POWER UTILITY, PROJECT | Staff Reporter, India

India could fall short of 227GW renewables target by 2022

Developers are struggling with cost increases, import tariffs and grid-connection issues.

Despite a flurry of tenders, doubts are growing about whether India will be able to meet its near-term target of achieving 227GW renewables capacity by 2022, according to EY.

The new target, extends the country’s existing goal of installing 100GW of solar and 75GW of wind by 2022.

As a result, the Indian government is set to auction 40GW of solar and wind capacity each year to 2028, with the aim of generating 40% of its power from around 500GW of renewables.

Solar tenders have been scaled back or cancelled as developers bid higher prices than anticipated, in response to cost increases from tax changes and import tariffs on solar cells and modules. “Developers have also struggled to secure land for some projects, whilst grid-connection issues have slowed others,” the firm added.

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), the government agency charged with implementing the country’s renewable energy build-out, has conducted six rounds of wind auctions since 2017, attracting rock-bottom bids for 8.4GW of capacity. Of the 1GW auctioned in the first round in 2017, however, less than half was commissioned before the mid-2018 deadline.

Also read: Sluggish solar installation threatens India's 175GW renewable energy target

Of the 58GW of renewable energy capacity tendered in 2018, only 20GW was awarded, according to consultancy firm Bridge to India. Renewable energy developers say more consistent policy and regulatory support for the sector is needed if the government is to meet its ambitious targets, EY highlighted.

Meanwhile, all three major parties have expressed broad support for clean energy in their manifestos for the ongoing parliamentary elections, the results of which are due on 23 May.

“The BJP and the Indian National Congress party have both reiterated support for the National Solar Mission, whilst the minority Aam Aadmi Party has promised to promote decentralised renewables infrastructure,” EY explained. 

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