Gujarat will likely add 46 gigawatts (Gw) to its new renewable energy capacity by 2029-30, according to a new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).
The report — Gujarat’s Electricity Sector Transformation - A Role-model of India’s Electricity Transition — identifies Gujarat as one of the five leading Indian states for renewable energy in terms of both existing generation capacity and future potential.
While Gujarat has already lifted its renewable energy target to 30 Gw in July from 17 Gw, the state could be more ambitious, with the ministry of new and renewable energy estimating its renewable energy potential to be 72.7 Gw, equally balanced between solar and wind energy potential. According to the report, renewable capacity addition of 4-5Gw annually would ensure that Gujarat’s incremental demand going ahead is supplied by renewables. This would be a dramatic shift in Gujarat’s electricity sector composition, with renewables forming 70 per cent of its capacity and 48 per cent of generation by 2029-30.
The IEEFA notes the incorporation of nearly 55 Gw of intermittent renewable energy into Gujarat’s electricity network would require investment and active measures on the grid integration and balancing front.
Tim Buckley, the IEEFA's director of energy finance studies and co-author of the report, said that the Indian government's ambitious new renewable energy target of 523 Gw by 2030 was a clear direction towards which states must move.
“Although Gujarat has incurred the cost of the recent bailout of its unviable imported thermal coal capacity at Mundra, refocusing efforts on continuing its already promising renewable capacity additions would see the State come out on top as the country’s renewable leader,” said Buckley.
The report’s co-author and the IEEFA's energy analyst Kashish Shah said that Gujarat could lead the way in transitioning to a low-cost, low-emission electricity system based on renewable energy sources.
“Gujarat is already well in the race for building renewables capacity between states such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan with similar renewable energy potential,” said Shah.