India is all set to cross the 100GW renewable energy capacity mark in 2020 and can make rapid strides towards the ambitious 175GW clean energy target by 2022 provided the government keeps a close eye on key issues and deals with those well in time. The government however needs to promote storage to ensure 24X7 clean energy supply as coal fired thermal power still remains the base load in the country.
Presently, the issues hampering growth of renewables in India are lack of interest of financial institution to fund renewable energy projects, safeguard duty on imported solar panels, ambiguity over goods and services tax (GST) on solar equipment and low investor sentiment due to delayed or non-payment by discoms to clean energy developers. India's installed renewable energy generation capacity touched around 86GW by November-end. This includes solar, wind, small hydro, biomass, waste to energy and others.
Around 30GW renewable capacity including 18GW solar and 10GW wind energy is under implementation. Besides, around 40 GW including 36GW solar and 3.4GW wind energy, is being tendered. "Together with other schemes being implemented by the government, I expect RE (Renewable Energy) sector to get a big boost in 2020 and the years thereafter. I expect our RE capacity to cross 100GW mark in 2020," Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh told PTI.
Earlier this year, several new programs such as PM-KUSUM, solar rooftop phase-2, development of Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Power Parks (UMREPPs) etc have been introduced to promote renewable energy sector in India. Singh said, "Our initiatives in 2020 will be aimed at achieving RE targets by providing an environment of policy certainty. Our efforts will be to minimise the risks and promote ease of doing business for investors, manufacturers and other stakeholders." The government also needs to focus on storage of renewables based on rapidly improving technologies. The minister said storage is necessary not only for the growth of RE sector but is also a pre-condition to reduce our dependence on conventional energy resources like hydrocarbons and coal which are exhaustible and polluting.