We are Looking at Growing Capacity from Floating Solar: RK Singh

The Power and Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh said that India is looking at growing capacity from floating solar.
While speaking during the launch of country’s leading think-tank The Energy and Resources Institute’s (TERI’s) new report, ‘Renewable Power Pathways: Modelling the Integration of Wind and Solar in India by 2030’.

July 22, 2020. By Hemant Arora

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The Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh said that India is looking at growing capacity from floating solar.

While speaking during the launch of country’s leading think-tank The Energy and Resources Institute’s (TERI’s) new report, ‘Renewable Power Pathways: Modelling the Integration of Wind and Solar in India by 2030’. Singh said that India has the fastest growth rate in the world in renewable energy.

He added that India is transforming its energy sector and is happy to engage with the challenge.

On the future plans of his government, the Minister further added that “we are aiming to make our thermal capacity flexible, almost 55 per cent in the first stage and gradually extend it to the entire capacity. All our demand growth will be met by renewable energy.”

He said that, “we are balancing the grid through hydropower. We are looking at growing capacity from floating solar. There have been innovative bids for meeting peak demand, for round the clock electricity, and for storage, all of which will bring prices down.”

According to TERI’s new report India can integrate over 30 percent of wind and solar in its power system, while still maintaining security of supply and without raising the total economic costs of its electricity system.

The report identified a number of strategies that are required to accommodate the growth of variable renewables and allow for the achievement of India’s mid-term renewables targets.

TERI in its report predicted that, by 2030, India can achieve generation shares of variable renewables like wind and solar greater than 30 percent, and shares of total zero carbon generation including large hydro and nuclear greater than 45 percent.

This can be achieved at no extra system cost, provided that a comprehensive portfolio of options is deployed in order to increase the flexibility of the power system. Absent this, India will not be able to achieve its 2030 objective of raising the generation capacity of renewables to 450 GW. It is time to shift the high-level focus of policy from the achievement of capacity targets, to the transformation of the operations and investment in the power sector required to integrate VRE. Something of the nature of a ‘National Power System Flexibility Mission’ is the need of the hour, otherwise India’s renewable energy ambitions may falter.

The report have been prepared by Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) India, which is a research platform based at TERI. It is the Indian chapter of the global ETC, which is co-chaired by Lord Adair Turner and Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI.

Commenting on the development, Lord Turner said that “we are now at a time with renewable energy where the fundamental principle should be that all growth in electricity demand can be met by zero carbon sources. We then have to work our way through getting out of the existing coal capacity. This will be a huge contribution to delink from the problem of climate change.”

“To integrate larger share of variable renewable energy in the power mix, a portfolio approach to power system flexibility is required. Enhancing the flexibility of the power system is now the most important bottleneck to achieving India’s renewable energy ambitions. This report shows the way forward,” Dr Mathur added.

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