this future, India needs to avoid distractions and maintain focus on creating a fertile policy environment for private and foreign investments in the power sector,” it added.

At present, wind make up 68 per cent of India’s total green power installed capacity. Of the total cumulative capacity of 28,905 mw, wind sector contributed 19,661 mw, followed by small hydro power at 3,707 mw, bagasse co-generation power at 2,337 mw, biomass at 1,265 mw, solar at 1,839 mw and waste energy at 96 mw.

The cumulative off-grid/ captive power generation capacity from different renewable energy sources in the country stood at 907 mw by the end July.

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