How India needs to revamp its transmission infrastructure to meet the targets of 500 GW by 2030?
India has set a goal to increase its non-fossil fuel based installed electricity generation capacity to 500 GW by 2030, which requires a significant revamp of its transmission infrastructure. As of October 2022, the country had 409 GW of installed electricity generating capacity, with 40% of that coming from renewable energy sources. To reach the 500 GW target, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has developed a plan for a transmission system that can integrate over 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.
The CEA report, titled “Transmission System for Integration of over 500 GW RE Capacity by 2030,” details the transmission system roadmap for reliable integration of 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. The report highlights that the transmission system has to be planned well in advance, as the gestation period of wind and solar-based generation projects is much less than the gestation period of associated transmission systems.
The transmission schemes have been planned for major RE potential zones like Leh RE park in Ladakh; Fatehgarh, Bhadla, Bikaner in Rajasthan; Khavda RE park in Gujarat; Anantapur, Kurnool RE Zones in Andhra Pradesh; and offshore wind farms in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, among others. The length of the transmission lines and sub-station capacity planned under ISTS for integration of additional wind and solar capacity by 2030 has been estimated as 50,890 circuit kilometers and 4,33,575 MVA, respectively, at an estimated cost of Rs 2,44,200 crores.
The transmission system has been planned considering energy storage, so as to meet the requirement of Round-the-Clock (RTC) power. Several HVDC transmission corridors have also been planned for the evacuation of power from large RE potential zones. The present inter-regional transmission capacity is 1,12,250 MW. With the additional inter-regional transmission corridors under implementation/planned, the cumulative inter-regional transmission capacity is likely to be about 1,50,000 MW in 2030.
The plan is a significant step towards successfully achieving the planned RE capacity by 2030, and it is essential for areas with high solar and wind energy potential to be connected to the Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) so that the power generated can be evacuated to the load centers. This transmission infrastructure revamp will not only help India achieve its renewable energy targets but also boost the country’s economic growth by generating new employment opportunities in the clean energy sector.