India’s renewable energy sector rebounded to the pre-pandemic levels in the December quarter as the gradual lifting of lockdown curbs restored supply chains.
Capacity additions jumped 59% at 1.9 GW (gigawatts) compared to the first quarter of 2020-21, according to the latest market report from CEEW Centre for Energy Finance (CEEW-CEF), the Council of Energy, Environment and Water’s renewables market tracker.
Coal-fired capacity addition receded further to 369 MW in the October-December period from 550 MW in the second quarter, which was less than 20% of renewable energy capacity added, the report said. As a corollary, generation from renewables also increased by 20% in the quarter under review from a year ago.
Among renewables, grid-scale and rooftop solar continued to dominate in the third quarter, accounting for 73% of the capacity added during the period.
Capacity auctions, however, slowed to almost 3 GW from more than 4 GW in the April-June and over 3 GW in the July-September periods. The handbook attributed this to challenges faced by SECI (Solar Energy Corporation of India), the nodal body implementing the national solar mission, in finding adequate buyers for the previously tendered higher-tariff capacities in the face of rapidly declining rates and discom grid integration issues.
According to CEEW chief Arunabha Ghosh, the performance highlights the promise India’s renewables sector holds. “India offers one of the largest renewable energy markets operating on market principles.