India Makes Remarkable Strides On The Renewable Energy Front

As the Modi government completes its half term in office, Solar Energy Projects with an aggregate capacity of over 8727.62 MW have been installed in the country. In wind energy, India leads Spain and UK with a fourth position in the world after China, USA and Germany.

India Makes Remarkable Strides On The Renewable Energy Front

Anupama Airy

The ambitious program set by the Modi government to add over 2 lakh mw of renewable energy capacity is a massive target by any standards. The largest renewable capacity expansion programme in the world is being taken up by India.

In line with its focus on clean energy and to provide 24×7 affordable power to all citizens of the country, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has taken several steps to fructify Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of clean energy.

The government is aiming to increase share of clean energy through massive thrust in renewables. Core drivers for development and deployment of new and renewable energy in India have been Energy security, Electricity shortages, Energy Access, Climate change etc.

As on 31st October, 2016, Solar Energy Projects with an aggregate capacity of over 8727.62 MW have been installed in the country.

A capacity addition of 14.30 GW of renewable energy has been reported during the last two and half years under Grid Connected Renewable Power. A total of 7060 MW of grid-connected power generation capacity from renewable energy sources like solar (3019 MW) and wind (3423 MW), Small Hydro Power (218 MW), Bio-Power (400 MW) has been added during 2015-16 in the country against target of 4,460 MW.  During 2016-17, a total 3575 MW capacity has been added till 31.10.2016, making cumulative achievement 46,327 MW.

Economic growth, increasing prosperity, a growing rate of urbanisation and rising per capital energy consumption has increases the energy demand of the country. In order to meet the energy demand, India has total installed power generation capacity of 307.27 GW as on 31.10.2016 from all resources. With 46.33 GW installed renewable power capacity, the renewable power has a share of about 15% to the total installed capacity.

Confident by the growth rate in clean energy sector, the Government of India in its submission to the United Nations Frame Work Convention on Climate Change on Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) has stated that India will achieve 40% cumulative Electric power capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030 with the help of transfer of technology and low cost International Finance including from Green Climate Fund.

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The government is playing an active role in promoting the adoption of renewable energy resources by offering various incentives, such as generation-based incentives (GBIs), capital and interest subsidies, viability gap funding, concessional finance, fiscal incentives etc.

The National Solar Mission aims to promote the development and use of solar energy for power generation and other uses, with the ultimate objective of making solar energy compete with fossil-based energy options. The objective of the National Solar Mission is to reduce the cost of solar power generation in the country through long-term policy, large scale deployment goals, aggressive R&D and the domestic production of critical raw materials, components and products. Renewable energy is becoming increasingly cost-competitive as compared to fossil fuel-based generation.

In order to achieve the renewable energy target of 175 GW by the year 2022, the major programmes/ schemes on implementation of Solar Park, Solar Defence Scheme, Solar scheme for CPUs Solar PV power plants on Canal Bank and Canal Tops, Solar Pump, Solar Rooftop etc have been launched during the last two years.

Various policy measures have been initiated and special steps taken in addition to providing financial support to various schemes being implemented by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) for achieving the target of  renewable energy capacity to 175 GW by the year 2022.

ESTIMATED POTENTIAL OF RENEWABLE ENERGY 

The increased use of indigenous renewable resources is expected to reduce India’s dependence on expensive imported fossil fuels. India has an estimated renewable energy potential of about 900 GW from commercially exploitable sources viz. Wind – 102 GW (at 80 meter mast height); Small Hydro – 20 GW; Bio-energy – 25 GW; and 750 GW solar power, assuming 3% wasteland. 

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India leads Spain, UK in wind energy generation

  • Largest ever wind power capacity addition of 3423 MW in 2015-16 exceeding target by 43%. During 2016-17, a total 1502 MW capacity has been added till 31.10.2016, making cumulative achievement 28,279 MW. Now, in terms of wind power installed capacity India is globally placed at 4th position after China, USA and Germany.
  • Biggest ever solar power capacity addition of 3,019 MW in 2015-16 exceeding target by 116%. During 2016-17, a total 1750 MW capacity has been added till 31.10.2016, making cumulative achievement 8728 MW.
  • 31,472 Solar Pumps installed in 2015-16, higher than total number of pumps installed during last 24 years i.e. since beginning of the programme in 1991. So far, 92305 Solar Pump have been installed in the Country as on 31.10.2016.
  • Solar projects of capacity 20,904 MW were tendered in 2015-16. Of these, 11,209 MW capacity already awarded.
  • A capacity addition of 0.53 GW has been added under Grid Connected Renewable Power since last two and half years from Small Hydro Power plants.
  • Biomass power includes installations from biomass combustion, biomass gasification and bagasse co-generation. During 2016-17, against a target of 400 MW, 51 MW installations of biomass power plants has been achieved making a cumulative achievement to 4882 MW.
  • Family Type Biogas Plants mainly for rural and semi-urban households are set up under the National Biogas and Manure Management Programme (NBMMP). During 2016-17, against a target of 1.00 lakh biogas plants, 0.26 lakh biogas plants installations has been achieved making a cumulative achievement to 49.35 lakh biogas plants as on 31.10.2016.

 TARGETS

The Government of India has set a target of 175 GW renewable power installed capacity by the end of 2022. This includes 60 GW from wind power, 100 GW from solar power, 10 GW from biomass power and 5 GW from small hydro power.

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A target of 16660 MW grid renewable power (wind 4000 MW, solar 12000 MW, small hydro power 250 MW, bio-power 400 MW and waste to power 10 MW),  has been set for 2016-17. Besides, under off-grid renewable system, targets of 15 MW eq. waste to energy, 60 MW eq. biomass non-bagasse cogeneration, 10 MW eq. biomass gasifiers, 1.0 MW eq. small wind/hybrid systems, 100 MW eq. solar photovoltaic systems, 1.0 MW eq. micro hydel and 100,000 nos. family size biogas plants have been set for 2016-17.

The target set for the various renewable energy sources for the next three years are:

            Source 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
Solar Power 12,000 15,000 16,000
Wind 4000 4600 5200
Biomass 500 750 850
SHP 225 100 100
Grand Total 16725 20450 22150

*(Capacities In MW)

Anupama Airy
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Anupama Airy

Founder and Editor at EnergyInfraPost
Independent Journalist and Energy Expert.​ (Worked with leading mainline financial and national daily for 23 years.​)​ Also, Guest Contributor with busines​sinsider.in
Currently, Writing a Book for Penguin India Titled Greased Pole:How Politics and Lobbying Stifled India’s Energy Dreams. The author can be reached on anupama.airy@gmail.com (9810661825)​
Anupama Airy
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