Difficult to Meet India’s 175 GW Renewable Energy Target by 2022: CSE

India’s renewable energy sector seems to be losing steam and may find it tough to meet its 175 GW target by 2022, claims a new report

175 GW Renewable Energy

India’s renewable energy sector seems to be losing steam and may find it tough to meet its 175 gigawatt (GW) target by 2022, even as its total capacity reached almost 86 GW by December 2019, claims the new report ‘State of India’s Environment Annual’ report released by think tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) at the 2020 Annual Media Conclave and Anil Agarwal Dialogue organised in Alwar.

“India has set itself a target of 175 GW renewable energy capacity by 2022, mainly in the form of 100 GW solar and 60 GW wind. Between 2014 and 2018, the RE sector grew from 2.6 GW to 28 GW — a cumulative aggregated growth rate of around 18 percent. But there has been a slowdown in capacity addition and auctions due to emerging risks and unaddressed structural issues,” the report said.

CSE researchers said the government must restore the sanctity of auctions by removing arbitrary barriers like ceilings and by refraining from cancellations or postponement of bids.

“New mechanisms should be explored to manage discom risks. Simultaneously, the government should start working on the country’s longer-term energy decarbonisation vision,” the CSE said.

Annual additions to solar capacity have dipped drastically to 6.5 GW in 2018-19, from 9.4 GW in 2017-18, the report said. In wind energy, against a sizeable 5.4 GW added in 2016-17, less than 2 GW was added annually in the following two years.

“The capacity auctioned to developers has remained almost constant at 2-3 GW. The share of renewables in India’s power generation in 2018-19 was 10 percent, a far cry from the national goal of 40 percent share by 2030,” it claimed.

According to the report prepared by CSE, the stagnation is due to a combination of factors affecting every aspect from auctions and power purchase agreements (PPAs) to rising costs and payment delays.

“The slowdown, naturally, raises doubts about India’s capability to meet the 175 GW target. To catch up, the country is now required to install 37.8 GW of solar rooftop, 32.1 GW of solar utility and 23.3 GW of wind power capacity in a short span of just two and a half years,” it said.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.