“India’s Ambitious Plan to Expand Renewable Energy Capacity: Insights from the Greening the Grid Program”
India has set ambitious targets to increase its renewable energy (RE) capacity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable development. The government has introduced several policies and initiatives to achieve these targets. One such initiative is the Greening the Grid (GTG) program, launched in 2015 by the Ministry of Power and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). The program aims to facilitate large-scale integration of RE into the grid and ensure its smooth operation.
A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) titled “Greening the Grid: Pathways to Integrate 175 Gigawatts of Renewable Energy into India’s Electric Grid, Vol. I – National Study” provides insights into how India plans to expand its RE capacity and green the grid. Here are some highlights of the study and the initiatives taken by the Indian government:
Demand-Supply Scenarios and Capacity Mix by 2030:
The study analyzes various demand-supply scenarios and identifies the likely capacity mix by 2030. The study suggests that India could achieve a 175 GW RE capacity by 2022 and further increase it to 430 GW by 2030. The likely capacity mix includes solar (280 GW), wind (140 GW), hydro (35 GW), and biomass (15 GW).
Interstate Connectivity by 2030:
The study also suggests that interstate connectivity will evolve significantly by 2030. The study recommends the development of regional grids and sub-regional grids to ensure smooth integration of RE into the grid. The study suggests the construction of more high-voltage direct current (HVDC) lines to transfer power over long distances.
RE Generation Dispatch and Curtailment Issues:
The study also suggests ways to plan RE generation dispatch and address curtailment issues. The study recommends the development of a centralized RE generation forecasting system to forecast generation and demand. The study also suggests the use of advanced energy storage technologies to manage RE intermittency and provide ancillary services to the grid. The study recommends the adoption of a dynamic power pricing mechanism to ensure the efficient use of RE and avoid curtailment.
Initiatives by the Indian Government:
The Indian government has introduced several initiatives to promote RE integration and green the grid. The government has set up the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) to support the development of solar technologies and promote solar deployment. The government has also set up the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) to promote wind energy deployment.
The government has introduced several policies such as the National Solar Mission and the National Wind Mission to promote solar and wind deployment. The government has also introduced the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) to mandate state electricity distribution companies to purchase a certain percentage of their electricity from RE sources.
The Greening the Grid program and the initiatives taken by the Indian government are helping India to achieve its RE capacity expansion targets and promote sustainable development. The NREL study provides valuable insights into how India plans to expand its RE capacity, green the grid and address the challenges associated with RE integration. The study recommends several measures such as the development of regional grids, advanced energy storage technologies, and dynamic pricing mechanisms to ensure smooth RE integration and avoid curtailment. The Indian government’s initiatives and the recommendations made by the study suggest a positive outlook for the future of RE integration in India.