India plans to achieve 500 GW of installed renewable capacity by 2030 by adding 250 GW of renewable energy capacity in the next five years, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) said on April 5.
The government has invited bids for 50 GW per year of renewable energy capacity from the April 2023-March 2024 fiscal year until 2027-28, considering that a renewable energy project takes around 18-24 months for commissioning.
India's power ministry is already working on upgrading and adding transmission system capacity for evacuating 500 GW of electricity from non-fossil fuels.
"The structured bidding trajectory will provide sufficient time to the RE [renewable energy] developers to plan their finances, develop their business plans and manage the supply chain more efficiently," power and renewable energy minister RK Singh said.
These annual bids for inter-state transmission-connected renewable energy capacity will also include the setting up of wind power capacity of at least 10 GW per year.
Presently, state-owned Solar Energy Corporation of India, utilities NTPC and NHPC, as well as SJVN are notified by the government as state-appointed renewable energy implementing agencies (REIAs) for calling such bids, the renewable energy ministry said.
The 50 GW per year targeted bid capacity for 2023-24 will be allocated among the four REIAs. The REIAs will be permitted to bring out bids for solar, wind and solar-wind hybrid energy capacity, as per their assessment of the renewable energy market or according to directions from the government.
India relies heavily on coal for power generation. Coal typically accounts for more than 70% of India's actual power generation as it is considered to be an affordable source of energy. Renewables currently account for just around 10% of India's power generation.
India currently has a renewable energy capacity of 168.96 GW as of 28 February, with about 82 GW at various stages of implementation and about 41 GW under tendering stage, the renewable energy ministry said, adding that it includes 64.38 GW solar power, 51.79 GW hydropower, 42.02 GW wind power and 10.77 GW bio power.
The renewable energy ministry also announced a quarterly bidding plan for 2023-24, which comprises of bids for at least 15 GW of renewable energy capacity each during April-June and July-September, followed by 10 GW each during October-December and January-March 2024.
These capacity additions will be over and above renewable energy capacities that come under the government's rooftop solar scheme, which subsidises rooftop solar installations, and the PM-Kusum programme that aims to promote solar farming among Indian farmers.
The government in its budget for 2023-24 promised support of 83 billion rupees ($1.01bn) out of a total investment of Rs207 billion for an inter-state transmission system for evacuation and grid integration of 13 GW of renewable energy from Ladakh. Delhi has allocated a total of Rs350 billion for its 2070 net zero goal in the budget, covering areas like hydrogen, renewables and green mobility.