India's dream of a clean energy future, for the ‘New India’ is one of the largest renewable capacity expansion programs in the world. With the current climate change discussion being the focal point in international policy debates, it is imperative for the country to address the growing concerns of global warming and its high dependence on fossils fuels. India too is contributing to a better future by trying to increase its adoption and promotion of renewable energy.
According to the Climate scope report, renewable energy accounted for 71 GW of India's installed generating capacity in June 2018. This is a substantial increase from existing capacities of 3.5 GW, 23 GW, 4.4 GW, and 4.2 GW, respectively (MNRE, November 2015). As the solar spread increases, the government plans to set up a proper framework to boost domestic manufacturing for the sector.
The country's maximum solar power developers are obtaining equipment and solar modules from China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia, where these products are cheaper. Domestic manufacturers are unable to compete with Chinese counterparts due to a lack of complete value chain and ecosystem for manufacturing in India. This has led to higher costs and dependence on protection from the government for their existence and survival. If India is planning to boost its domestic manufacturing units, it has to focus on a long-term robust plan to develop end-to-end manufacturing support for its domestic sector. India is planning to invite bids for setting up 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar power capacity, the world’s largest solar tender, to increase domestic manufacturing of solar power equipment.
For India to be able to achieve its set target, the corporate sector has to take an active interest in the adoption of renewable energy at large. JBM Group is committed to contributing to achieving this target. JBM, for example as a Group, is committed to contributing to achieving this target. The group has planned an investment of Rs. 1,600 crore in renewable energy space in the first phase and is working on multiple projects under the initiative. Our Solar division, JBM Solar has recently commissioned a 135 MW solar plant in Maharashtra, largest in the state to date. Previously, the company has also developed Haryana’s largest solar power plant with a capacity to generate 20MW and is located in Barwa village in Bhiwani district of Haryana. Before this, the company commissioned a 250KW rooftop solar installation at India Habitat Center, Delhi. The division has also executed rooftop solar installations for Indian Railways in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
In addition to our solar division, JBM is also working on energy storage systems. We have developed the "Well-to-Wheel" concept of zero-emission e-mobility with in-house capabilities in clean energy generation, energy storage systems, charging infra and e-vehicles. Our multiple businesses like Renewable Energy, EV Charging Infrastructure and Electric Vehicles have strategically synergized towards creating a seamless solution from generation to the consumption of clean energy. This will signify the next phase of public mobility in India.
There has been significant investment from the authorities end as well in preparing the regulatory framework, upskilling the workforce for small scale deployments, and in educating the market. The recent PMP rolled out by the Department of Heavy Industries directing all-electric vehicle and hybrid manufacturers to localize is a reflection of the Government’s 'Make in India' focus and will provide the much-needed motivation to domestic manufacturers of electric vehicles. Indigenization of components is a step forward towards boosting electric mobility and in turn electric vehicle manufacturing ecosystem in India.
As per reports, capacity addition of 27.07 GW of renewable energy has been reported during the last three and a half years under Grid Connected Renewable Power, which includes 12.87 GW from solar power, 11.70 GW from wind power, 0.59 from small hydro-power, and 0.79 from bio-power. In the grid-connected solar sector, MNRE says that 47 parks with an aggregate capacity of 26,694 MW have been approved in 21 states up to November 2018.
We are confident about the growth rate in the clean energy sector with the support of the government. The Indian government in its submission to the United Nations Frame Work Convention on Climate Change on Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) has stated that India will achieve 40 percent cumulative electric power capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030 with the help of the transfer of technology and low-cost international finance including from Green Climate Fund.
Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis(IEEFA) estimates that for the next three years, solar rooftop installs will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50%, suggesting a cumulative 13GW of installed capacity by FY2021/2022. IEEFA further says that the steps the government can take to increase installations are by clarifying policies and unveiling financial subsidies to incentivize market activity, providing support for domestic manufacturing and simplifying the net metering application process.
At the moment around 70% of the market growth in the solar rooftop market is driven by commercial and industrial consumers enjoying high tariffs but residential consumers and state governments are lagging. However, the government’s 20-40% financial subsidy for new
residential rooftop solar installations could accelerate the pace at the local level.
However, solar is cheaper than commercial and industrial grid tariffs in all major states in India with average tariffs between $0.086 and $0.16 (INR6-11)/kWh. The payback period is also down to three to four years for commercial and industrial customers which will further reduce as equipment costs fall coupled with the rise in retail tariffs.
What India needs is a renewable energy policy that is both business-centric and focuses on ensuring supply to meet the needs of the people. It should be a means to de-carbonize the economy and provide access to large numbers of energy-deprived people. Adopting solar will encourage countries to achieve its climate change policies faster. It is imperative that plans should be laid by the promotion of strong renewable growth in the present.
In the last two years, due efforts have been made to harness India’s solar energy potential. The solar energy sector will drive India’s vision to achieve a green future by ensuring energy security and lower fossil-fuel imports which will also help reduce the fiscal deficit. Hence, it is crucial for all stakeholders and the industry as a whole to come together, in addition to, independent due diligence on the opportunities.
| Article published on 10/07/2019 by Moulin