Current Installed Capacity of Power Generation in India

India’s first power plant was started in 1897 in Darjeeling, followed by commissioning of a hydropower station at Sivasamudram in Karnataka during 1902.

Current Installed Capacity

As of March 2015, the installed capacity of power generation in India is around 271.7 GW of which 72% is in Non-renewable sector while 28% is in renewable sector. The thermal power is produced in Coal, Gas and Diesel based power plants. Nuclear power is produced in nuclear plants. Renewable power includes Hydel plants and other renewable sources such as wind, biomass, bagasse, waste-to-power and solar power.

The below chart shows the decreasing order of share of various methods of electricity generation in total installed Capacity.

The following decreasing orders you should remember for Prelims examinations:

  • In total installed power: Coal>Hydel>Wind>Gas>Nuclear
  • Among Non-renewable sources: Coal>Gas>Diesel
  • Among Renewable Sources: Hydel>Wind>Solar>Biomass>Waster to Power

Power Generation & Consumption

In 2014-15, India produced 1,106 TWh power. With this, India is third largest producer of electricity in the world with around 4.8% share in global electricity production. The per capita electricity generation is 1,010 kWh. Per capita electricity consumption is 746 kWh, which is lower compared to many countries.

Commercial and Non-commercial Energy

Commercial energy consists of coal, petroleum and electricity. These sources are commercial in the sense that they command a price and the user have to pay for them. Non-commercial sources of energy- also known as traditional sources of energy- consist of firewood, vegetable wastes and dried dung. These are called non-commercial sources, as they are supposed to be free and command no price. Actually, the non-commercial sources such as firewood and dried dung have started commanding a price in urban areas and to some extent in rural  areas as well.  More than 60 percent Indian households depend on traditional sources of energy for meeting their cooking and heating needs.

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