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India meets two-thirds of renewable energy target, says report

September 23, 2022 06:01 am | Updated 06:01 am IST - NEW DELHI

Farmers irrigating a field in Hwaibari village in Tripura’s Khowai district with the help of a solar water pump.

Farmers irrigating a field in Hwaibari village in Tripura’s Khowai district with the help of a solar water pump. | Photo Credit: RITU RAJ KONWAR

‘22% rise in solar installations in Jan-Aug 2022’

India has so far installed 66% of its targeted renewable energy installation of 175 GW with only Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Telangana meeting State-wise targets, according to a report on Thursday by global energy thinktank Ember.

Four States account for the majority, or about 60% of the shortfall, namely Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. The trend, however, say analysts involved with the report, is of an acceleration in solar installations. The first eight months of this year saw a 22% rise in installations compared to the previous eight months of last year.

Solar structures represented 89% of new renewable capacity installations this year. Wind installations only rose by 7% compared to last year and comprised 10% of all new renewables (RE) installations so far this year. Overall, renewable installations also slowed considerably from April 2022, in part due to an increase in the basic customs duty. By July 2022 India saw the lowest level of new installations since June 2020, before picking up in August. The customs duty was hiked to discourage reliance on foreign-made raw material.

The Centre this week cleared a ₹19,500-crore incentive scheme to encourage end-to-end domestic manufacturing of solar panels.

While India may not reach 175 GW by the end of 2022, its 2030 targets of 450 GW renewables and 500 GW non-fossil capacity – set as part of its nationally determined contribution to meeting its international climate targets – are within reach, the report notes.

This, however, would require key States to seize the opportunity and address the barriers to renewables uptake to accelerate their renewables deployment and contribute to the success of national clean energy transition. “India’s solar rush earlier this year shows how quickly change can come. It has even led to a record renewable energy capacity addition of 3.5 GW in March this year. In order for India to achieve its ambitious 2030 RE and non-fossil capacity targets, the country needs to consistently hit this all-time record set in March,” Aditya Lolla, senior electricity policy analyst, Ember, said in a statement.

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