NEW DELHI (BLOOMBERG) - Solar and wind energy projects could constitute over half of India's total power capacity of by 2030, according to a draft report by the country's power-planning body, which sees the country surpassing its climate goals.
Solar and wind projects are forecast to constitute 440 gigawatts of capacity out of the projected 831 gigawatts in more than a decade, the Central Electricity Authority said in the report on Monday (July 1). All non-fossil fuel sources will form 65 per cent of the total installed capacity and contribute around 48 per cent of gross electricity generation.
The share of coal in overall capacity is likely to drop to a third from about 56 per cent now. Still, the polluting fuel will continue to produce half of the country's electricity by 2030, compared with about 72 per cent now.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's climate target of having 40 per cent non-fossil fuel powered capacity by 2030 will be exceeded if the projections hold true. As per the current plan, the government aims to install 175 gigawatts of renewable capacity by 2022. India had 80 gigawatts of renewable capacity as of end-May.
"The recent cost trends of renewable energy generation sources have given them the footing to compete with conventional sources of electricity generation," according to the report.
The report, which is yet to adopted by the government, identifies the intermittent nature of renewable generation as a limiting factor and advocates adoption of grid-scale battery storage. The reducing cost of batteries will help in faster roll out, it said.
India is projected to overtake the US as the world's second-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide from the power sector before 2030, as the nation's electricity demand skyrockets, the International Energy Agency said in its World Energy Outlook last year. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the Indian power sector are likely to be 1,154 million tonnes by 2029-2030, the CEA said.
CO2 is the main greenhouse gas. Scientists say huge amounts of CO2 emitted from power stations, industry and transport traps extra heat in the atmosphere, causing global warming.