Policy Certainty Will Increase Renewable Investment in India: IEEFA

Policy certainty will increase domestic and international investment in India, a new report issued by the IEEFA has found.

Policy Certainty Renewable India

Policy certainty around renewable energy will increase domestic and international investment in India, a new report issued by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has found.

The new report ‘India’s Renewable Energy Policy Headwinds – Recommendations for Urgently Accelerating Activity in the Renewable Energy Sector’ finds a number of recent policy positions that have undermined growth in India’s renewable energy sector.

“India is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing markets for renewable energy and power transmission,” said report author and IEEFA’s Director of Energy Finance Studies Tim Buckley. “Domestic renewable energy tariffs are now two thirds the cost of domestic coal-sourced power tariffs and half that of new imported thermal power costs. India must be very proud of this result, and they must leverage this opportunity to enhance energy security whilst securing deflationary domestic energy investments.”

The opportunity cost of delaying India’s electricity sector transition is too high. With a few policy tweaks, India could be back on track to meet its’ ambitious target of 450 gigawatts of renewables by 2030, the report added.

The IEEFA report identifies a number of policies currently stifling growth in renewable energy in India. They include the imposition of the solar cell and module trade duty in 2017, which the government is now looking to extend beyond 2020. The duty has neither reduced imports nor significantly improved the competitiveness of Indian manufactured solar cells. Instead, it has severely slowed down solar installs in India, both because of the extra cost imposed but equally due to the confusion on delayed implementation.

Better centre-state coordination on renewable energy development and increasing the expansion of necessary transmission networks and balancing capacity (batteries, pumped hydro storage, demand response management and more flexible thermal capacity) are further policy areas requiring immediate attention.

“Renewable energy developers are currently experiencing delays and cost overruns while waiting for the central and state governments to talk to each other and streamline their activities. This is jeopardising their project economics and stalling further investment,” said co-author Kashish Shah, IEEFA’s energy finance analyst.

The report finds a key prerequisite for continuing India’s renewable energy investment ambition is concurrently building out and modernising India’s national transmission grid to accelerate the enormous progress achieved over the last decade.

“India could attract USD 500 to 700 billion in new investment by 2030 – the opportunity is huge,” says Buckley. “To do this, India’s grid must be urgently expanded. The slow-down in transmission capacity is slowing India’s renewable energy ambition.”

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Ayush Verma

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.

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