With an aggressive timeline for solar and wind energy projects announced by the Indian government, the Minister for New & Renewable Energy now expects the country to surpass its target to have 175 gigawatts of operational renewable energy capacity by March 2022.
Minister RK Singh has expressed confidence that the country could achieve 200 gigawatts of operational renewable energy capacity by March 2022 instead of the current target of 175 gigawatts.
Singh announced that a total of 17 gigawatts of solar power capacity will be auctioned by March 2018. Additionally, 30 gigawatts of capacity each will be auctioned in FY2018-19 and FY2019-20. A majority of this capacity is expected to be ground-mounted solar power projects that are part of the 40 gigawatts solar power park policy. The government will also auction floating solar power projects and projects to be installed on agricultural land to support farmers.
As of 31 October 2017, India had an operational solar power capacity of 15.6 gigawatts. Around 3.6 gigawatts of capacity has already been auctioned in FY2017-18 so far. The capacity auctioned this financial year and planned in the coming months until March 2020 totals 81 gigawatts, while 15.6 gigawatts is operational and several other large-scale projects are under construction. Thus, India could very well surpass the 100 gigawatt solar power target by March 2022, if all goes according to plan.
Singh announced that up to 4 gigawatts of wind energy capacity will be auctioned by March 2018, which is in addition to the 2.1 gigawatts already auctioned and the 2.5 gigawatts likely to be auctioned next month. An additional 10 gigawatts of capacity will be auctioned in FY2018-19 and FY2019-20 each, taking the total to around 29 gigawatts.
As of the 30th of September, 2017, India had an operational wind energy capacity of 32.7 gigawatts. All these auctions will take up the capacity to around 61 gigawatts. It is, however, unclear if the auctions timeline includes those from state governments also or just the central government.
The government may further increase the capacity addition through offshore wind energy projects and solar-wind hybrid projects, Singh added.
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