New Delhi: Solar and wind energy could drive two-thirds of India's power generation growth by 2032 if the nation successfully attains its renewable energy targets, as said by the global energy think tank Ember.
Solar power in India has evolved significantly since 2017 when it accounted for only 1 percent of the country's power mix. If India meet its solar targets outlined in the 14th National Electricity Plan (NEP14), its share is expected to surge from 5 percent to 25 percent during the financial year 2022-2032, marking a period of rapid expansion, Ember's analysis showed.
Ember's India Electricity Policy Analyst, Neshwin Rodrigues, said, "India's electricity supply landscape is projected to change quite significantly in the next decade or so, with solar and wind likely to drive the growth in generation." "Given their variable nature, a significant increase in storage capacity is crucial to balance generation and demand," he added. India has committed to achieving 500 GW of non-fossil fuel-based electricity installed capacity by 2030. At present, the country has 424 GW of power generation capacity which includes around 180 GW from non-fossil energy sources.
Union Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh last week said, "India will achieve its 500 GW renewable energy capacity target before the 2030 deadline. As part of its commitment to renewable energy, the government intends to tender 50 GW of solar and wind capacity annually over the next five financial years," he added.
However, to meet the ambitious NEP14 targets, Ember's analysis indicates that India must increase its annual solar capacity addition by around 36 percent each year until 2026-27.
India's power generation growth has been largely dependent on coal in the past decade. However, according to Ember's analysis, India could switch to solar and wind sources in the next 10 years if it continues to work towards achieving its NEP14 objectives. This shift could occur provided that India stays on course with its goals, Ember's report said.