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Huge under-recoveries continue Gujarat has 2200km gas grid, TN shuns this! Oil sector reform: missed opportunity Current impasse short-lived… Piped gas a pipe dream A golden age of gas? Clean energy sector catches up with thermal power A praiseworthy pricing policy Why ONGC should pay nothing to buy a stake into GSPC’s KG block path Maha merger – a beginning CEA versus CEA A sound energy strategy... A small first step towards the state’s solar mission Clean energy sector catches up with thermal power Riddle wrapped in a mystery Allow market forces to shape destiny Awaiting a new(nu) year(clear)! One of a kind project... Welcome improvements in coal production Paying for sins of the past... Ending the mother of all corruption Ambitious goals, uneasy path Game changer in unexpected way Why has it not fallen enough? The rebirth of the Indo-US nuclear collaboration A sun-rise industry turning sun-set Anachronism of Asian premium Where is Moily’s prophecy of energy independence? Rural prosperity will propel development How prepared are we for the energy transition? Dawn of a New Energy Era? The time for it is now
 
Clean energy sector catches up with thermal power

India’s total renewable capacity including solar, wind, bio-mass and small hydro grew by around 11.2 GW in FY 2016-17, at par with thermal capacity addition, which registered a decline of 50 per cent in the year.

The country added 5526 MW of new solar capacity (up 83 per cent over FY 2015-16) and 5400 MW of new wind capacity (up 63 per cent) in the year.  The figures released by the government suggest that March was a blockbuster month with addition of 5.8 GW renewable capacity in a single month (more than the combined value for previous eleven months). While these numbers are impressive, it is worth noting that the solar capacity addition including rooftop solar is almost 50 per cent below the annual target of 12,000 MW. In contrast, wind capacity addition was +35 per cent over the 4000 MW target.

The sector performance on some other measures has been much weaker. The pace of new utility-scale solar tender announcements and project allocations slowed down considerably at just 4.2 GW and 6 GW respectively, down 70 per cent and 33 per cent over last year. 

With an even more ambitious target of 20,450 MW for 2017-18 for the renewable sector, much more needs to be done to spur growth. Falling prices will undoubtedly be of significant help, but better regulatory enforcement of renewable purchase obligations and the UDAY scheme is critical. Meanwhile, as renewables continue to grow, prospects for thermal capacity addition seem limited and we expect renewables to beat thermal capacity addition in the coming years. 

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