India’s renewable power output plan optimistically eyes four-fold increase

3 Mar 2015

India’s government is developing plans to quadruple the country’s renewable power capacity within the next eight years.

This on the surface looks wildly optimistic, given that it would need the current rate of installations to rise annually from its current highs of 4,900 megawatts to 20,000.

According to Renewable Energy World, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a goal of 24-hour power supply, clean drinking water and a toilet for each household by 2022 when the nation celebrates its 75th year of independence.

“He is keen to achieve the power supply target using renewables and has been asking state-run companies to invest in clean energy.”

India’s solar power drive has slowed by 12pc, with just 883MW of capacity added in 2014, as opposed to more than 1,000MW in 2013.

High hopes

Despite this, hopes are high of significant gains with regards to renewables in the country, regardless of the optimistic government hopes.

“Mercom Capital expects that about 1,800MW capacity would be added in 2016,” according to Clean Technica.

Gamesa India, Suzlon Energy Ltd. and Welspun Renewables Energy Pvt. Ltd. are among companies likely to benefit from the increased renewable targets in the second-most populous nation.

“We are confident that renewable energy in India will take off from here and witness exponential growth in the next few years,” Suzlon chairperson Tulsi Tanti said on Clean Technica.

Just less than a third of Indian households currently lack electricity, however, that figure has dropped from nearly half at the turn of the millennium.

Modi recently said India was working on building a consortium with dozens of other sun-drenched countries to pool research and technological advancements, thereby getting power to the poorer, remote and rural areas of his country.

A recent report found that solar power could well become the cheapest mode of energy production within a couple of decades. In just 10 years, production costs are expected to plummet to just €0.04-6/kWh, and half again by 2050.

Wind farm image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic