Frontrunner States: Top 10 hotspots for renewable energy development

Top 10 hotspots for renewable energy development

India’s installed renewable energy ca­pa­­city is among the largest in the world with total deployments of 118 GW as of September 2022. This accounts for ro­u­gh­ly 29 per cent of the country’s total ins­ta­ll­ed power capacity. Between January and September 2022, 13.1 GW of renew­a­b­le energy capacity was added as ag­ai­nst 9.5 GW during the same period in 2021.

In March 2022, Rajasthan surpassed Gu­jarat in terms of renewable energy installations. Gujarat and Rajasthan are driving India’s transformation, with 49 per cent of the new solar capacity being built in Ra­jasthan and 63 per cent of the new wind capacity installed in Gujarat in the first ei­ght months of 2022. Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra are India’s top five states in terms of installed renewable capacity. These five states account for about 70 per cent of the country’s installed renewable energy ca­­pa­city. Alongside these five states, An­dhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pra­desh, Punjab and Haryana are the oth­er most important Indian states in terms of install­ed renewable capacity. The top 10 states account for roughly 90 per cent of the total installed renewable energy capa­city in the country.

Renewable Watch takes a look at the top performing states in the country in terms of capacity addition…


Rajasthan has emerged as the leading st­a­te across the country in the overall rene­wable energy segment, with a total install­ed capacity of 20,099 MW. The state has climbed from the fourth position in the past year to the first, overtaking Tamil Na­du, Karnataka and Gujarat. With 15,283 MW of installed capacity, Rajasthan is also the leading state in the solar power segment. The state has also established a robust policy and regulatory framework to promote renewable energy development. Environmental issues have created roadblocks for renewable energy companies, with some projects stalled due to conce­rns regarding the Great Indian Bustard. However, the Ministry of New and Rene­wable Energy and solar developers have projected the cost of shifting power lines underground to be uneconomical. In April 2021, the Supreme Court directed the au­thorities to shift overhead power transmission lines underground within a year to protect the bird. As of November 2022, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation anno­u­nced its plans to build a 1 GW solar power plant in Rajasthan in a move to secure a foot­hold in the green energy area.


Gujarat is the latest state to meet its 2022 renewable energy target. It exceeded its target in May 2022, joining Telangana, Rajasthan and Karnataka. The state contributes 15 per cent to India’s renewable energy portfolio. Gujarat has the second-largest solar power generation capacity in the country after Rajasthan. As of Sep­tem­ber 2022, the state has 18 GW of total installed renewable energy capacity, comprising about 8 GW of wind power, 8 GW of solar power, and a small capacity of bio­mass and small-hydro power. Of this, over 54 per cent is contributed by wind. Last but not least, almost 40 per cent of the total energy capacity in Gujarat co­m­es from renewable energy sources. The state’s renewable energy success has been consistent in recent years. Also, it is not just relying on solar; it is one of the few states that is still building wind, installing 63 per cent of India’s new wind capacity in 2022. All the recent developments taking place in the state point to strong renewables growth in the coming years, especially with offshore wind bids also in the pipeline and regions off the coast of Gu­jarat being considered for offshore wind development.

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is one of the windiest states in India and has been a pioneer in harnessing wind energy. The state has a long coastline, which is ideal for setting up wi­nd farms. The state has the third-largest installed renewable energy capacity in In­dia after Rajasthan and Gujarat, with a difference of 2.7 GW between their capacities. As of September 2022, the state has a total installed renewable energy capacity of 17,273 MW, which is about 47 per cent of its total installed capacity. Tamil Nadu also has the highest installed wind power capacity of 9,874 MW. However, the state has also experienced significant activity in the solar power segment. As of September 2022, Tamil Nadu, with 6,233 MW, has the fourth-largest installed solar power capacity in India. The state also has a large biomass power sector, with an installed capacity of over 1,043 MW. Small hydro power projects with a capacity of around 123 MW have also been set up in Tamil Nadu.


Karnataka is one of the leading states in India in terms of installed renewable energy capacity. It has the fourth-highest ins­talled renewable energy capacity in the country after Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. The state has significant potential for renewable energy development, particularly in the areas of solar, biomass and wind energy. As of September 2022, Kar­na­taka has an installed renewable energy capacity of 16,310 MW, which represents 54 per cent of the state’s total installed ca­pacity. Of this, solar energy accounts for the largest share, with 7,859 MW, followed by wind energy (5,268 MW) and biomass energy (1,902 MW). Karnataka is also lea­ding in small-hydro power projects. As of September 2022, the state has an install­ed small-hydro capacity of 1,281 MW. Furth­er­more, the Karnata­ka government an­no­unced the new Kar­na­taka Renew­able Energy Policy 2022-2027 in April 2022 in order to maintain the sta­te’s position as a preferred investment destination in the renewable energy sector, and to create an ecosystem for sustainable and green energy development. The policy will assist the Indian government in attaining the re­ne­wable energy target of 500 GW by 2030, and promote new initiatives and emerging energy technologies in the state.


At 11,422 MW of renewable energy installations, Maharashtra is quite far behind the other four states, with a difference of more than 5 GW between it and Karna­taka. However, the state has been making eff­orts to cover this huge gap and has issued many tenders to invite developers to set up renewable energy capacity. The state has adequate resources for the development of renewable energy sourc­es like wind and solar. It has one of the largest fleets of coal-fired power plants in the country, accounting for 56 per cent of the total power generation capacity. Wind power installation, which is the fourth highest across states, accounts for around 44 per cent of the total renewable capacity in the state. Solar power accounts for the se­co­nd highest installed capacity among re­ne­wables, at 3,392 MW, comprising largely ground-mounted projects, which make up 2,089 MW. In the third place is bioenergy, with a total installed capacity of 2,636 MW, which is the highest state-level total in the country. Small hydro accounts for the remaining 381 MW. The state has launch­ed an ambitious plan to build additional solar plants to produce 12 GW of renewable energy over the next six years in order to increase the amount of accessible po­wer and reduce power purchase costs in the future.

