Non-fossil fuels–renewables, nuclear and large hydroelectric power plants–will account for more than half (56.5%) of India’s installed power capacity within the 10 years to 2027, according to a draft of the third National Electricity Plan (NEP3) released in December 2016.
The draft notes that if India achieves its target to install 175 gigawatts (GW, which consists of 1,000 megawatts) of renewable energy capacity by 2022–as it has committed to under the 2015 Paris Agreement–it will not need to install, at least until 2027, any more coal-fired capacity than the 50 GW currently under construction.
The Ministry of Power produces a National Electricity Plan every five years, in which it reviews the progress made over the previous five years, and sets out a detailed action plan for the next 10 with the overarching aim of achieving universal access to electricity across India and ensuring that power is supplied efficiently and at reasonable prices.
When the draft was released in December 2016, India had installed just over 50 GW of renewable power capacity, of which wind energy made up 57.4% and solar 18%. This gave renewables a 15% share in India’s total installed capacity of just over 314 GW, while coal made up 60%–the remaining being large hydropower, nuclear, gas and diesel.
Renewables will have to scale rapidly to meet a national target set in 2015 to increase capacity to 175 GW by 2022–100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind and the remainder from sundry smaller sources such as biofuels and biomass.
NEP3 projects that not only will the 2022 target be achieved, renewable power capacity will reach 275 GW in 2027. This is three times the projection made in NEP2, of 70 GW, and significantly more ambitious than publicly proclaimed targets. Read More…