India Renewable Energy

India—No 100% 2050 Commitment
Benchmark: Produce 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022

India has not made a commitment to reach 100% renewable energy by 2050. India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) target is to reduce emissions intensity by 33%-35% by 2030 over 2005, achieving a 175 GW renewable energy capacity by 2022, and to increase the share of non-fossil fuel based capacity in the electricity mix is aimed to above 40% by 2030.

Going by the latest Draft National Energy Policy (NEP), published in June 2017, India is proposing a multi-pronged strategy to fuel its economy growth. It seeks to increase the per capita consumption of electricity (a proxy for all energy forms) that is crucial for any country to achieve higher Human Development Index (HDI).

The draft NEP says that with nearly 304 million Indians without access to electricity, and about 500 million people still dependent on solid bio-mass for cooking, it may be acknowledged that the country has to still go a long way to reach its energy security objective. While India strives to achieve a double digit growth rate in its national income, making clean energy available to all of its citizens, ought to be included as a key component of the alleviation programs.

In 2015, India’s renewable energy accounted for 12% of India’s total installed power generation capacity, and approximately 5% of the total generation. The Government of India has set a very ambitious target (almost a fivefold increase) to reach a renewable energy capacity of 175 GW by 2022. 100 GW of this is planned to come through solar energy, 60 GW through wind energy, 10 GW through small hydropower, and 5 GW through biomass-based power projects. Of the 100 GW target for solar, 40 GW is expected to be achieved through deployment of decentralized rooftop projects, 40 GW through utility-scale solar plants, and 20 GW through ultra-mega solar parks. Considering these targets, renewables (solar, wind and hydro) will account for 10% of the total energy mix, by 2022 .

India has also set year-by-year targets, which chart a roadmap to achieve the 2022 goal. An analysis by World Resources Institute finds that in the year 2017 the country’s total installed renewable power capacity stands at 57 GW. This is more than double what the country had just four years ago. However, this is not enough if the country seriously wants to meet the 2022 target. For that, India needs to more than double the average increase in capacity from 11 GW per year currently to 24 per year.