Solar power in India is to grow 18-fold and become the new “king of India’s generation fleet” by at least 2040, giving investors and climate experts a reason to celebrate.
In September 2019, India announced its target to reach 450 GW of renewable energy generation capacity by 2030, making it one of the most ambitious targets in the world.
In a major shot in the arm towards those ambitions, India moved to the third spot on the 57th EY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI)due to an exceptional performance on the solar photovoltaic (PV) front. In a statement released to the media. India's solar sector is expected to grow significantly post the pandemic, with generation from solar PV forecast to exceed coal before 2040, EY said in a statement.
“India has moved one position above (3rd) from the previous index (4th), this is primarily because of the exceptional performance on the solar PV front. Installed solar PV capacity in India has skyrocketed to 39 GW marginally overtaking the wind capacity for the first time," Somesh Kumar, Partner and National Leader, Power & Utilities, EY India, said. The economic attractiveness of solar PV and intense competition from the private sector has led to record low tariff bids. India also committed to setting up 450 GW for renewable energy power capacity (installed) by 2030 in the recent climate summit hosted by the US. This will likely increase the share of renewable energy in the overall power generation installed capacity to 54 per cent , vis-a-vis share in overall gross generation to 36 per cent, he added.
Solar power currently makes up just 4% of India’s power supply, but it is set to grow 18-fold and become the new “king of India’s generation fleet” by at least 2040, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). According to IEA’s India Energy Outlook 2021 report India’s energy demand will expand more than any other nation over the next two decades, edging out the EU to make it the third largest consumer.
Under existing policies, India’s emissions are also expected to grow by 50% during this period, offsetting all the cuts in European emissions. Even then, its per-capita emissions will still be “well below” the global average, given that India has the world’s second largest populace with an estimated 1.39 bn people.
The report also analyses how a combination of coal shutdowns and new technologies, such as hydrogen and carbon capture, could get India on a path to net-zero emissions for its energy sector by the mid-2060s. According to recent ET article, India’s crude oil production also fell by 5.2 per cent and natural gas production by 8.1 per cent in the FY21 as producers extracted 30,491.7 Thousand Metric Tonnes (TMT) of crude oil and 28670.6 Million Metric Standard Cubic Metres (MMSCM) of natural gas in the fiscal.
All in all India’s solar sector seems to be on the up and up. 2021 alone has seen several solar projects being announced from ReNew’s latest solar cell and module manufacturing facility in Gujarat to India’s largest floating solar project, commissioned by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) which will have a capacity of 100 MW. The future for India’s solar segment is looking bright indeed.