The government plans to bring offshore wind energy and large hydro-electricity projects under the ambit of renewable energy, which will scale up the target of 175 gigawatts of green power capacity by 2022.
“Today, we are contemplating bringing large hydro also under the definition of renewable power. We are also contemplating to exploit our offshore wind potential,” Anand Kumar, secretary in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said at the Renewable Energy India Expo on Wednesday.
The government is on track to exceed its ambitious target of building new renewable energy capacity. “With prices of solar and wind coming down, we are confident that we will not only achieve the 175 GW target, but will also exceed it,” Kumar said. Of the renewable energy installation target, 100 GW will come from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from biomass and 5 GW from small-hydro.
Although large hydro-electric projects are clean, they were kept outside the ambit of renewables because they were considered part of the conventional power generation system and the ministry was earlier focussed on non-conventional energy.
“The power ministry has made this move and it is in an advanced stage of consideration. It should take about three months’ time,” a government official told ET. “If large hydro comes under renewables, the target will be 175 GW-plus. Let us see what kind of potential would come of the offshore (wind) sector. We are expecting capacity addition of large hydro plus another 10 GW or thereabouts from offshore wind.”
Kumar also talked about a ‘silent revolution’ that will enable India to scale up its energy consumption. “Renewable energy is the only way to meet energy demand of 1.25 billion people in the country. Renewable energy offers an opportunity to build a new low-carbon energy world. Harnessing it will make India an energy-independent economy,” Kumar said.
India doesn’t have any offshore wind projects currently. The ministry notified the National Offshore Wind Energy Policy in October 2015, which said there was reasonable potential to develop offshore wind projects along the Tamil Nadu and Gujarat coasts. Read more
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