India to have 500GW of renewables before 2030: Minister

  • Market: Electricity
  • 26/09/23

India will achieve its goal to expand the share of renewable power generation capacity to 500GW ahead of its 2030 deadline, power minister RK Singh said.

India plans to have 65pc of power generation capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2030, Singh said on 25 September at the India Energy Transition Summit organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. India would have achieved 50pc of power generation capacity from non-fossil fuels "by now" had it not lost two years to the outbreak of Covid-19, Singh added.

Delhi had committed to achieving 500GW of installed renewable capacity at the Cop 26 summit in Glasgow, as part of its plan to reach net zero emissions by 2070.

India has 424GW of power generation capacity which includes around 180GW from non-fossil fuels and 88GW is under installation, the minister said, describing India's renewable energy capacity additions as the fastest in the world.

The government is working to build energy storage capacity by awarding tenders to set up 1GWh battery storage and pumped hydropower projects, after receiving applications to set up 30GWh of pumped hydro capacity.

But the cost of storage remains a concern as it is four times the cost of renewable energy, Singh said, adding that the cost of renewable energy is estimated at 2.50 rupees (0.03¢) and the cost of storage for an hour is Rs10.

To incentivise more renewable energy capacity additions in the country, the government is set to provide free transmissions on setting up renewable energy capacity and has asked industries to switch to green energy for their captive power generation.

India aims to increase its renewable energy capacity to 25GW in the April 2023-March 2024 fiscal year and 40GW by 2024-25 after adding 15GW in 2022-23, renewable energy ministry secretary Bhupinder Singh Bhalla said.

The government is also set to introduce an annual bidding trajectory from this year and has invited bids for 50 GW/yr of renewable energy projects from this fiscal year until 2027-28, which should consist of at least 10GW of wind energy, Bhalla added.

Referring to rising calls for nations to phase down coal, Singh said India "shall not compromise on energy security" as it needs million of tonnes of steel and cement for its rapid growth. "We will make as much steel is necessary, as much cement is necessary," he said. "We will try to make it green. But we shall not allow lack of electricity to hinder our growth… If storage is not available, our fossil fuel capacity will continue, that is a fact."

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 an affordable source of energy. Renewables currently account for just around 10pc of India's power generation.

Carbon credits

The government is likely to announce a new mechanism to develop carbon credits in the country linked to green hydrogen production.

"We shall announce in advance for every kilogram of green hydrogen which we produce we will give five carbon credits or 10 carbon credits," Singh said. If an entity plans to sell green hydrogen, it could have an option to transfer carbon credits to the buyer of the hydrogen under the mechanism.

Several countries have started approaching India to sign agreements for a joint credit mechanism, Singh said. This will enable countries to buy carbon credits linked to green hydrogen projects in India.

India released a draft green credit programme earlier this year, under which credits will be available for trading to encourage voluntary action, alongside government efforts to establish a domestic voluntary carbon market.


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