India needs to increase solar capacity by 36% every year: Ember

October 03 2023

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 India needs to increase annual solar capacity additions by 36 per cent every year to meet its 2027 target, a new analysis by global energy think tank Ember said on Tuesday.

Solar and wind could drive two-third of power generation growth by 2032 if India is on track to deliver its electricity plan, based on its analysis.

This means that growth of India’s future power generation will not be driven by coal.

Solar power transitioned from the formative phase in FY2017, reaching a one per cent share in India’s power mix. If India achieves its solar targets set out in the 14th National Electricity Plan (NEP14), its share is expected to increase five-fold, from five to 25 per cent in the FY 2022-32, marking a period of “accelerating growth”.

This implies that the country’s power generation growth, predominantly driven by coal in the last decade, could enter a stage with most of its power expansion over the next 10 years driven by solar and wind, provided India is on track to deliver its NEP14 targets, finds the analysis.

 As India’s solar adoption widens, there is also a growing need for a much higher level of storage capacity to be able to manage peak demand in the evenings and early mornings, underscored by recent power shortages.

“India’s electricity supply landscape is projected to change quite significantly in the next decade or so, with solar and wind likely to drive the growth in generation,” says Neshwin Rodrigues, Ember’s India Electricity Policy Analyst.

“Given their variable nature, a significant increase in storage capacity is crucial to balance generation and demand.”

As India is scaling up investments to renewable energy, the government now plans to tender 50 GW of solar and wind capacity per year in the following five financial years.

However, to achieve the ambitious NEP14 targets, India needs to increase its current annual solar capacity addition by about 36 per cent each year leading up to 2026-27.

This means that India would need to commission at least 17.5 GW in FY2024, with a further ramp-up to 41 GW by the 2027 target year.

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  • IANS