● India‘s solar and wind capacity needs a five-fold increase by 2030 to align with the IEA net-zero scenario.
● This would need India to build 38% more solar capacity every year compared to the planned additions in the 14th National Electricity Plan to meet the existing targets.
● India currently faces considerable financing barriers to achieve the significant financing gap to align with IEA’s net-zero pathway.
India is already planning to more than triple renewable energy capacity by 2030, but to do that it requires $293 billion in financing, according to a new report by global think tank Ember. The analysis finds that India’s 14th National Electricity Plan (NEP14) put the country on track to more than triple its renewable energy capacity by 2030. But to further scale it up to align with the net-zero scenario proposed by the International Energy Agency (IEA), India needs an additional financing of $101 billion.
Beyond tripling of renewables capacity
The COP28 president has called for a global agreement to triple renewable capacity by 2030. Even though it remains unclear on the global target’s implications for individual countries, tripling renewable capacity by 2030 should be well within reach as India’s NEP14 plans for a much higher increase in renewables, according to the report.
However, if the world has to align with the net-zero pathway suggested by the IEA, India is expected to set targets that are higher than its current plan. This would require India to achieve around 32% of generation from solar and 12% from wind by 2030, the report suggests. The report estimates that to achieve this generation levels from solar and wind, India will need to build an additional capacity of 115 GW of solar and 9 GW of wind by 2030 on top of the solar and wind target set out in its NEP14 plan. It will take India’s total renewable capacity to 448 GW of solar and 122GW of wind by 2030.
Pressing financing needs
Between 2023 and 2030, an investment of $293 billion would be necessary for India to meet its existing solar and wind targets, according to the analysis. The investment will be essential to put India on track to more than triple its renewable capacity by 2030s, the report estimates. To further scale up the country’s renewable capacity target to align with the IEA net-zero pathway, it will be crucial for India to have access to an additional financing of $101 billion to build capacity in solar, wind, storage and transmission, the analysis shows.
However, the analysis highlights that renewable projects in India face investment risks from payment delays to regulatory challenges, which contribute to financing barriers to mobilise investment. The financial requirements to achieve both the NEP14 target and the IEA net-zero scenario far exceed the current investment and funding capacities available in India, the report suggests.
To achieve the heightened ambition, India’s financing capacity must increase nearly threefold on average by 2030 from an investment capacity of approximately $75 billion in the previous eight years, according to the report.
Neshwin Rodrigues, Ember’s India Electricity Policy Analyst, said “Despite investment risks, India needs financing to build capacity in renewables, storage and transmission to even meet the NEP14 targets. To further step up ambitions to match a global net-zero pathway, securing significantly more financing at competitive rates will be vital to ensure the viability for India to reach the goal. Access to this finance is critical for India to avoid building new coal capacity to meet its growing demand in this decade.”
The writer of this article is Dr. Seema Javed, an environmentalist & a communications professional in the field of climate and energy