India set a lofty goal of adding 175 GW of renewable energy capacity (RE capacity target) by 2022, with 100 GW coming from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power, and 5 GW from small hydro-power.
A legislative panel has identified low solar roof-top and wind energy project installation as important factors for India’s failure to meet its renewable energy capacity target of 175 GW by 2022.
India set a lofty goal of adding 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, with 100 GW coming from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power, and 5 GW from small hydro-power.
But, as of December 31, 2022, the country had installed 120.90 GW of renewable energy capacity, accounting for approximately 69% of the overall objective, according to a report by the Standing Committee on Energy.
“Keeping in view the fact that renewable energy installed capacity has increased by more than 236 percent since 2014, this is indeed a commendable achievement. However, it should also be mentioned that whatever shortfall has occurred in the achievement of the target that is because of low installation of solar roof-tops and wind energy projects,” the committee said.
Bearing in mind India’s promise to increase non-fossil fuel-based energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030, it proposed that the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy accelerate its pace to meet targets on time. The committee recommended that discoms follow a fixed timeframe for approvals/rejections of applications, installation of net meters, system inspections, and so on, and that they give reasons for the rejection of applications on the national portal.
Discoms may be compensated so that their fears of losing high-paying customers due to the installation of solar rooftops are alleviated and they actively participate in the initiative.
The Ministry should also keep an eye on the progress of rooftop solar and wind energy projects.
The Ministry should also supervise the implementation of rooftop solar and wind energy projects and ensure adherence to the timetable for their commissioning so that renewable energy projects are not overdue.
“Since the Budgetary Estimates of the Ministry for 2023-24 has been considerably enhanced as compared to the previous years, the committee recommends that the ministry (MNRE) should increase its fund absorption capacity and focus on exhaustive utilization of the budgetary allocation,” the report said.
As of February 27, 2023, the National Portal had received 43,171 applications, of which 18437 had been authorized by DISCOMs, 3031 had been denied for technical reasons, and 21,703 were still awaiting approval.
It also said that, as of December 31, 2022, the total installed capacity of wind power was 41.93 GW, compared to the entire aim of 60 GW. Wind energy is not even mentioned in the subjects assigned to the MNRE.
The committee further highlighted that MNRE estimated a budgetary requirement of Rs 10,422.54 crore for the fiscal year 2023-24, and Rs 10,222 crore was actually given, representing a 45 percent increase over Revised Estimates for 2022.
Only 7.40 GW of rooftop solar projects could be installed in the country, compared to the overall target of 40 GW, the committee said, adding that it has been highlighting the issues responsible for poor performance under the solar rooftop program, such as a lack of information at the grassroots level, a lack of awareness about this scheme among the masses, and disco apathy, among others.
Content Credit: The Hindu.com