India to attract US$100 billion in renewables investment in next 5 years, boosting solar target to 15 gigawatts

Author:
Ilario D'Amato
Reading time: 3 minutes
19 September 2014

New Delhi: India is aiming to attract US$100 billion in the renewable energy sector in the next 5 years, increasing its solar target to 15 gigawatts - five times its current capacity. The speculations come after two separate announcements made by India’s Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal and advisory company “Bridge to India”.

In an interview released to The Economic Times, Minister Goyal expressed India's intention to become the world’s leader in renewables in the next four years through strengthening its Renewable Purchase Obligations - an instrument to transition the electricity sector toward low carbon production - but alone it’s not enough.

“We're far ahead of other countries,” says Goyal proudly, “and our perspective is to encourage our industry and do even better. China subsidized the whole business in a very massive way, but India can't afford to do that”.

That’s why the Minister has committed to increase access to credit in the sector, thanks to international agencies like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. “I'm looking for an investment of US$100 billion in next five years and which is very doable,” he added. “The whole world is looking to India. All I'm saying is that all these countries are committing huge investments in India and renewable energy will get its fair share”.

The Minister also said India will try to increase its solar capacity by 100,000 megawatts (MW) per year and wind capacity up to 10,000 MW, creating what he calls a "powerful message to the world”.

Solar growth

Earlier this week, Jasmeet Khurana, Senior Manager Consulting for “Bridge to India”, suggested in a blog that India could strengthen its National Solar Mission. The company speculates government plans to add 15 GW of solar capacity in three phases of allocation, with an easier and more transparent bidding process on-line.

The first phase should see the construction of three solar parks of 1 GW each until 2015, incentivizing the sector with interest rate subsidies in the next two years, and finally installing an additional 7 GW without any more incentive.

According to the Ministry of Statistic and Programme Implementation, the total potential for renewable power generation in the country at the end of March 2013 is estimated at 94,125 MW with more than half (49,130 MW) from wind power.

India's renewable power

Between 2012 and 2013, the capacity of renewable power increased of more than 3 GW, a raise of 12.66%. Of this total, solar power went up from 941.24 MW to 1,686.44 MW - a huge increase of 55.81% in just one year - and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy reports this year it has reached 2,632 MW, a yearly raise of 64%.

The numbers show India has a huge potential to lead the way for a cleaner, sustainable economy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is implementing bold and vast initiatives toward this objective, but governments still need to create a coherent policy framework to develop the full potential of such opportunities.

To facilitate dialogue between politics, business and civil society next week Climate Week NYC will host over 140 events - some of which focus on India's low carbon growth - paving the way for the UN Climate Summit and the climate talks in Paris 2015.

By Ilario D'Amato and Anisha Laming

For a full list of Climate Week NYC events, please visit ClimateWeekNYC.org and follow the conversation on Twitter using #CWNYC.

You can also see our Climate Week NYC media resources for press releases, contacts and more info.

 

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