In a significant development, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) said the country has achieved its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) target with total non-fossil based installed energy capacity of 157.32 gigawatts (GW), which is 40.1 per cent of the total installed electricity capacity of 392.01 GW.

“At COP-21, as part of its NDCs, India had committed to achieving 40 per cent of its installed electricity capacity from non-fossil energy sources by 2030. The country has achieved this target in November 2021 itself,” MNRE said in a statement.

India’s installed Renewable Energy (RE) capacity stands at 150.54 GW, which includes solar at 48.55 GW, wind (40.03 GW), small hydro power (4.83 GW), bio-power (10.62 GW) and large hydro power (46.51 GW) as of November 2021. The nuclear energy based installed electricity capacity stands at 6.78 GW.

“In line with the Prime Minister’s announcement at the recently concluded CoP26, the Government is committed to achieving 500 GW of installed electricity capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by the year 2030,” the ministry added.

During the last 7.5 years, India has witnessed the fastest rate of growth in renewable energy capacity addition among all large economies, with renewable energy capacity (including large hydro) growing 1.97 times and solar energy expanding over 18 times.

India’s renewable energy programme is driven by private sector investment. According to the REN21 Renewables 2020 Global Status Report, during the period 2014-2019 renewable energy programmes and projects in India attracted an investment of $64.4 billion. In the year 2019 alone, $11.2 billion were invested.

According to government data, the Indian non-conventional energy sector received around $7.27 billion as FDI from the year 2014-15 up to June 2021. Of this, FDI of $797.21 million was attracted during 2020-21. A liberal foreign investment policy allows the foreign investors to enter into joint ventures with an Indian partner for financial and/or technical collaboration and for setting up energy-based power generation projects. Up to 100 per cent foreign investment as equity qualifies for automatic approval under the extant FDI policy of the government.

In order to facilitate renewable power evacuation and to reshape the grid for future requirements, Green Energy Corridor (GEC) projects have been initiated. The first component of the scheme, inter-state GEC with target capacity of 3200 circuit kilometer (ckm) transmission lines and 17,000 MVA capacity sub-stations, was completed in March 2020.

The second component – Intra-state GEC – with a target capacity of 9,700 ckm transmission lines and 22,600 MVA capacity sub-stations, is expected to be completed by June 2022. As of November 2021, 8,434 ckm of intra-state transmission lines have been constructed and 15,268 MVA of intra-state substations have been charged.

MNRE has also issued clarifications that RE generating stations have been granted ‘Must-Run’ status and this status remained unchanged during the period of lockdown, and further directed Discoms that since RE generating stations comprise only a minor portion of the total electricity generation in the country, the payments to RE generators be done on a regular basis as was being done prior to lockdown as per established procedure.

MNRE also issued directions reiterating that RE remains ‘Must-Run’ and any curtailment but for grid safety reason would amount to deemed generation.