New Delhi: Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy RK Singh said that 99 GW of Renewable Energy (RE) and 27 GW of thermal power capacity is currently under construction in India. Addressing Moneycontrol’s Policy Next Summit in New Delhi on January 18, Singh informed the industry that the total investments made in the power sector in the last nine years is about Rs 17 lakh crores, and the capacity under construction is worth another Rs 17.5 lakh crores.
“We have about 99 GW of renewable energy capacity under construction and around 32 GW of renewables under bidding stage. We shall be bidding around 40–50 GW of renewable capacity every year. In thermal capacity, we have about 27 GW under construction, we have bid out an additional 12 GW, 21 GW more under survey and investigation and a further 22 GW under initial stages. We have 47 GW of hydro capacity installed, 18 GW under construction and 13 GW under various stages of survey and investigation,” said the minister.
The minister observed that India has also emerged as a country which is at the forefront of energy transition. “Our rate of renewable capacity addition has been one of the fastest. We have 187 GW of renewable capacity. We had pledged that we will have 40 percent of our capacity from non-fossil-fuels by 2030, and today, we have 44 percent of our capacity from non-fossil-fuel sources. We have now upped our target and while we have pledged to have 50 percent of our capacity from non-fossil-fuel sources by 2030, we shall have 65 percent of our capacity from non-fossil-sources by 2030,” said Singh.
Speaking about the rising power demand, the minister informed that in 2014, the peak demand was around 130 GW while today it is in the region of 243 GW. “By 2030, the peak electricity demand is likely to cross 400 GW, indicating the fast growth of the economy. The demand grew at 9 percent last year, and is growing at 10 percent this year. On a daily basis, the demand is 8 GW–10 GW more than the same day previous year. There is no other market as big and growing as fast as us,” said the minister.
The minister said that the government is coming out with a Production Linked Incentive Scheme for grid-scale storage which will further bring down the price of storage. “Due to interventions such as custom duties on solar modules and cells as well as Approved List of Models and Manufacturers, the net result has been that the capacity of module manufacturing has gone up from about 20 GW to about 50 GW now; by 2030, we will have about 24 GW of polysilicon to module manufacturing capacity.”
He pointed out that India is the most competitive in renewable energy since the cost of renewable energy is the cheapest in the world, despite subsidies and protectionist measures being adopted by some countries. “We are adding energy storage capacity too. We have about 35 GW of Pumped Storage Projects capacity lined up. We are constructing battery storage capacity as well, though it is expensive at present. Unless we have volumes, the price will not come down,” he said.
The minister said that while we are a leader in manufacturing of wind power equipment, there is a need to domestically manufacture wind turbines of larger capacity. “I have told manufacturers that there will come a time when I am going to say that I will not accept any turbine of less than, let us say 5 MW.” He added that he wants entrepreneurs to enter the field of HVDC Transmission lines. “The manufacturing capacity of thermal equipment such as boilers and steam turbines has come down, since the world thought that India is moving away from thermal capacity addition since the nation is adding so much of capacity,” he said, adding that this capacity needs to be augmented.
The minister said that India is leading the change, being the only country which has achieved both NDCs, though our per capita emissions are one third of global average. “We achieved our commitment to reduce emissions intensity by 2019, 11 years ahead of the target year of 2030. Our energy-saving programmes are world-leading; our Perform Achieve Trade scheme has resulted in reduction of carbon emissions of 107 million tonnes per annum, our LED programme by 113 million tonnes per annum, and STAR rating programme by 57 million tonnes per annum. We have programme of energy efficiency for construction sector as well, thus covering the entire gamut of emissions reduction.”
The minister explained that the government has made Rules and regulations totally business-friendly, through regulations such as General Network Access.