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Ministry confident India will meet RE target, despite concerns

A report by research firm CRISIL has raised doubts that India may fall short of its declared renewable energy target of 175,000MW by the year 2022.

However, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy has refuted any claims in this regard.

According to the ministry, the doubts are ill founded and not reflective of the status on the ground and plans ahead. By the end of September 2019, India had installed more than 82,580MW of renewable energy capacity with around 31,150MW of capacity under various stages of installation.

By Q1 of 2021, India will have installed more than 1,13000MW of renewable power capacity, constituting nearly 65% of the overall target.

Furthermore, approximately 39,000MW of renewable power capacity are at various stages of bidding, which will be installed by September 2021, taking the percentage of installed capacity to over 87% of the targeted capacity.

With only 23,000MW of renewable power capacity left to bid, India is confident that the target of installing 175,000MW of renewable power capacity will not only be met but exceeded.

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The ministry is systematically removing challenges that threaten progress to renewable energy adoption, such as facilitating ease of doing business, policy frameworks, transparent bidding and facilitation for procurement of power at competitive rates.

These initiatives have resulted in significant downward trend in solar and wind power tariffs.

Since March 2014, India’s renewable power capacity has increased from 34,000MW to 82,580MW recording 138% growth. Globally, India stands in 5th position in solar power, 4th in wind power, and 4th in total renewable power installed capacity.

The journey for expanding the share of renewables in the energy mix has not been without continuous challenges.

When the State Government of Andhra Pradesh announced intentions to revisit already signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), the ministry quickly clarified that no PPAs could be revisited unless there is a clause to do so in such agreement or if a case of corruption is proved beyond doubt.

The ministry, in consultation with the respective governments has also had to address the issue of allocation of land in Gujarat and revision of land facilitation charges in Rajasthan.

Plans for erecting 66,500MW of additional transmission systems to ensure evacuation and injection of the 175,000MW of power into the main grid are currently underway.

New ministry schemes

The first is the Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Scheme (Phase-ll) for setting up a 12,000MW grid-connected solar PV project, by the government producers with support of Viability Gap Funding (VGF).

The second is PM-KUSUM scheme to be implemented over the next four years for de-dieselisation of the farm sector and increasing farmers’ energy independence and income.

Under the scheme, India has plans to provide 1.75 million stand-alone solar agriculture pumps and carry out solarisation of 1 million grid connected agriculture pumps by the year 2022.

Under the same scheme, government is also encouraging farmers to set up small solar plants of the size of 500kW to 2MW on barren lands for their additional income.

The third is roof top solar Phase-II programme SRISTI (Sustainable Rooftop Implementation for Solar Transfiguration of India) scheme for accelerated deployment of solar roof top systems in the country.

These schemes will also act as a catalyst for adding solar cell and module manufacturing capacity in India. Further, the tariff policy is being revised to ensure timely adoption of tariffs.

According to the ministry, the CRISIL report being referred to by the media does not account for new ministry initiatives to facilitate accelerated development and deployment of renewable energy in the country and therefore lacks credibility.