According to Bhupinder Singh Bhalla, secretary of the union ministry of New and renewable energy, India is projected to have added more than 15 GW of renewable energy capacity in FY23, exceeding the level attained in the previous fiscal (FY22).
Speaking at the inaugural session of the ministry’s R&D Conclave for Renewable Energy here, the secretary stated that while the final data for capacity increase for the previous fiscal year have yet to be disclosed, it is expected to exceed FY22 levels. In FY22, 15 GW of renewable energy capacity was built, a new high for the country.
Bhalla explained the government’s ambitions to add 50 GW per year through 2030, saying, “We intend to bid for 50 GW per year of standard bidding in RE capacity for the next five years.” The most recent numbers for 2022-23 are not available. In the previous year, 2021-22, we added 15 GW of renewable energy capacity, a record for India. We intend to exceed that in FY22-23, which just finished. So, instead of the 14-15 GW per year capacity that we are adding, we are increasing it to 50 GW per year.”
“That’s more than 3 three times, and that is ambitious. But if we have to reach 500 GW (by 2030) we have to pull up our socks. So, we are starting afresh and pivoting a giant leap ahead,” he said while addressing the industry stakeholders.
India wants to achieve a total renewable energy capacity of 500 GW by 2030 and net zero carbon emissions by 2070, according to its climate ambitions.
The ministry unveiled last week its bidding trajectory for tendering 50 GW of renewable energy capacity annually by 2030.
According to figures from the power ministry, India had a total renewable energy capacity of 168.96 GW as of 28 February 2023, with around 82 GW in various stages of implementation and approximately 41 GW in the tendering stage. There is 64.38 GW of solar power, 51.79 GW of hydropower, 42.02 GW of wind power, and 10.77 GW of biopower.
Given that renewable energy (RE) projects typically take 18-24 months to complete, the bid plan will add 250 GW of renewable energy and ensure 500 GW of installed capacity by 2030. The Ministry of Power is also focusing on modernizing and expanding the transmission system capacity to evacuate 500 GW of non-fossil fuel electricity.
Furthermore, the ministry has declared a quarterly bid plan for FY 2023-24, which includes bids for at least 15 GW of renewable energy capacity in each of the first and second quarters of the fiscal year (April-June 2023 and July-September 2023, respectively), and at least 10 GW in each of the third and fourth quarters of the fiscal year (Oct-December 2023 and January-March 2024, respectively).
This capacity addition is in addition to the RE capabilities that will be added under the ministry’s schemes such as rooftop solar and PM-KUSUM, under which bids will be issued directly by various states, as well as capacities that may be added under Open Access Rules.
The government has currently designated Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd. (SECI), NTPC, and NHPC as renewable energy implementing agencies (REIA) for the purpose of soliciting bids.