A huge landmark for renewables in India as coal is no longer the majority source of energy capacity

Recent figures published in a quarterly report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), revealed that the share of coal in India’s energy sector plummeted to less than half for the first time in decades.

In the first quarter of 2024 alone, India produced a gigantic 13,669MW of power generation capacity, which is record-breaking for the country, and 71.5% of this was generated through renewable energy. These figures suggest that India is well on the way to reach its target of 50% cumulative power generation capacity from non-fossil fuel based sources by 2030, and may even achieve this several years earlier.

In the world’s solar power generation rankings, India has now jumped up to third, which is behind only the US and China. This is certainly an improvement after being ranked ninth in 2015 and the country has now surpassed Japan, according to Ember’s fifth annual Global Electricity Review of 80 countries.

“A renewables-powered future is now becoming a reality,” said Aditya Lolla, Ember’s Asia programme director. “Solar power, in particular, is growing at an unprecedented pace. “Our report concludes that the rapid growth in solar and wind has brought the world to a crucial turning point – likely this year – where fossil generation starts to decline at a global level.”

A potential obstacle to this advancement, is that India continues to remain dependant on coal due to adverse weather conditions and increases in power demand. However, the recent report believes that this record growth in renewables will be able to overcome this challenge and India’s renewable energy sector shows no signs of stopping.

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These recent figures come at a time in which the global trend illustrates that coal demand in G7 countries has plummeted to record lows. Experts reveal that this rapid increase in renewable projects internationally comes as the world recovers from the recent pandemic and war-related catastrophes.

It is certainly clear that India is one of the countries paving the way as a renewable powerhouse.