Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said India would offer business prospects of around $20 billion in the renewable energy space every year for the next decade. He said the renewable energy capacity would touch 220 Gw in two years and the plan would be to take this to 450 Gw by 2030.
Speaking at the inauguration of RE-Invest 2020, a congregation of global renewable industry hosted by India, Modi asked global investors to join India's renewable energy journey. “There are huge renewable energy deployment plans for the next decade," he said.
Modi said India had the fourth-largest renewable energy capacity, at 136 Gw, which would rise to 220 Gw by 2022. In 2014, India had set a target of 175-Gw renewable energy capacity by 2022.
The current renewable energy capacity (solar + wind + biomass) stands at 86 Gw. The government, however, in 2019 gave the renewable energy status to large hydro power, in line with global norms. This added another 45 Gw to the total non-fossil-fuel portfolio, taking the total to 135.3 Gw. Earlier, only hydro power projects below 25 Mw were considered renewable.
“In the past six years, we increased our installed renewable energy capacity by two-and-half times,” Modi said, adding: “Our annual renewable energy capacity addition has been exceeding that of coal-based thermal power since 2017.”
Even when it was not affordable, investments were made in renewable energy. Now, investments and scale were bringing costs down, he said.
The PM also said production-linked incentives (PLI), similar to those for electronic manufacturing, would be offered for high-efficiency solar modules, to boost the generation of electricity from renewable sources. This would potentially generate an annual business of $20 billion, he said.
The Union Cabinet last week approved Rs 4,500-crore PLI scheme for ‘High Efficiency Solar PV Modules’. This money would be disbursed by to the nodal ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE). The move is expected to give a boost to domestic manufacturers. Solar manufacturing is still nascent in India and the Centre has been trying to reduce import dependence.
Modi said the demand for domestic solar equipment would “increase to 36 Gw in three years”. Ensuring 'ease of doing business' was the utmost priority and a dedicated project development cell had been established to facilitate investors in the renewable energy sector, he added.
“I want to tell investors why they should invest in India. We have a liberal foreign investment policy in the renewable sector. We have innovative bid structures which have proved to be successful. We have also started offering solar and wind hybrid projects,” Modi said.
R K Singh, Union minister for power, new and renewable energy, said during the inauguration: “We connected 28 million households in 18 months. We are now in the process of carrying out one of the fastest energy transitions in history. Our rate of growth of renewable energy capacity is the highest in the world.”
During the COP21 Paris conference in 2015, India had, under its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), committed to meeting 40 per cent of its energy demand from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. “Our installed capacity from non-fossil fuel sources has already reached 38.1 per cent and if we add the capacity construction, it goes up to 52 per cent and will reach 64 per cent by 2030,” Singh said.
He said global reports indicated that India was the only G20 country whose achievements were in line with the target to keep global temperature 2 degrees below (compared to pre-industrial averages).
RE-Invest will run through a virtual platform on November 27-28, with a participation from states, Indian and global clean energy industry and institutions.