Investments in RE Doubled Over Last 5 Years, Surpass Coal in 2018: Report

According to a new report, investments in India’s renewable market doubled over the last five years. And at $20 billion in 2018, it surpassed coal.


According to a new report, investments in India’s renewable energy market have doubled over the last five years. And at $20 billion in 2018, it surpassed the capital expenditure in the coal power sector.

The findings were issued in the latest report “Clean Energy Investments Trends 2019”, by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and the International Energy Agency (IEA). Analysing the risk perceptions of debt financiers towards solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind projects from 2014 to 2018. It also examines recent developments impacting the pace of capacity addition in India. 

Further, it includes an analysis of thermal power projects in order to assess the standing of renewables and thermal assets. The study also takes stock of the impact of a recent policy measure – the imposition of safeguard duties on solar PV cell and module imports – on the pace of project awards and the challenges facing the solar park model.

The report comes in the backdrop of the Economic Survey highlighting that India’s additional clean energy investment requirement is nearly $80 billion till 2022, growing more than three-fold to $250 billion during 2023-30.

Key Findings of the report:

  • The reduced risk perception of debt financiers funding solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind projects in India has improved investments in renewables.
  • In 2018, the top 10 firms accounted for over 80 percent of the sanctioned projects in both solar PV and wind energy markets in India. However, there has been a notable change in top players year-on-year, indicated by the churn rate. There were signs of increased consolidation in the wind sector in 2018 with the churn rate dropping to 50 percent from 90 percent in 2017. The churn rate in the solar sector remained at 60 percent from 2017 to 2018.
  • A maturing market along with reduced risk perceptions and enhanced bankability for renewables has contributed to improved availability and pricing of project debt finance over time, facilitating lower cost investment. Interest rate spreads for both wind and solar PV declined between 75 to 125 basis points, indicating declining risk perceptions between 2014 and 2018. Loan tenures increased in the same period as lenders became more comfortable in extending longer-term loans.
  • The imposition of safeguard duty on solar PV cell and module imports has led to an increase in tariffs at renewable energy auctions relative to 2017, resulting in the cancellation of 5GW of solar projects awarded in 2018.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for