Potential Is Finally Meeting Reality in Solar Is Message From MNRE Meet

In a sort of curtain raiser to the Re-Invest 2020 or the 3rd Global Renewable Investors’ meet scheduled from November 26-28, key stakeholders in the renewable energy domain discussed India’s market prospects  today.

The Re-invest event is organized by the MNRE, Government of India and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), with a focus on providing a platform to inform and attract investors to the sector in India. With the fresh focus on manufacturing beyond generation, this year’s event becomes all the more crucial accordingly.

According to Dr P C Maithani, adviser at MNRE, “Since the first one in 2015, we aimed from MW to GW. And we have been able to achieve that.”

Talking about the progress made in the past five to six years, Ranjit Gupta – Chairperson Of FICCI Renewable Council said, “This is just the beginning. 90,000 MW have been installed in India. And according to our PM’s vision that by the year 2030, we increase our capacity and make it 4,50,000. This means that in the next ten years, 3.6 lakh MW more needs to be installed. If 1 MW requires 5-6 crore, the potential, and requirement for funding is immense.”

In India, where the generation side of the business has been overwhelmingly private sector dominated and funded, some of the biggest investors have been foreign investors. These investors from outside India always look over the regulations and other legal requirements to make sure that they are investing right. The MNRE’s regular changes and amendments to the ground rules for renewable energy have to be seen in this context, as the ministry has made a creditable effort to be responsive to changing market dynamics.   

That recent renewable energy auctions have seen strong foreign interest only underscores the attractiveness of the Indian market even today .

Talking about future expectations, Amitesh Sinha, Joint Secretary at MNRE said, “We are close to our target of 175 GW, which will be a reality when all those plants in their various stages of development, get completed. I believe that the investments in the coming years are going to triple. This kind of momentum will be sustained  in the next ten years. In India, we are party to sustainable development goals which were agreed by the UN in 2015 and the goal number seven is universal energy access which looks for sufficiently increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy base.”

The target of 420 GW by 2030 gives an investment opportunity of roughly $ 20 billion every year for the next decade. So this is a huge investment opportunity in the sector. Investments here have already outpaced those in thermal.”

On the impact of COVID-19 on the sector, Sinha said that while installations were affected due to manpower shortages, other processes continued apace. Bids are constantly happening and in the past 8 months, around 15,000 GW bids have been allotted. Further, close to 10000 MW  bids have been finalized as well. Besides this, the government has released guidelines on key issues to minimize impact on investors and their investments.

On a key theme for the day, self reliance (atma nirbhar) Sinha pointed out that India is self reliant when it comes to production of wind energy because we are not only consuming it, but also producing equipment that is being exported as well. “On solar,  we only have 2.5 – 3 GW of solar cell manufacturing while having an operating capacity of 10 GW.” This will go up with the new policy incentives in place, he added,

One of the main topics of discussion was the importance of the PM-KUSUM scheme in India. Including for Indian manufacturers, since the scheme stipulates use of India made panels.

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Devyani Paliwal

Devyani Paliwal

Devyani is an ACJ graduate with a bachelors in English Literature. A voracious reader since her school days, she has been doing content writing for some time now.

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