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June 14, 2018
2 years

Why in news?

Union Power Ministry announced it would overshoot the target of installing renewable energy sources by 2022.

What is the actual status of renewable energy installations?

  • In 2015 Union government has announced 175 GW of renewable energy installations, recently the target has been increased to 225 GW.
  • If India hits the 175 GW target, it stands to meet its greenhouse-gas emission goal under the Paris climate agreement.
  • Of the current goal of 100 GW from solar energy by 2022, 40 GW is to come from rooftop installations, and 60 GW from large solar parks.
  • But India has missed several interim milestones since it announced its 175 GW target.
  • The obstacles have capped capacity addition to 69 GW till date, with India missing its 2016 and 2017 milestones.
  • The misses happened despite renewable capacity being augmented at a blistering pace.

What are the challenges in achieving the ambitious target?

  • Lower Margins - Wind and solar tariffs have hit such low levels that suppliers are working with wafer-thin margins.
  • Rooftop solar clocked a compound annual growth rate of 117% between 2013 and 2017 India only hit 3% of its goal by the end of 2017.
  • Policy Lacunas - In the solar sector alone, which the government is prioritising, policy uncertainties loom large.
  • Homeowners aren’t warming up to the idea of installing photovoltaic panels on their terraces because the economics does not work out for them.
  • Practical challenges - Technological and financial challenges remain, both wind and solar generation could be erratic.

What measures needs to be taken?

  • India’s creaky electricity grid must be modernised to distribute such power efficiently.
  • To hit its 2022 target of 175 GW, 106 GW will have to be added in four years, more than twice the capacity added in the last four.
  • Manufacturers of photovoltaic (PV) cells have demanded a 70% safeguard duty on Chinese PV imports, and the Directorate General of Trade Remedies need take a call on this.
  • Policies favouring homeowners to sell electricity back to the grid, needs to be incorporated with a nationwide “net-metering” policy.

Source: The Hindu



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