• MNRE has issued an official statement in response to media reports citing CRISIL report that expects the country to fall short of its 175 GW renewable energy target by 2022 by 42%
  • Calling the doubts expressed as ill-founded, MNRE says it is confident of exceeding the 175 GW mark by target year
  • By September 2019, Indian installed renewable energy capacity was over 82.58 GW and by September 2021, MNRE expects to achieve more than 87% of the target

The Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)  has reacted sharply to media reports referring to a CRISIL report that claims India is likely to fall short of its 175 GW of renewable energy goal by 2022 and will instead settle at 42% less than the target (see India To Fall Short Of 2022 RE Target By 42%: CRISIL).

In an official statement released by the ministry, it calls the doubts as ‘ill-founded’ and ‘not reflective’ of ground reality and plans ahead. “The CRISIL report being referred to by the media is neither factually correct nor takes into account initiatives taken by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to facilitate accelerated development and deployment of renewable energy in the country. This report lacks in credibility in all respects as CRISIL did not even bother to consult this Ministry for its views,” reads the statement that ends with the ministry emphatically adding, “The Ministry is not only confident of meeting 1,75,000 MW target but exceeding it by 2022.”

MNRE has detailed India’s current renewable energy status, sharing that at the end of September 2019, the country had an installed renewable energy capacity of over 82.58 GW with 31.15 GW under various stages of installation. By these statistics, it says the country would have installed more than 113 GW of renewable capacity or close to 65% of the official target by Q1/2021.

Another 39 GW is at various stages of bidding. MNRE is confident that this capacity will be installed by September 2021, helping reach more than 87% of the 175 GW target. That would leave 23 GW of capacity to bid for.

For solar PV, it has detailed the schemes it launched in the recent past, namely 12 GW to be installed under CPSU Scheme Phase-II using domestically manufactured solar cells and modules, and Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) aiming to deploy 25.75 GW of solar through farmers. The Rooftop Solar Phase-II program called Sustainable Rooftop Implementation for Solar Transfiguration of India (SRISTI) provides financial assistance for 4 GW of small rooftop capacity and incentives for 18 GW by 2022 for discoms.

The statement also touches upon the government’s efforts to work on improving transmission infrastructure and resolve land allocation issues through Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Parks with dedicated transmission. It is also strengthening PPA clauses mandating letters of credit for power purchase by distribution companies but stresses that the government’s endeavour remains that renewable power is procured at a rate which is ‘acceptable to distribution companies’. This is a sore point between developers and the government agencies as the former feel the tariff caps in solar tenders must be relaxed.

Nonetheless, India’s renewable power capacity has increased 138% from 24 GW in March 2014 to 82.58 GW by September 2019, according to the ministry that says India stands on fifth position globally in solar power and fourth in total renewable energy installed capacity.

The full text of the ministry statement can be read on the Press Information Bureau (PIB) website.

It is noteworthy to mention that in August 2019, MNRE approved a proposal to add ocean energy as renewable energy that comprises tidal, wave, ocean thermal energy conversion and the like.

In August 2018, another CRISIL forecast stated that India can be expected to install between 78 GW and 80 GW of solar PV capacity by 2022 as against its 100 GW target with rooftop solar adding up to a cumulative of 8 GW by 2023 (see CRISIL: India To Reach Only 80 GW PV By 2022).