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RE capacity addition up by 88% m-o-m in Nov, but what about operationalisation?

Renewable energy (RE) capacity addition picked up again in November as 763.47 MW of RE capacity was added in the month of November

Renewable energy (RE) capacity addition picked up again in November as 763.47 MW of RE capacity was added in the month of November.
Renewable energy (RE) capacity addition picked up again in November as 763.47 MW of RE capacity was added in the month of November.
  • India’s total installed RE capacity now stands at 90.39 GW, official data sourced from the MNRE

  • Even if the tendering and capacity addition has been aggressive, the operationalisation of these projects remains mired in difficulties, shows a CEA report

New Delhi: After registering a sluggish growth in September and October, renewable energy (RE) capacity addition picked up again in November as 763.47 MW of RE capacity was added in the month of November. The figure marks an increase of nearly 88 percent month-on-month. In October, the total RE capacity addition was at 406.22 MW and the in September, the figure was at 435.99 MW. India’s total installed RE capacity now stands at 90.39 GW, official data sourced from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) showed. 

This includes 38.43 GW of wind capacity, 36.91 GW of solar capacity, 10.31 GW of bio-power and 4.74 GW of small hydro capacity. An expenditure of Rs 2,098.33 crore has been incurred up to November 30, which is around 36.04 percent of the total budget estimate for the MNRE for the year 2020-21.

CEA report said PPAs not signed for 16 GW, 24 GW lacked transmission connectivity

However, even if the tendering and capacity addition has been aggressive, the operationalisation of these projects remains mired in difficulties. According to a recent report released by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), power purchase agreements have not been signed for 16 GW of solar power projects out of the 18 GW awarded by SECI in the last two years. The report also said that around 24 GW of solar capacity in India lacked connectivity to the transmission network.  

ALSO READ: MNRE issues guidelines for feeder-level solarisation under PM-KUSUM scheme

49.28 GW RE capacity under implementation, 30.29 GW under bidding

According to official data, projects of 49.28 GW capacity are at various stages of implementation and projects of 30.29 GW capacity are under various stages of bidding. The government granted RE projects an extension of five months in the scheduled commissioning date in view of the COVID situation in August. The Centre asked all the implementing agencies of MNRE to treat the lockdown period imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic as force majeure and give RE developers a time extension of five months, from March 25 to August 24.

The backdrop

In the month of November, India also saw solar tariffs falling to a record low of Rs 2/kWh during an e-reverse auction conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for 1,070 MW grid-connected solar PV power projects to be set up in Rajasthan (tranche III). The government also floated a concept note for development of hybrid wind, solar parks and sought comments from various stakeholders.

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