India committed to 175 GW renewable energy target, says environment ministry official

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India is committed to its renewable energy target of having 175 GW capacity by 2022 to provide equitable sustainable development, a senior official has said. India has been pursuing its goals of setting up renewable energy capacities and changing its energy mix, and will continue to do so to provide equitable sustainable development, C K Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change said in a statement.

Mishra was speaking during a panel discussion organised by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)and CII on ‘Innovative Financing and Market Evolution to achieve 175 GW Renewables by 2022’ at CoP (Conference of the Parties) 23, Bonn, Germany yesterday. Speaking about the government’s interventions, P C Maithani, Adviser, MNRE said policies are being drafted on a continuous basis to address challenges as the market evolves.

Giving examples of how the question is no longer about availability of finances but that of cheap finances, K S Popli, CMD, Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd (IREDA) said the markets have matured and one indicator of that is seen in how the bond markets have progressed. Ajay Mathur, DG, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) stressed upon the need to push for higher research in storage technology which could compliment the infirm renewable power.

There is an imminent need to look at bringing down storage costs, he added. India’s renewable energy journey has come a long way since it set its ambitious target of 175 GW by 2022. Prices of solar and wind have reduced to 3-4 cents per KWh as against 9 12 per unit in 2013, even as capacities have scaled up to 47.5 GW. Policymakers and industry are now confident of accelerating this growth trajectory to provide electricity, along with storage, at an estimated Rs 5 per unit before 2025.

explaining the scope of the renewables market, Rahul Munjal, MD, Hero Futures Energy said there has been an exponential expansion of the industry, with almost 10,000 firms operating in the ecosystem. This is a result of the market being conducive to business and investments. Sharing a similar view, Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, MD, CLP India said renewables are becoming more an imperative for economies like India that have to take power to a wider section of people.

Ratul Puri, Chairman, Hindustan Power Projects Pvt Ltd (HPPPL) highlighted the need to make power available at affordable rates, and said that Indian industry is working towards achieving that goal. The panel also included Frank Determann, Principal Project Manager, KfW Development Bank and Reji Pillai of India Smart Grid Forum, among others.

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