A month back the government invited bids for 50 GW of renewable energy capacity annually for the next five years.
These annual bids of ISTS (Inter-State Transmission) connected renewable energy capacity will also include setting up of wind power capacity of at least 10 GW per annum.
The plan finalised by Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) was in accordance with India’s COP26 commitments.
On the face of it, the bidding trajectory and the timeframe are perfect, as this is what the industry also wanted. But, what will pose a challenge is availability of equipment and infrastructure to implement this ambitious plan as well as evacuation of the power.
India currently has a total renewable energy capacity of 168.96 GW (as on February 28, 2023) with about 82 GW at various stages of implementation and about 41 GW at tendering stage. This includes 64.38 GW Solar Power, 51.79 GW Hydro Power, 42.02 GW Wind Power and 10.77 GW Bio Power.
Considering that Renewable Energy projects take 18-24 months for commissioning, the bid plan will add 250 GW of renewable energy and ensure 500 GW of installed capacity by 2030. The Power Ministry is already working on upgrading and adding the transmission system capacity for evacuating 500 GW of electricity from non-fossil fuel.
While financing of these projects may not be a challenge, as money is flowing into the clean energy sector, who will supply the equipment like turbines and modules, power cables etc will be an issue as there are only handful of original equipment manufacturers.
Besides, by 2024 the government has said all equipment will be domestically sourced. Therefore, to avoid delays in project implementation, the equipment supply side and infrastructure need to be addressed simultaneously.