Andhra Pradesh

With Andhra Pradesh poised for rapid industrialisation, the demand for power is set to increase manyfold in the coming years. The state has an installed renewable energy capacity of 9,331 MW, which accounts for about 34 per cent of the total installed capacity. The largest contributors to this capacity are the solar and wind segments. While solar power makes up about 48 per cent of the total renewable energy capacity in the state, wind power contributes about 44 per cent. The state is the third largest in terms of installed small-hydro power capacity (162 MW) in India. Wind potential is identified in the 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh, of which coastal regions cover nine districts. As of June 2022, the state approved pumped storage projects proposed by Adani Green Energy with a total capacity of 3,700 MW, giving support to the state’s green energy sector. The government has also signed an agreement with the Solar Energy Cor­poration of India for the procurement of 7,000 MW of power to continue the free, nine-hour daytime power supply to the agricultural sector for the next 30 years.

Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh is located in central India and is the second-largest sta­te in the country. Endowed with a huge potential and adequate land area for rene­wable power development, Madhya Pra­de­sh is well positioned to meet its citize­ns’ energy needs through more clean energy. As of September 2022, the state’s total installed power generation capacity stood at 30,023 MW. Renewable energy makes up about 19 per cent of this power mix, and there are plans to rapidly increa­se this share in the coming years. The re­ne­wable energy capacity in Madhya Pra­desh has grown nearly tenfold over the past deca­de. Solar and wind energy each have a balanced share of about 48 per cent of the total renewable energy capacity of Ma­dhya Pradesh. On the policy fro­nt, the state intends to invest Rs 150 billion by 2024 and Rs 500 billion by 2027 in renewable energy generation. The Madh­ya Pradesh Renewable Energy Policy, 2022 aims for an investment of Rs 40 billion by 2024 and Rs 100 billion by 2027 in renewable energy equipment manufacturing. The state has set a target to generate 20 per cent of its electricity through rene­w­able sources by financial year 2024, 30 per cent by financial year 2027 and 50 per cent by financial year 2030.

Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh is one of the most populous and energy-hungry states in India. The state has been a major contributor to the country’s industrial and economic growth. Given the global focus on green power, Uttar Pradesh has set out to ramp up its clean power capacity. This development is primarily led by solar power, which has proven to be the most conducive source of renewable energy in the landlocked state, situated in the northern plains. The state has a total installed renewable energy capacity of 4.5 GW as of September 2022, with roughly 2 GW of commissioned solar power capacity. Further, with 2 GW of installed capacity, Uttar Pradesh is in the second position after Maharashtra in the bioenergy space, owing to the abundance of sugar industries in the state. Including hydropower, the total installed re­ne­wable capacity makes up about 14.38 per cent of the total power capacity in the state. However, the implementation of policy and regulatory measures, possible land use issues, infrastructural gaps to support intermittent power, financial viability of discoms, and political obstacles are some of the significant challenges that Ut­t­ar Pradesh’s renewable energy sector must overcome.


Punjab holds a huge potential for energy generation from agro-residues, an alter­na­tive model of diversification besides cle­an energy transition, by tapping solar power even in the agricultural field. The state also has significant potential for the development of renewable energy, particularly so­lar and biomass. As of Septem­ber 2022, Punjab has a total installed renewable en­ergy capacity of 1,802 MW, which is about 21 per cent of its total installed pow­er ca­pacity. The state has a total installed solar capacity of 1,127 MW, of which 829 MW is ground-mounted, 223 MW are rooftop, and 76 MW is off-grid. The biomass ca­pacity is 499 MW, which is small but growing. The total small-hydro capacity was 176 MW, and there was no wind power installed in the state. The Punjab government created a draft of its renewable energy strategy in 2019 with the intention of using 3 GW of renewable energy by 2030 to cover 21 per cent of its power needs. How­ever, the state government has not yet finalised this policy.


Haryana is one of the fastest growing states when it comes to solar energy production in north India. It is a large agronomic state with abundant sunlight and biomass. So far, the state has primarily depended on fossil fuels to meet its energy needs. As of September 2022, Harya­na’s total installed power capacity is 7,049 MW. The share of installed renewable en­ergy at present is still very small, at just 18 per cent. The total installed re­ne­wable en­ergy capacity in Haryana sto­od at 1,287 MW as of September 2022. Solar power makes up about 74 per cent of the renewable energy mix, while bio­power makes up the second-largest sha­re at 20 per cent owing to the dominance of agriculture in the state and the resulting feedstock availability for biomass cogeneration. Small-hy­dro power is the third-leading source with an installed capacity of 73.5 MW. The state has a lar­ge agricultural sector and a growing ind­ustrial sector, which compete for land reso­urces. This makes it difficult to find suitable sites for solar and wind pro­jects. In addition, the state’s electricity grid is not well connected to the national grid, making it difficult to transport renewable energy from other states.


The Indian renewable energy sector is expected to continue to grow as the co­un­try works to achieve its ambitious targets. While the central government is supportive of the sector, and is providing financial and policy in­centives to encourage investment, the sta­tes are responsible for ground-level im­plementation. Thus, going forward, it is re­quired that all states work towards achieving the country’s renewable energy targets and add­ress the existing issues of un­paid dues, land and transmission un­availability and bureaucratic hurdles. Whi­le some states have achieved a lot over the past few ye­a­rs owing to enabling policies, addre­s­sing the remaining barriers will result in strong growth in the sector.

By Anusshka Duggal