India plans 250GW of renewable capacity in five years

  • Market: Coal, Electricity, Emissions
  • 04/06/23

India plans to add 250GW of renewable energy capacity in the next five years to achieve 500GW of installed renewable capacity by 2030, in a move that could aid its transition away from fossil fuels like coal.

The government has invited bids for 50 GW/yr of renewable energy capacity from the April 2023-March 2024 fiscal year until 2027-28, considering that a renewable energy project takes around 18-24 months for commissioning, the renewable energy ministry said on 5 April. India's power ministry is already working on upgrading and adding transmission system capacity for evacuating 500GW of electricity from non-fossil fuels.

"The structured bidding trajectory will provide sufficient time to the RE [renewable energy] developers to plan their finances, develop their business plans and manage the supply chain more efficiently," power and renewable energy minister RK Singh said.

These annual bids for inter-state transmission-connected renewable energy capacity will also include the setting up of wind power capacity of at least 10 GW/yr. State-controlled Solar Energy Corporation of India and utilities NTPC, NHPC and SJVN will call for the bids as state-appointed renewable energy implementing agencies (REIAs), the renewable energy ministry said.

India currently relies heavily on coal for power generation. Coal typically accounts for more than 70pc of India's actual power generation as it is considered to be an affordable source of energy. Renewables currently account for just around 10pc of India's power generation.

The 50GW/yr targeted bid capacity for 2023-24 will be allocated among the four REIAs. The REIAs will be permitted to bring out bids for solar, wind and solar-wind hybrid energy capacity, all with or without storage, based on their assessment of the renewable energy market or according to directions from the government.

India had a renewable energy capacity of 168.96GW as of 28 February, with about 82GW at various stages of implementation and about 41GW in the tender stage, the renewable energy ministry said, adding that it includes 64.38GW solar power, 51.79GW hydropower, 42.02GW of wind power and 10.77GW of bio power.

The renewable energy ministry also announced a quarterly bidding plan for 2023-24, for at least 15GW of renewable energy capacity each during April-June and July-September, followed by 10GW each during October-December and January-March 2024.

These capacity additions will be over and above renewable energy capacities that come under the government's rooftop solar scheme, which subsidises rooftop solar installations, and the PM-Kusum programme that aims to promote solar farming among Indian farmers.

The government in its budget for 2023-24 promised support of 83bn rupees ($1.01bn) out of a total investment of Rs207bn for an inter-state transmission system for evacuation and grid integration of 13GW of renewable energy from Ladakh, where NTPC's renewable subsidiary NTPC REL plans to set up country's first green hydrogen mobility project. Delhi has allocated a total of Rs350bn for its 2070 net zero goal in the budget, covering areas like hydrogen, renewables and green mobility.


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