In a surprising statement this month, Union Power Minister R.K. Singh said India would overshoot its target of installing 175 gigawatts of capacity from renewable energy sources by 2022. India was on track, he said, to hit 225 GW of renewable capacity by then. This is a tall claim, considering India has missed several interim milestones since it announced its 175 GW target in 2015. The misses happened despite renewable capacity being augmented at a blistering pace, highlighting how ambitious the initial target was.
Technological and financial challenges remain: both wind and solar generation could be erratic, and India’s creaky electricity grid must be modernised to distribute such power efficiently. Meanwhile, wind and solar tariffs have hit such low levels that suppliers are working with wafer-thin margins. This means small shocks can knock these sectors off their growth trajectories. The obstacles have capped capacity addition to 69 GW till date, with India missing its 2016 and 2017 milestones. To hit its 2022 target of 175 GW, 106 GW will have to be added in four years, more than twice the capacity added in the last four. Read More