“India’s race to 175 GW” by December 2022

27 Indian states are not yet even halfway towards their targets

A latest report released today by global think tank Ember titled- “India’s race to 175 GW”. The report analyses the state-wise installed renewable energy (RE) capacity data from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in relation to state-specific RE targets.

The report talks about the states’ and UTs 2022 renewable energy installed capacity target. Four of India’s states and union territories have already surpassed their 2022 renewable

(RE) capacity targets, as India continues its race to 175 GW RE by December 2022. But 27 states are not yet even halfway towards their respective targets and would need a big step up to meet these by the end of the year.

Ember’s research, titled India’s race to 175 GW shows that India has installed 110 GW RE as of March 2022. India saw 9.2 GW of RE capacity addition in the last six months, with about three-quarters coming from RE deployments in Rajasthan and Gujarat. As of March 2022, three states and one union territory have now surpassed their end-of-year targets — Telangana (248%), Rajasthan (119%), Karnataka (107%), and Andaman and Nicobar (129%).

4 states and 1 UT have already surpassed their 2022 renewable (RE) capacity targets, as India continues its race to 175 GW RE by December 2022.

27 Indian states are not yet even halfway towards their targets.

With the given momentum, India will need 65 GW more in the next 9 months to meet 175 GW by December 2022.

As of March 2022, 5 key Indian states which also accounted for the two thirds of the shortfall are Maharashtra (11 GW,) UP (10 GW) , Andhra Pradesh (9 GW), Madhya Pradesh (7 GW) and Tamil Nadu (5 GW).

4 of these 5 states have installed less than 0.5 GW in the last 6 months with

Gujarat and Rajasthan are the only two states which have added 73% of new renewable energy capacity in the last six months.

There are several states with high power demand that are below 50% of their targets. These states are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana from the northern region, Madhya Pradesh from the central region, Maharashtra from western region and Andhra Pradesh from the south east region.

Especially states from northern India like Uttar Pradesh which also produces almost 10% of the country’s electricity share need to increase their RE uptake. While UP’s 90% of power comes from coal despite the plant load factor having declined from 69 to 61 in the last 5 years, also despite tax exemption the state is making a loss.

The report finding also resonated with the discussion which was conducted by Climate Trends on the IPCC Working Group III report on mitigation. During the discussion it was upfolded that the northern grid (states like UP, Punjab and Haryana) are losing significantly in accelerating renewable energy. Similar trends are across other northern states like Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana.

Gujarat:

● Gujarat achieved 97% of its end of 2022 target, as of March 2022

● In the last 6 months (Oct-21 to Mar-22), Gujarat deployed 1.8 GW of new RE capacity, second only to Rajasthan (+4.8 GW).

● Gujarat already surpassed its 2022 wind target and is 0.8 GW short of meeting its solar target

2022 target for Gujrat is : 17.1 GW (8 GW solar, 8.8 GW wind, 0.3 GW biopower, 0.03 small hydro)

Installed capacity,in Gujrat till March -22 is : 16.6 GW (7.2 GW solar, 9.2 GW wind, 0.1 GW bio, 0.1 GW shp)

Tamil Nadu:

● Tamil Nadu (TN) RE target for the end of 2022 is 21.5 GW, which is the second biggest only after Maharashtra. It achieved 75% this target, as of March 2022

● TN currently has the fifth highest shortfall among all Indian states and UTs on their respective end of 2022 targets. The state needs 5 GW of new RE capacity in the next 9 months to meet its target

● In the last 6 months, TN built 0.5 GW of new RE capacity

2022 target for Tamil Naidu is : 21.5 GW (8.9 GW solar, 11.9 GW wind, 0.6 GW biopower, 0.1 small hydro)

Installed capacity in TN as of March-22 is: 16.1 GW (5 GW solar, 9.9 GW wind, 1 GW bio, 0.1 GW shp)

West Bengal:

● West Bengal (WB) is lagging significantly on its end of 2022 RE target of 5.4 GW. It achieved just 11% of this, as of March 2022. This comes after WB’s previous policy decision not to “chase” this target

● In absolute terms, WB currently has the sixth highest shortfall among all Indian states and UTs on their respective end of 2022 targets. The state needs 4.8 GW of new RE capacity in the next 9 months to meet its target

● Last 6 months saw just 0.005 GW of new RE capacity addition, which is one of the lowest among all Indian states and UTs

2022 target for WB is: 5.4 GW (5.3 GW solar, 0.1 small hydro)

Installed capacity, in WB as of March-22: 0.6 GW (0.2 GW solar, 0.3 GW bio, 0.1 GW shp)

Maharashtra:

● Maharashtra end of 2022 RE target is 22 GW, which is the biggest among all the Indian states. It achieved 48% of this target as of Mar-22

● In absolute terms, Maharashtra has the biggest shortfall on its RE target, compared to other states and UTs. As of March 2022, it is short by 11.4 GW to meet its target

● In the last 6 months, Maharashtra commissioned just 0.2 GW of new RE capacity

2022 target for Maharashtra is: 22 GW (11.9 GW solar, 7.6 GW wind, 2.5 GW biopower, 0.05 small hydro)

Installed capacity,in Maharashta as of March-22: 16.1 GW (2.6 GW solar, 5 GW wind, 2.6 GW bio, 0.4 GW shp)

Five key Indian states account for two-thirds of this 65 GW shortfall – Maharashtra (11 GW), Uttar Pradesh (10 GW), Andhra Pradesh (9 GW), Madhya Pradesh (7 GW) and Tamil Nadu (5 GW). Of these states, only Tamil Nadu installed more than 0.5 GW of RE capacity in the last six months.

“Lack of progress in key states is holding back India’s race to 175 GW,” said Ember’s senior electricity policy analyst Aditya Lolla. “Solar and wind deployments need a big push in the coming months to drive India closer to this target.”

India’s coal phasedown journey to 2030

India’s coal phasedown commitment at COP26 makes it critical to deliver its renewables targets. The country’s electricity demand is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 4-5% until 2030. India targets 450 GW renewables and 500 GW non-fossil capacity by 2030 which can keep coal generation from rising over the current levels. But this requires a five-fold growth in solar and four-fold growth in wind in the next eight years. To achieve this, India cannot afford to slip too much on its more immediate target of 175 GW RE by 2022.

“Although India may fall short of its 2022 RE target of 175 GW without including large hydro, it is more than possible for India to deliver on its 2030 targets of 450 GW RE or 500 GW non-fossil capacity,” said Ember’s senior electricity policy analyst Aditya Lolla. “But that would need all the states to be fully engaged and aligned with the national targets.”

The writer of this article is Dr. Seema Javed, a known Environmentalist, Journalist and Communications Expert

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