Solar energy is expected to account for 18 per cent of total power generation capacity in India by 2030 from one per cent at present, playing a key role in the country’s efforts to achieving 40 per cent installed power capacity from renewable energy.
In its recently-submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) ahead of the crucial climate change conference in Paris from November 30 to December 11, India has committed to achieving 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030. From the current power generation capacity of one per cent, solar energy mix will be scaled up to 18 per cent, official sources said as they gave a break up for how India intends to achieve its INDC commitments. Also, by 2031/32, wind energy generation will be at 10 per cent from the current nine per cent while nuclear power would remain at 2 per cent, as at present. Generation of hydro -electric power will, however, decrease from the present 17 per cent to nine per cent, the sources said. Coal power accounts for around 61 per cent of the electricity generation today, but would be reduced to 57 per cent in 2031/32, they said. Noting that renewable energy generation today accounts for 28 per cent of the total capacity, the sources said that if India is going to meet energy needs of all by 2030, the total installed renewable capacity would be in excess of 8,00,000 MW from the present 2,60,000 MW. “We are talking of an increase in renewables by 10 times,” sources said. Elaborating on the limitations of expanding capacity generation vis-a-vis non-fossil fuel-based resources like hydro electricity, sources said there are a lot of challenges, including the issue of rehabilitation of displaced people, access to such places as most of them are geographically inaccessible. “So, expansion of hydro-power is relatively limited,” they said.