India to close last leg of bids for 175 GW renewable energy target by June 2020

Madrid: Anand Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), has assured the global energy players that the last leg of bidding for renewable energy projects in India to reach the 175 GW target will be done by June 2020. While asserting that India is confident of meeting its target of 175GW renewable energy capacity by 2022 and increasing it to 450GW over time, Kumar said that India’s current capacity is 83GW, and additional 70 GW capacity is under fruition.

He added that the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy aims to bid out the balance capacities for solar and wind by June 2020, giving developers 30 months to complete deployment. India is committed to managing curtailments to enhance the ease of doing business for developers in the renewable energy sector in India, Kumar said.

India’s 175 GW target

Speaking at the session on Renewables in India at the India Pavilion, on the sidelines of Madrid Climate Conference (CoP25) at Madrid, Spain late on Monday night, Kumar added that Regional Energy Management Centres (REMCs) to support the increasing share of renewable is being increased.

‘Govt working to de-risk renewable energy sector in India’

Kumar said that the government has put in place payment security mechanism to de-risk renewable energy sector in India. “Payment Security Mechanism to de-risk investments in renewable have been put in place.  On the demand side, the Ministry is working with farmers and commercial and industrial (C&I) consumers to embed them into the renewables value chain as direct stakeholders,” he remarked.

‘Additional investments in RE up to 2022 would be $80 billion’

Kumar underlined the need for catalysing private investment and expanding the renewable energy market in India through innovative risk mitigation and aggregation instruments. He stated that the additional investments in renewable up to year 2022 would be about $80 billion at today’s prices and an investment of around $300 billion would be required upto 2030.

Referring to the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency’s (IREDA) ‘green window’ initiative to attract private capital to the under-served segments of the market, he said, “Top contenders for the green window include storage, electric mobility, distributed renewables and energy efficiency. He also informed that IREDA is launching its own Alternate Investment Fund to recycle its capital by attracting insurance, pension funds etc., with the aim to deepen the bond market, and in turn, allow the projects to directly link with public funds.

Making farmers a party to renewable energy growth in India

He detailed the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan. Mahabhiyan (PM- KUSUM) scheme for farmers to install solar pumps and grid connected renewable power plants, targeting 26GW capacity and 1.7 million farmers by 2022. KUSUM aims to provide a stable, continuous and long-term source of income to rural landowners. Its advantages include decentralised local clean power for rural load centres and agriculture pump-sets, enabling energy access without adding grid load, reduced transmission losses, less use of expensive and polluting diesel-powered pumps, and a reliable source of irrigation.

Making renewable projects bankable & viable

Manu Srivastava, Principal Secretary, New and Renewable Energy Dept, Government of Madhya Pradesh, said that to maintain investor confidence in India’s renewables sector, “we need to make the projects bankable and viable, resolve the uncertainties the projects may have in terms of their bidders and bankers, keep processes transparent, and create ownership among all stakeholders.”

‘India’s One Sun, One World, One Grid holds special meaning’

Juan Carlos Olmedo, President, Board of Directors, Coordinador Eléctrico Nacional, Chile asserted that in the increasingly interconnected world, India’s vision of ‘One Sun, One World, One Grid’ holds special meaning, as countries such as Chile, which are rich in renewables, will now get the opportunity to enter the global energy market.

Experts from IRENA, the International Energy Agency, German development bank KfW, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the India Smart Grid Forum, emphasised the importance of flexibility in policy, financing, manufacturing, pricing, technology, storage and services in rapidly scaling up renewables. Global energy major Acciona outlined solutions to decarbonise electrical systems, while Indian conglomerate Dalmia Bharat Cement noted that clean energy systems must become integral to the business strategies of large corporates as well as their supply networks to remain competitive amidst the ongoing energy transition.