India looks set to overshoot its key Paris Climate Agreement target by over 60%, thanks to plans for close to two-thirds of its installed electricity capacity to be renewable by 2030, according to India’s Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
According the CEA’s analysis depsite “a base forecast for thermal power capacity of 291 gigawatts by 2030, a clear expansion from the 225 GW operating as of March 2019,” the body is assured “that thermal capacity will drop from 64% to just 35% of total installed capacity in only 11 years,” according to the briefing note by the international institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).
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The models proposed by the CEA “also take into account that India will need 34 gigawatts/136 gigawatt-hours of battery energy storage systems by 2030 to balance the grid reliability and stability needs of 440 GW of variable renewable energy capacity, supported by 73 GW of hydro and 10 GW of biomass,” IEEFA says. With battery costs down 30% in 2018 alone, “this ambitious forecast could prove to be prescient”.
The IEEFA added that stronger ambition will be required, as many Indian cities rank amongst the world’s most polluted, and while the country is “making huge strides” in its efforts to build more renewable infrastructure and capacity, the IEEFA stressed that state and national efforts must be coordinated..
“Solar-rich Gujarat has raised its renewable energy ambition by aiming for at least 30 GW of renewable energy generation capacity by 2022—some 17% of the national 175-GW target by that point,” noted the IEEFA in a previous report.
Gujarat will reach its target in part due to solar, with Finance Minister Nitin Patel having announced a US$145-million plan to provide solar panels to homes in the region.
“Under the program,” says IEEFA, “households will receive a subsidy worth 40% of the cost of rooftop systems with a capacity of up to three kilowatts, and a 20% subsidy for systems with capacities of three to 10 kW.”
The IEEFA cites growth of “quality interstate grid transmission” being a “critical prerequisite” to reaching the country’s goal.