New study outlines renewables plan for India

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From pv magazine India

A new study by NITI Aayog estimates that India needs 517.34 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2029-30 to meet the renewable purchase obligation (RPO) target of its 30 states and union territories. Out of this, 177.74 GW RE (including 71.14 GW solar) is already installed as of July 2023 while 339.6 GW needs to be installed. Within this balance requirement of almost 340 GW (from July 2023 onwards), solar of 262.24 GW, wind of 60.22 GW, hydro of 13.05 GW and bioenergy of 4.1 GW need to be installed in the next seven years.

Notably, the government has notified a year-wise trajectory of RPOs including energy storage obligations till 2030. As per this trajectory, the obligated entities, mainly electricity distribution companies (DISCOMs), in each state, are required to meet their minimum share (24.3% in 2023 to 43.3% in 2030) of electricity purchase from renewable energy (RE) sources. These obligations are intended to drive the consumption of renewables in the country and thus help to achieve the climate action goals of the government wherein it aims to increase the share of non-fossil fuel-based power capacity to 50% by 2030.

NITI Aayog carried out the study with the support of Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE). The study presents a detailed analysis of the RE technical potential that can be harnessed to meet RPOs of each state, RE capacity that needs to be procured by the deficit states from other RE-rich states, and storage requirement to meet the required grid balancing. For estimations, the study took into account various parameters such as RE capacity utilization factors, available potential, past generation and expected technological improvements.

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According to the study, 269.79 GW can be mobilized within the states and 69.81 GW needs to be procured from other states for meeting the RPO target in 2029-30. Of 30 states and union territories in the country, 21 states will be able to meet their RPO target by mobilizing the potential within the state, and nine states need to procure RE power from other surplus states.

The study also reveals that over 48.5 GW of RE capacity needs to be installed per year till 2029-30 for meeting the RPO target. This is in line with the MNRE’s bidding calendar that intends to mobilize 50 GW of RE with at least 10 GW of wind till 2027-28.

In terms of adherence to individual RPO targets, seven states need to procure wind from other states, five states need to procure hydro from other states, and eight states need to procure solar from other states. The study also estimates storage requirement at 59.73 GW comprising 41.13 GW of 5-hour battery storage system and 18.6 GW of pumped hydro. In terms of funding requirements, the study estimates that an investment in the range of INR 18.55-24.9 lakh crore is required to meet the RPO target in 2029-30.

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