India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), organized a panel discussion on ‘Innovative Financing and Market Evolution to achieve 175 GW renewables by 2022’ on November 16 at the India Pavilion at COP23 in Bonn, Germany.
The panel also included the members from Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MEFCC), TERI, IREDA, and some entrepreneurs.
C.K. Mishra, Secretary, MEFCC, said that India has clarity regarding its goals and is determined to set up renewable energy capacities, to diversify its energy mix, and will continue to provide equitable sustainable development.
Speaking about the government’s interventions, P.C. Maithani, adviser at MNRE, said that policies are being drafted on a continuous basis to address challenges as the market evolves. Providing examples of how the question is no longer about availability of finance but one of affordable finance, K.S. Popli, CMD, IREDA said: “The markets have matured and one indicator of that is seen in how the bond markets have progressed.”
At the discussion, the panel also underlined India’s growing storage needs. Ajay Mathur, DG, TERI, stressed upon the need to push for higher research in storage technology that could complement variable renewable power. “There is an imminent need to look at bringing down storage costs,” he said.
India’s renewable energy journey has come a long way since it set its ambitious target of 175 GW by 2022. Prices of solar and wind have dramatically reduced to $0.03-0.4/kWh against $0.14-0.18/kWh in 2013, even as capacities have scaled to 47.5 GW (combined installed base for renewable energy in India). Policymakers and industry are now confident of accelerating this growth trajectory to provide electricity, along with storage, at an estimated INR 5 ($0.08)/kWh before 2025.
Explaining the scope of the renewables market, Rahul Munjal, MD, Hero Futures Energy said: “There has been an exponential expansion of the industry, with almost 10,000 firms operating in the ecosystem. This is a result of the market being conducive to business and investments. Echoing a similar thought and projecting high optimism.”
Other officials mentioned that for economies like India renewables are vital, and it is necessary to make power at affordable rates to reach a larger proportion of the population.
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It is common to see the rosier side alone being presented and discussed in international forums such as COP23. The intent of India Government to achieve 175 GW renewable power of which 100 GW will be Solar is laudable. On ground developers are struggling to reach the pace required owing to economic, financial and contractual factors that are not as rosy as the plan. Inefficiency at the State level and lack of governance in some states hinders and frustrates many. The Policy planners and protagonists should look deeper and finer and rid the developers and entrepreneurs of issues that nag them and retard the process.
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