Twenty two out of 29 states in India have failed to meet their Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) targets which lead to loss of more than 25% electricity that was expected to be generated from renewable energy sources in 2012, said the recently released report ‘Moving Ahead with Renewables: Leaders and Laggards,’ prepared by Greenpeace with its research partner Infraline Energy.
The national capital, Delhi, has stood out as worst state in this respect as it has virtually no renewable energy in it supply chain. Other states which are at the bottom are Maharashtra, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
While, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, along with Meghalaya, Nagaland and Uttarakhand are the top-five high-performing states in meeting their respective RPO targets.
The notification by the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) in 2008, stipulated renewable energy injection of 5% into the national grid (for year 2009-10) and an annual increase of 1% till the target of 15% was reached by 2020. It was the result of India’s commitment to reduce the emission intensity by 20-25% by 2020.
According to the report, India’s domestic power demand in year 2012 was 918 billion units and is expected to reach 1640 billion units by 2020 at 9.8% annual growth. The peak power demand will raise almost the double of current demand in next eight years. As on October 2012, India has a total installed capacity of 209.28 GW. The installed capacity should also rise by the same and it seems highly unlikely, given the over-dependence on conventional sources for electricity generation and the apathetic view taken towards alternative renewable energy sources by the country’s energy planners.
The report points out that the RPO targets set by 27 states vary greatly - from 0.05% to 10.2%. “The overall cumulative target set by state regulators is 5.44%, whereas the national target is set as 7% resulting in a deficit of 1.56% - which translates to nearly 14,268 million units of electricity from renewable energy projects,” said the report.
Delhi, which has the per capita energy consumption almost twice that of the national average, has no state-level policies specific to renewable energy, the report points out. Maharashtra, the highest energy consumer in the country has managed to achieve jut 51% of its RPO targets. The report also states that only seven states, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland, Uttarakhand, Karantaka, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan, have achieve there RPO targets since 2009.
The report has recommended an ambitious, logical but stipulated national renewable energy target based on generation. Among other recommendations, the report has appealed that rich and developed states should lead the way in development of renewable energy infrastructure, a mandatory and uniform RPO compliance code for all states should be adopted.