India will require an additional $50 billion over the next couple of years if it wants to expand its 175 GW renewable energy generation capacity target to 227 GW by March 2022.
Scaling up the renewable energy capacity to 227 GW would possibly secure India’s position as the top three countries making investments in this sector.
Thermal power plant developers have, however, voiced concerns on generation capacity glut and under utilisation of projects amid stress in the sector.
The country will overachieve its 175 GW renewable energy generation capacity target on the back of new schemes like floating solar, manufacturing-linked solar and offshore wind projects, according to Power Minister RK Singh.
It seems that the ministry is wishing to be more well prepared, “in case there is a spurt in demand, we should be able to meet this demand. We are doing a scenario planning,” Anand Kumar, secretary at the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE), told the Economic Times newspaper.
Currently, India stands fifth in terms of renewable energy capacity with an installed capacity of 70 GW while another 40 GW is under tendering or construction and the government claims to be on track for meeting its 2022 targets.
China will continue to be the top renewable energy generator and the US, despite the declining policy support, is likely to be on the second position.
Association of Power Producers Director General Ashok Khurana said at 175 GW renewable capacity, the National Electricity Plan had projected average utilisation of thermal projects at 58%. With 227 GW, it will fall more.
“New capacity addition has to be demand-driven. We already have stranded 40 GW, looking for off take agreements,” he said.