India to Bank on Innovative Ways to Garner Rs1.75 Lakh Cr Investment for Renewable Sector: SPDA

India will have to look for more innovative ways to garner additional investments worth Rs 1.75 lakh crore for having 35 GW of renewable power generation capacity next year to meet the ambitious target of 175 GW of clean energy capacity by 2022.

December 28, 2020. By Manu Tayal

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India will have to look for more innovative ways to garner additional investments worth Rs 1.75 lakh crore for having 35 GW of renewable power generation capacity next year to meet the ambitious target of 175 GW of clean energy capacity by 2022.

At present, the country has a total installed renewable energy capacity of 90 GW, including 39 GW of wind energy and 37 GW of solar power generation capacity.

Around 50 GW of renewable energy capacity is under construction and there is also a strong pipeline of 30 GW for new bids.

“There is a fund requirement of Rs 1.75 lakh crore to achieve the balance capacity of 35 GW (under bidding/ to be bid out/ auctioned) to achieve an overall target of 175 GW,” director general of Solar Power Developers Association Shekhar Dutt told PTI.

He also said that implementation of renewable projects and innovation in tendering them to attract investors would play a key role in 2021.

According to him quoted PTI that, India needs to design innovative tenders with the inclusion of wind, solar and energy storage to ensure that renewable can replace fossil fuels to a great extent.

Further, solar power tariff dropped to an all-time low of Rs 1.99 per unit in an auction of projects of 500 MW capacity by Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) in December.

Now, in order to maintain the momentum, the government will have to be more proactive and innovative to attract investors into the sector.

Dutt said that agencies implementing renewable energy projects are facing challenges with respect to signing Power Sales Agreements (PSA) for around 16 GW with discoms and electricity procurers.

Such a situation shows that the implementation of the ambitious target of 175 GW will be possible only when there are assured buyers for clean energy across the country. Otherwise, it will not be viable to set up huge generation capacities.

However, Dutt said that till the time domestic manufacturing capacity of requisite quality is not enough to meet demand, restrictive measures must be avoided.

According to industry players, the current focus is on developing large-scale ultra mega solar power projects but there are challenges such as land acquisition, sub-optimal utilisation of power evacuation infrastructure and higher transmission losses and charges.

“India is endowed with abundant sunshine across the country with a variation of 15-20 per cent. Hence, small to medium scale projects (50-100 MW) can be developed at load centres in 700+ districts located across the country, which will result in lower transmission losses, better utilisation of transmission assets, equitable job creation and development etc,” Dutt said.

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