Is India's renewable energy growth target a bit of a stretch?

Release Time:

2023-05-13 08:57

Facing the newly proposed timeline for the growth of renewable energy power generation installed capacity, the energy industry has expressed concern.

Recently, the Indian government announced the latest timeline for bidding for renewable energy projects, proposing to start bidding for at least 50 million kilowatts of renewable energy power generation projects every year during the fiscal year 2024 to 2028, most of which are expected to be solar power generation projects. At the same time, at least 10 million kilowatts are wind power projects.

India proposed the goal of "realizing carbon neutrality by 2070" in 2021, and stated that it will significantly increase the proportion of non-fossil fuel power generation supply. However, in the past few years, the growth rate of India's renewable energy power generation capacity has been far below the Indian government's goal. Facing the newly proposed timeline for the growth of renewable energy power generation installed capacity, the energy industry has expressed concern.

Plan to significantly increase the installed capacity of clean energy

According to the latest news from the Ministry of Renewable Energy of India, in order to achieve the goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 45% in 2030 compared to 2005, India plans to add 250 million kilowatts of renewable energy power generation project bidding capacity from now to March 2028 , in order to achieve the energy development goal of increasing non-fossil fuel power generation capacity to 500 million kilowatts by the end of 2030.

At the same time, India's Ministry of Renewable Energy released the latest timeline for bidding for renewable energy projects. According to a government memorandum, India will open tenders for at least 15 million kilowatts of renewable energy power generation projects in the second quarter of this year, and then will open tenders for 10 million kilowatts and 15 million kilowatts of renewable energy power generation projects respectively, which is a significant increase compared with previous years.

Singh, India's Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, said: "The structured tender route will provide sufficient time for renewable energy developers to plan financial solutions, develop business plans and manage supply chains more effectively."

In 2021, when attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed that India is committed to achieving the goal of net zero emissions by 2070, and promised to achieve 50% of electricity from renewable energy by 2030, on the basis of 38% in 2020. At the same time, the carbon emission intensity per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) will be greatly reduced. By 2030, India's total carbon emissions will be reduced by 1 billion tons. The main means to achieve the above goals is to reduce the excessive dependence on high-carbon emission coal power and vigorously develop renewable energy.

Seriously insufficient action

Although the goal and path are clear, judging from the installed capacity of renewable energy in India in the past few years, its actions are far from enough to meet the set goals. As early as 2018, the Ministry of Renewable Energy of India announced a similar growth plan for renewable energy power generation installed capacity. Affected by factors such as the epidemic, the target was not achieved.

In 2022, India once again set a goal of completing the cumulative installed capacity of 175 million kilowatts of renewable energy by the end of the year, but by the end of February this year, official data from India showed that the total installed capacity of renewable energy such as wind power and solar energy was 122 million kilowatts, of which About half of it is solar power generation, and wind power generation accounts for less than 1/3; the total installed capacity of non-fossil fuel power generation including nuclear power and hydropower is about 169 million kilowatts, of which the installed capacity of non-fossil fuel power generation is still in the bidding stage More than 40 million kilowatts, and non-fossil fuel power generation projects with an installed capacity of tens of millions of kilowatts are still under construction. On the whole, India's installed capacity of non-fossil fuel power generation is far from the installed capacity set.

In contrast, in 2022, coal-fired power generation will still account for more than 70% of India's electricity supply, and its dependence on coal will continue unabated. Data show that India's coal-fired power generation installed capacity exceeds 200 million kilowatts, accounting for 72.8% of the electricity supply in 2022, still showing an upward trend from 72.3% in 2019.

The local production capacity cannot keep up with the expansion speed

The International Energy Agency has predicted that between now and 2030, India will be one of the fastest growing countries in the world for energy demand. In the face of the weak growth of the renewable energy market, Indian business people clearly pointed out that it is difficult for local companies to support the huge demand for clean energy growth.

The "Financial Times" quoted Sumant Sinha, CEO of ReNew, a large Indian power company, as saying that although the company welcomed the Indian Ministry of Renewable Energy's proposal to accelerate the growth of renewable energy installations, in fact, renewable Energy companies have struggled to keep up with existing jobs.

"Renewable energy companies need to raise a lot of capital, buy a lot of equipment, and also need to recruit more people to promote projects on the ground. These tasks are not easy. More and more project tenders will bring great pressure to the company." Sumant Sinha said frankly, "India has many market opportunities, but how much it can execute is the current problem."

Indian power giant Adani has also been in a financing crisis recently, and the company's operating difficulties have also cast a shadow over the Indian energy market. As one of India's major power generation groups, Adani once stated that by 2025, the company's installed capacity of renewable energy power generation will increase to 25 million kilowatts. The market value has fallen below 100 billion US dollars, and the company's market value has been "cut in half" this year, and the market expansion plan is also under pressure.

Sumant Sinha pointed out: "From the perspective of renewable energy project development, Adani is one of the larger players in the Indian market and has large-scale plans for renewable energy. If Adani's expansion plan is blocked , will ultimately have an impact on the overall growth rate of India's renewable energy installations."



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