Renewable Energy Use in India

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In the light of global developments, India has taken the decisive policy steps to move ahead and tap the immense potential for renewable energy (RE) sources such as solar, wind, biomass, small hydro, etc., and build the necessary skills and manpower to favourably use these resources.

The Ministry for Non-Conventional Energy Sources (MNES) is the nodal ministry for development and promotion of RE. The Ministry has nine Regional Offices, three specialized Technical Institutions, and one Financing Agency under it, which function to promote the policy and program initiatives. The States in turn have been advised to initiate conducive policies for commercial development of the RE sector.

Renewable energy devices and systems have become increasingly more visible during the last two decades, and power generation from renewable sources is also increasing. The estimated potential and the extent of exploitation so far are given in Table 2.4, and efforts have been stepped up to achieve the full potential of the use of renewable energy sources. The medium term goal is to ensure electrification of 25,000 remote and unelectrified villages, and achieves a minimum 10% share or 10,000 MW (of the estimated 100,000 MW),from renewable energy in the power generation capacity by the year 2012 [3].

Major programs in India facilitated by MNES for power generation include wind, biomass (cogeneration and gasifiers), small hydro, solar, and energy from wastes. Cumulative installed capacity

TABLE 2.4 Potential, Achievements and Targets for RE Use in India (as on 31 December 2005)

S. No.





Solar water heating

140 mil m2 Collector Area

1.0 mil m2 Collector Area


Solar PV

20 MW1 per Sq. km

191 MW"


Wind energy

45,000 MW

2,980 MW


Small hydro

15,000 MW

1,693 MW



1,700 MW

46.5 MW


Biomass gasification

62 MW


Biomass power/ cogeneration

19,500 MW

727 MW


Biogas plants

12.0 mil

3.67 mil


Improved cook stoves

120.0 mil

33.9 mil

a Of this 105 MWp SPV products have been exported.

a Of this 105 MWp SPV products have been exported.

of RE power sources presently totals to 5,700 MW, representing about 5% of the total installed capacity in India. The Ministry supports research and development with close involvement of the industrial sector. It is hoped that there will be increased interaction and close cooperation between the research and teaching institutions of the country—which are reservoirs of knowledge and experience, and the Indian industry, which has the requisite entrepreneurship and market-orientation.

A large domestic manufacturing base has been established for renewable energy systems and products. The annual turnover of the renewable energy industry in the country, including the power generating technologies for Wind and other sources, has reached a level of over U.S. $ 640 million. Important achievements include cumulative capacity of solar PV modules production has reached 191 MWp, annual production of wind turbine industry is 1,000 MW. India is the third largest producer of silicon solar cells, and has the fifth largest wind power capacity in the world. In SPV technology, 8 companies make solar cells, 14 companies make PV modules, and 45 companies make variety of PV systems. There are 30 manufacturers of box-type solar cookers, and a few of them make indoor community cookers and solar steam cooking systems. There are 83 approved manufacturers of solar flat plate collectors for water heating, and 10 companies make equipment for small hydro projects.

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Getting Started With Solar

Getting Started With Solar

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