India claimed a milestone as it passed the 100GW mark for renewable power on its dash to meet some of the world’s most ambitious green energy targets.
The figure for non-hydro renewables was released by the nation’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), which hailed it as a “landmark day” that confirms India as a leader of the global energy transition.
The green power build is dominated by wind and solar, both with about 40GW each currently in place, with the government claiming the global number-four spot in wind and fifth place in PV.
Solar is on a steeper growth path and is tipped to dominate the Indian renewables sector, with turbines seen as increasingly playing a complementary role in hybrid plants alongside PV.
MNRE said another 50GW of non-hydro capacity is at the installation stage and a further 27GW is under tendering.
India has a target for the end of 2022 to have 100GW of solar and 60GW of wind in place as part of a 175GW goal – although analysts said that was looking unlikely to be met even before the impact of the Covid pandemic, which badly disrupted activity in the Indian economy.
Most attention is now focused on a 450GW 2030 goal set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has enthusiastically backed renewables throughout his time in office. If large hydro is included, the government said it currently has 146GW in place.
With hydro included, renewables account for about 37% of India's total generation capacity, according to think-tank CEEW. However, coal also still plays a huge role in the nation's power mix to the dismay of environmental groups.
Offshore wind is notable absence from the Indian renewables roster despite its long coastline, but the nation has a 30GW goal for 2030 and government efforts to launch first projects are expected to intensify over the next few years.