India has achieved an installed renewable power capacity of 24,914 mega Watts (MW) as of end March 2012, against its potential renewable power generating capacity of 10,76,160 MW – about 2.3 per cent of the potential.
The 24,914 MW of renewable power capacity installed so far in India comprises 17,353 MW wind power, 3,395 MW small hydel power, 3,325 MW bio-power and 941 MW solar power, according to information provided by minister of new and renewable energy Dr Farooq Abdullah.
He said various studies undertaken in the past have estimated a potential of about 90,000 MW for power generation from wind, small hydel and biomass sources in the country in the medium term (up to 2032).
The potential for solar energy has been estimated for most parts of the country at around 30-50 MW per square km of open, shadow-free area covered with solar collectors. Even if we take one per cent of the 32,87,263 square km land mass of the country, it would be enough to generate 986160 MW of solar power.
The combined potential of wind, small hydel, biomass and solar energy sources could then be as high as 10,76,160 MW.
Estimates of potential for power generation in the country from solar, wind, small hydro and biomass resources in the medium-term (up to 2032) have put the potential for solar energy at 30-50 MW per sq. km, wind power at 490,002 MW, small hydro power at 150,003 MW, bio-power from agro-residues at 170,004 MW, cogeneration from bagasse at 50,005 MW and energy from waste (including urban/municipal waste and industrial waste) at 27.306 MW, adding up to a total 89,900 MW equivalent, the minister said.