India added 1.2 GW of renewables during Covid-hit April and May


India added an aggregate 1.2 GW of power generation capacity in the first two months of the current financial year (April-May 2021), all of which came from solar (1 GW) and wind (0.2 GW), according to a new report by Care Ratings.

The two-month capacity addition has been the highest in the last four years when compared to the same months in the previous years. 

Also, the 1.2 GW of solar and wind capacity addition in the first two months of 2021-22 has been double that of the same period during the previous year. 

As of May 31, 2021, the nation reached a total domestic electricity generation capacity of 383 GW, with conventional energy capacity at 288 GW (75% share in total) and renewable energy capacity 96 GW (25% share), stated Care Ratings analysts.

Coal-based power, the dominant source of electricity in the country, has an installed capacity of 209 GW (55% share in total). 

Solar power generation capacity currently stands at 41 GW and wind power at 39 GW. Since 2016-17, capacity addition to solar power has been surpassing all other energy sources.

Discom dues

The report stated outstanding dues owed by Discoms to power generators as of April 30, 2021, amounted to INR 68,508 crore (US$ 9194 million). The absence of cost-reflective tariffs, high operational expenses, and AT&C losses, along with huge historical outstanding dues, has been pressuring the finances of state distribution utilities over time. 

The outstanding dues were the highest for the Discoms of Tamil Nadu at INR 13,717 crore (US$ 1841 million). The other states with notable outstanding dues are Rajasthan (INR 10,326 crore, or US$ 1386 million) and Maharashtra (INR 9,749 crore, or US$ 1308 million). These three states accounted for nearly 50% of the total outstanding dues.

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