Climate Change: Will we be able to achieve the target of 100GW solar capacity?

By the end of this year, India had set a target of 100 GW of solar capacity for itself. But according to a new report by JMK Research and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), India will fall far short of its target. In fact, the main reason for not achieving the target is the lackluster response from the public to rooftop solar.

As of December 2021, India’s cumulative installed solar capacity was 55GW, with grid-connected utility-scale projects contributing 77% and the remaining contribution coming from grid-connected rooftop solar (20%) and mini or micro off-grid projects (3%). Had been.

There are only eight months to 2022, and so far only about 50% of the 100GW target, which includes 60GW of utility-scale projects and 40GW of rooftop solar capacity, has been met. As of now, about 19GW of solar capacity is expected to be added in 2022 – 15.8GW from utility-scale projects and 3.5GW from rooftop solar.

Commenting on the development, Jyoti Gulia, Founder, JMK Research, and co-author of the report, says, “Even with this capacity addition, about 27% of India’s 100GW solar target will be missed.”

The report states that the 40GW rooftop solar target will decrease by 25GW by December 2022, while the utility-scale solar target will be short of just 1.8GW.

Gulia adds, “Utility-scale solar capacity addition is on track. India is set to achieve about 97% of its 60GW target. This necessitates a more concerted effort towards the expansion of rooftop solar.”

Policy constraints ranging from pandemic-related supply chain disruptions have hindered the growth of India’s rooftop solar (onsite solar power) and open access solar (offsite solar) installations. Vibhuti Garg, Energy Economist and India Lead at IEEFA and co-author of this report, says, “The projected 27GW shortfall from the 2022 solar target is due to several factors and can be attributed to various challenges. All of this together has slowed the overall progress of the renewable energy targets.”

Looking at the current pace and direction, the report states that India’s solar target of 300GW by 2030 will be left behind by about 86GW.

Reasons why this appears to be happening include: regulatory constraints; net metering limits; Issues relating to double burden of basic customs duty on imported cells and modules and approved list of models and manufacturers; Unsigned Power Supply Agreement (PSA) and Banking Restrictions; Financial issues as well as delay or rejection of Open Access approval grants; and the unpredictability of future open access fees.

“Central and state government policies and regulations are aligned to support the solar sector as a whole, and the ailing rooftop and open access segment of the market in particular,” says Akhil Thayilam, senior research associate and co-author, JMK Research should go.”

The report proposes short- and long-term measures to get India back on track to meet its solar targets.

short term solutions

, Implement similar policies at the national level for at least the next five years.

, Consistent rules for net metering and banking facilities should also be applicable at the national level.

, Restrictions on banking renewable energy should be lifted until the states’ roof top and open access targets are met.

long term solutions

, Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) should be strictly enforced.

, Better financial position of distribution companies (discoms) and possible privatization should be thought of.

, Reduction in cross subsidy charges for commercial and industrial customers.

, Capital subsidy for Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).

“In rooftop solar, state-level efforts like Gujarat’s Surya Yojana need to be replicated in the short term by other states to help increase capacity,” Gulia says.

She eventually adds, “It is also likely that the government will, in the short term, aggressively accelerate solar capacity to achieve the 100GW target by 2022 by reallocating some of the unmet rooftop target to utility-scale production. Will insist.”

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) investigates issues related to energy markets, trends and policies. IEEFA’s mission is to accelerate the transition to a diversified, sustainable and profitable energy economy. JMK Research & Analytics provides research and advisory services to Indian and international clients in the renewable energy, electric mobility and battery storage markets.

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