The Southern state of the country, Tamil Nadu has topped the list in adding record capacity of Renewable Energy (RE) in the state, which is projected to reach even 72 percent of its peak demand by 2022, said a joint study of ASSOCHAM-Ernst & Young earlier this month.
At present, the state has an installed capacity of over 8300 MW of non-conventional energy which is about 40 percent of the total capacity installed, including the conventional sources of thermal and hydro. However, the problem remains about a huge gap between the installed renewable energy capacity and its actual generation. Against the 40 percent ratio of the installed capacity, the renewable energy sources supply just about 14 percent of the state’s peak demand, thanks to inadequate infrastructure to evacuate the power to the grid and the natural limitations.
The ASSOCHAM-EY study pointed out that against peak electricity demand of 29,975 MW, the projected installed capacity of the RE resources would be 21,508 MW.
“Let us give credit to the state for a laudable work done in the area of non-conventional energy. The other progressive states in the area of RE are Gujarat and Rajasthan. But the interest is still limited to a few states. If only rest of the states follow and exploit the abundant natural resources of wind, energy and bio-mass, India can be on top of the world league for green economy,” said Mr D S Rawat, ASSOCHAM Secretary General.
Gauging the conventional capacity addition growth between 2014 and 2022, it is clearly seen that Tamil Nadu is adding capacity beyond its demand. “This beckons for a robust market mechanism to accommodate renewable energy power within the state and also explore market mechanisms to trade its power to the renewable energy deficit states,” the study suggested.
Moreover, an aggressive increase in the state renewable energy capacity clearly explains that the state should sufficiently use conventional capacity indigenously or through bilateral trade agreements for balancing the variable renewable energy.
Even in rest of the country, the distribution of renewable energy is concentrated in a few regions of the country and this poses as a hurdle and at the same time opportunity. “While power needs to travel from one region to another, geographical distribution of renewable energy in combination with the large Indian power grid offers the potential to smoothen RE fluctuations,” said the study.
As per the estimate of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), renewable energy power projects have received the investment of Rs. 86,000 crore during last three years, said Union Power Minister Mr. Piyush Goyal last month. In the last three years, around 15,400 million units have been generated through solar energy.
Recently PTI quoted the statement of S&P Global Ratings saying, “We believe the renewable energy business is a high-growth area in India, given the government’s focus on increasing capacities for renewable energy and priority dispatch.”