Solar leads renewables charge – but not fast enough


Solar and wind power will drive renewable energy to record the biggest growth rate in installed capacity in India up to 2030, with an improvement of 12% over the 12-year period starting this year, according to analysts at London-based GlobalData.

But even that impressive expansion will hardly dislodge the dominance of thermal power generation, and particularly coal, says Chiradeep Chatterjee, a Power Industry Analyst for the company.

Mr. Chatterjee predicts that, by 2030, non-hydro renewable energy will account for 40% of the nation’s installed capacity but only 14% of generation. The GlobalData analyst says thermal power plants will still account for 48% of India’s power generation in 12 years’ time. A predicted capacity growth rate of just 2.1% up to 2030 for thermal power generation illustrates the dominant position fossil fuel generation boasts in India, with coal accounting for 85% of that slice of the market.

GlobalData analysts predict nuclear will experience a 9.7% installed capacity growth rate up to 2030, with hydro capacity expanding 3.4%.

Mr. Chatterjee called for India’s state-owned power distribution companies to be privatized so the need for profit drives them towards solar and wind generation – both of which benefit from rapidly falling costs – at a faster rate.

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