India adds 6 GW of green energy – remains far behind target

Renewable energy is being added to the Indian grid at an astounding speed, but the tempo needs to surge for the country to achieve its aim of installing 175 GW in green capacity by 2022.

Photo: PIERRE-OLIVIER / Capa Pictures / Total

From April to November of 2019, India installed 6 GW of renewable energy, which brings the total up to 84.4 GW, shows the latest progress report from India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

The 84.4 GW are spread out among 37.2 GW of wind, 1.65 GW of which were installed during India's calender year of 2019-'20. Solar power, however, made the largest contribution. Domestic photovoltaics, including distributed and centralized installations, increased by 4.34 GW, setting India's combined solar capacity up to 32.5 GW.

The additional total 6 GW leaves no doubt that India will need to shovel coal under its cauldrons to hit its green power goal – or perhaps coal isn't in fact the answer, as the country intends to have 175 GW in commissioned renewable energy in 2022.

The capacity target entails 100 GW of solar, 60 GW of onshore wind, 10 GW biomass and 5 GW from hydroelectric.

Although more could be waiting in store during the next few months of the Indian calender year. The country's renewable energy minister, Raj Kumar Singh, tells media India Times that only 53 percent of the annual budget has been spent thus far.

Singh reportedly also said that achieving the 2022 goal will cost around EUR 49.5 billion per annum over the next years.

55 GW

In late November, India revealed its plan to build 55 GW of PV and wind capacity in the regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

These regions are sparsely populated and arid but also share a border with Pakistan.

If the sites are available and the military approved the projects, construction could already begin around 18 months after permits are issued, the ministry disclosed in October.

500 GW in 2030

India has no intention of stopping its build-out after 2022, said Anand Kumar, secretary at the renewable energy ministry, about a longer-term target.

Here, an announcement in July set the national goal to 500 GW of renewables by 2030.

English Edit: Daniel Frank Christensen

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