Building up renewable energy in India might cost $26.5 billion by 2030

According to a new estimate from the Energy Department’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, building 307 GW of solar and 142 GW of wind power in India by 2030 would necessitate an annual expenditure of roughly $26.5 billion. That amount would be almost 20% less than what was spent in all of the country’s generating resources between 2015 and 2019.

Renewable capacity deployment is expected to consume around 1.25 percent of land designated as barren or waste. Because solar resources are abundant in many places of India, solar energy development—and hence land use—could be spread out.

India has set a target of 500 GW of installed non-fossil fuel capacity by 2030, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated in November during the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-26) in Glasgow. Current nuclear and big hydroelectric capacity totals around 50 GW.

According to the report, installing 450 GW of renewables by 2030 might help Modi accomplish his aim. In August, India reached 100 GW of renewable energy capacity, with another 80 GW on the way.

In the third quarter of 2021, the country added 2,835 MW of solar, a 14 percent increase over the 2,488 MW installed in the second quarter. According to a Research, installations increased 547 percent year on year.

India deployed more than 7.4 GW of solar in the first nine months of 2021, a 335 percent increase over the 1.73 GW installed in the same time in 2020.

Increased raw material costs, “extreme volatility” in module supply and pricing, power restriction in multiple Indian states, and high freight charges all contributed to project developers’ troubles, according to the research.

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According to Berkeley Lab experts, India would require around 280 GW of new transmission capacity by 2030, which is somewhat more than double the transmission growth presently planned through 2025. The majority of the new transmission capacity is expected to be driven by a near-doubling of power consumption between 2020 and 2030.

Experts belive that utilizing domestically made solar panels instead of imported panels may raise solar power purchase agreement (PPA) rates by 10%–15% in the mid-term. Even yet, the analysis stated that solar electricity would be a more cost-effective approach to fulfill rising demand than developing new fossil-fuel-based power facilities. This is because the variable cost of most existing coal units has fallen below the price of power generated by solar facilities.

In order to meet renewable energy capacity requirements, India will need to install around 35–40 GW of solar and wind power per year over the next decade. In the previous decade, India’s electricity sector gained roughly 22 GW every year (including thermal and renewable). To accelerate adoption, policy and regulatory changes would be required.

An earlier Berkeley Lab report found that The most cost-effective resource mix to satisfy India’s load in 2030 would be a mixture of renewable energy and flexible resources, as follows: 307 GW of solar, 142 GW of wind, and 15 GW of other renewables; 63 GW (252 GWh) of battery storage; 60 GW of load shifting to solar hours (50 GW agricultural and 10 GW industrial); and flexible management of the current 25 GW natural gas fleet. A coal power plant capacity of 229 GW (net addition of 23 GW over 2020) was likewise shown to be cost-effective.

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