India – 12 Renewable Energy Policy Initiatives Implemented By India (Part 1 +2 )
Since the National Democratic Alliance government took to power in May 2014 several landmark policy initiatives have been undertaken in the renewable energy sector. The result of these initiatives has been that India now stands to become the third-largest solar power market in the world and remains one of the largest wind energy markets in the world.
In this four part series of the articles we will briefly analyse the various initiatives of the Indian government and what impact they have on the renewable energy market. In this part we will look at the macro-level directional policy initiatives.
Part 1 macro-level directional policy initiatives:
5x Increase In Renewable Energy Targets
When the National Solar Mission was launched in late 2010 the installed capacity target for March 2022 was 20 gigawatts of utility-scale projects and 2 gigawatts of rooftop solar power projects. In May 2014, this target was increased to 100 gigawatts installed capacity by March 2022. The government set a target to set up 20 gigawatts through solar power parks, which was subsequently increased to 40 gigawatts. The target for rooftop solar power projects was increased to 40 gigawatts by March 2022.
Wind energy capacity target was set as 60 gigawatts and the overall renewable energy target was set at 175 gigawatts by March 2022. The Renewable Purchase Obligation for solar power was increased from 3% by March 2022 to 8%.
Renewable Generation Obligation
The Renewable Generation Obligation is an extension of the Renewable Purchase Obligation and was actually implemented following the disastrous outcome of the latter. According to an amendment in the National Tariff Policy, any project developer looking to develop a thermal power plant will have to set up renewable energy projects equivalent to at least 10% of the planned thermal power project. This also paves way for integrated supply of thermal power as well as renewable energy through the same power purchase agreement.
Renewable Energy Targets For Government Entities
After increasing the renewable energy targets by five times the Indian government allocated capacity addition targets amongst its own entities. Government-owned companies and entities were given individual capacity addition targets. NTPC, NHPC, Coal India, Indian Railways and several other companies pledged to add wind and solar power capacity during the first-ever renewable energy investors summit in 2015. Public sector companies pledged to add more than 19 gigawatts in renewable energy capacity in that summit. Shipping ports, airports and even the Indian armed forces also announced plans to set up large-scale renewable energy projects.
Part 2 of 4 articles, briefly analyzing the renewable energy initiatives announced or implemented by the Indian government over the last three years. In this part we shall look at the initiatives undertaken to ease the transmission and end-consumption of renewable energy.
Green Energy Corridors
The Indian government announced that a dedicated transmission network for renewable energy projects will be developed in order to a) avoid stress on the existing transmission grid and b) ease inter-state transmission to enable achievement of renewable purchase obligation. Work on a number of transmission projects under this program has already started. This program shall be highly beneficial for the several solar and wind energy parks planned by the central and state governments.
Abolishment of inter-state transmission charges
In order enable states with low solar resources the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy waived off the inter-state transmission charges for wind and solar power projects. This incentive shall be applicable to all solar power projects commissioned by 30 June 2017 and all wind energy projects commissioned by 31 March 2019. This initiative will allow several states to sign power purchase agreements with large-scale renewable energy projects. The direct result was Delhi Metro Rail Corporation signing a PPA with Rewa solar power park located 800 kilometres away. Several states signed PPAs worth 1,050 megawatts with wind energy projects located in different parts of the country.
Renewable Energy Forecast Regulations
In order to better integrate the large amount of renewable energy expected to enter the Indian power mix the Indian regulatory bodies have issued regulations for project operators to forecast, with a certain accuracy, and schedule the renewable energy they plan to inject into the grid. This brings renewable energy projects much closer to being at par with all other power projects in India which face similar scheduling regulations and penalties.
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