Tamilnadu Tops in Solar Capacity Addition

IAS Prelims 2023

In a year that witnessed significant progress in solar power in the country, Tamil Nadu topped the capacity addition table, surpassing leading States such as Gujarat and Rajasthan in 2015-16.

In terms of cumulative solar capacity, Tamil Nadu moved to the third position among the States from the seventh position a year ago.

Along with Tamil Nadu, other southern States such as Andhra Pradesh and Telangana registered a strong growth and the three States jointly accounted for about 57 per cent of overall capacity addition during the fiscal that ended on March 31, 2016.

During 2015-16, solar segment added 3,019 MW to the grid, taking the cumulative solar energy capacity in India to 6,763 MW as of March 31, 2016. Tamil Nadu led the growth by adding 919 MW, followed by Andhra Pradesh (435 MW) and Telangana (361 MW).

The other leading States were Rajasthan (328 MW), Punjab (220 MW), Madhya Pradesh (218 MW) and Gujarat (119 MW).

In terms of cumulative capacity in solar, Rajasthan has become the number one State with 1,270 MW, up from 942 MW a year ago. Gujarat slipped to second position at 1,119 MW (1,000 MW a year ago). Tamil Nadu has moved up to the third position with a total capacity of 1,061 MW (143 MW). Only these three States have achieved over a GW of solar capacity so far.

Tamil Nadu has been a pioneer in clean energy sector and it has the highest wind power capacity in the country. As of March 31 this year, the State had a total clean energy capacity of 9,550 MW, comprising wind (7,598 MW), solar (1,061 MW), bagasse generation (659 MW) and biomass power (230 MW).

Industry experts pointed out that Tamil Nadu would continue to contract clean energy projects as the highly urbanised state’s power consumption continue to grow at high single digit.

MNRE has set an ambitious target of 10,500 MW for solar sector this fiscal. It is reported to have awarded projects of 11,000 MW already.

NTPC is expected to contribute about 2,500 MW during the current fiscal, while VGF-funded programmes and others are expected to contribute about 3,000 MW.