The country has an estimated renewableenergy potential of around 85,000 MW fromcommercially exploitable sources: Wind,45,000 MW; small hydro, 15,000 MW andbiomass/bioenergy, 25,000 MW. In addition,India has the potential to generate 35 MWper square km using solar photovoltaic andsolar thermal energy.
Grid-interactive renewable power
By March 2007, renewable electricity, excluding hydro above 25 MW installedcapacity, has contributed 10,243 MW representing 7.7 per cent of total electricityinstalled capacity. There has been phenomenal progress in wind power and, withan installed capacity of over 7,100 MW, India occupies the fourth position globally.
Decentralised and stand alone renewable electricity systems
Over 3,000 remote and inaccessible villages and hamlets have been provided withbasic electricity services through distributed renewable power systems. Inaddition, over 75 MW biomass based gasification systems in the capacity range of 10-100 kW are in use for small scale industrial applications and electrificationpurposes. Finally, over 1.3 million solar home lighting systems, including lanternsand street lights have been set up in different parts of the country.
Heat energy for cooking purposes
Since the 1970s, around 3.9 million family-type biogas plants have been set up toprovide clean cooking energy options in rural areas. Biogas based cooking in ruralareas has made cooking a pleasure with associated social and environmentalbenefits including zero indoor pollution.
Process heat for domestic, industrial and commerical purposes
Use of solar thermal systems has started gaining momentum, with a solarcollector area of 1.9 million sq metres already installed to meet these needs.
Liquid biofuels for transport applications
The large scale development of biofuels, including straight vegetable oil (SVO),biodiesel and bioethanol is still in its infancy. In 2004 around 0.1Mtoe ethanol wasused for blending with petrol. Biodiesel use is still negligible. However, a policyframework for blending five per cent ethanol with petrol and the development of abiodiesel programme, based on non-edible oil, has been developed.