A new report has projected that India is likely to obtain 63% of its installed power capacity from non-fossil fuel sources (including hydro) by 2029-30, and exceed its Paris Agreement target of 40%.
A new report has projected that India is likely to obtain 63% of its installed power capacity from non-fossil fuel sources (including hydro) by 2029-30, according to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA). This would significantly exceed the country’s Paris agreement target of a 40% share of installed power capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.
The CEA report estimates that growth in new installed power capacity will lead renewables to generate close to 44% of all electricity consumed in India in 2029-30.
In a briefing note released today, “India Energy Transition Fuels Growth Path for Sustainable Development,” the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) notes that CEA’s analysis predicts moderate growth in increased coal capacity (from net end-of-life coal plant closures), while gas and biomass growth are expected to be negligible. The CEA makes a base forecast for thermal power capacity of 291 GW by 2030, a clear expansion from the 225 GW operating as of March 2019.
But the CEA’s bullish conclusion is that thermal capacity will drop from 64% to just 35% of total installed capacity in only 11 years.
The CEA models also take into account that India will need 34 GW/136 GWh of battery energy storage systems (BESS) by 2030 to balance the grid reliability and stability needs of 440 GW of variable renewable energy capacity, supported by 73 GW of hydro and 10 GW of biomass. In view of the rate of technology change and cost deflation in batteries, this ambitious forecast could prove to be prescient.
The CEA’s optimal capacity generation mix estimates are based on projected demand obtained through India’s 19th Electricity Power Survey (EPS). The projections are adjusted to include estimated contributions from solar rooftop generation.
“India dominates the list of countries with the most polluted cities on earth. As per World Bank estimates, air pollution costs are equivalent to 8.5% of GDP. India is also facing extreme and growing water shortages in major cities. Transitioning to clean energy can help the country achieve its twin objectives of strong economic growth and sustainability,” said Vibhuti Garg, the energy economist and author of the brief.
Garg notes that the momentum to build more renewable energy capacity should not only be reflected at the central planning level but also integrated and co-ordinated with the plans of state governments. India is making huge strides, with 13 GW of solar projects tendered in the month of June 2019 alone.