According to a recent analysis conducted by the global energy think tank Ember, solar and wind energy are expected to play a pivotal role in driving two-thirds of India’s power generation growth by 2032, provided the nation successfully achieves its renewable energy targets. This marks a significant shift from the predominantly coal-driven power generation of the past decade.
In 2017, solar power accounted for just 1% of India’s energy mix, but if the country meets its solar targets outlined in the 14th National Electricity Plan (NEP14), this share is projected to surge from 5% to an impressive 25% during the financial year 2022-2032. Ember’s analysis underscores the potential transformation of India’s power generation landscape towards cleaner sources like solar and wind.
As India embraces solar energy, there is a growing need for substantial energy storage capacity to manage peak demand, particularly during evenings and early mornings, especially in light of recent power shortages.
Neshwin Rodrigues, an India Electricity Policy Analyst at Ember, emphasized that this shift in India’s electricity supply landscape is contingent on significantly expanding storage capacity to balance generation and demand.
India has committed to achieving 500 GW of non-fossil fuel-based electricity capacity by 2030, with around 180 GW already coming from non-fossil energy sources. The government has been proactive in its efforts, aiming to tender 50 GW of solar and wind capacity annually over the next five financial years. However, Ember’s analysis suggests that to meet the ambitious NEP14 targets, India must increase its annual solar capacity additions by approximately 36% each year until 2026-27. This translates to commissioning at least 17.5 GW of solar capacity in the financial year 2024, with a further increase to 41 GW by the target year of 2027.
Union Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh recently expressed confidence in India achieving its 500 GW renewable energy capacity target before the 2030 deadline, highlighting the nation’s commitment to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources.