Growthof Renewable Energy Sector in IndiaRenewable energy(RE) sources, insimple terms, are sources that do not deplete with usage, are constantlyreplenished and are more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels. Indiastands 5th in terms of size of power generation portfolio withcurrent renewable energy contribution of 44.812GW- 27.441 GW Wind powercapacity (4th largest) and 8.
062 GW Solar power capacity (3rdlargest). The target is of 175 GW of renewable power by 2022 from sources suchas solar, wind, biomass and small hydro power. Problem Identification:Although prices of RE have fallento ‘grid-parity’ or have become even cheaper than coal in some cases, it stillremains an opportunistic source of energy. This is because it requires certainpre-conditions/factors for their usage such as the ‘sun to shine’ and the ‘windto blow’. The absence of these factors limit the usage of these renewableresources, thereby creating the need to build other sources which makes thevalue of RE equivalent to the marginal cost of alternatives. This combined withthe variability in the output of energy produced can lead to reduced motivationto use RE.
Geographical location poses another challenge to using RE sincethere are regions where weather conditions aren’t conducive to generating RE.What this means is that RE in India today is helping in meeting energy needsbut is not resulting in capacity generation by contributing towards meetingpeak hour needs at the ‘right time’. It is predicted that increased solar powerusage and penetration will replace thermal power usage.
This may result in fallin asset utilization in terms of falling PLF (Plant Load Factor which isequivalent to ratio of current output to maximum output) rendering these plantsas non-performing assets for banks or treated as abandoned assets. Another area ofproblem is the solar panel manufacturing. Domestic manufacture provide for lessthan 10% of consumption which is not in alignment with the Make In India visionof meeting manufacturing demands domestically.
The import bill from this sectoris of Rs 30000 crore which is equal to 1% of the total import bill. This hasmade government’s ambitious vision of 2022 rather challenging to accomplish.Solar power prices have been falling and if this continues at a rate of 5-7%per annum, it can make solar power a more feasible option. The problem ofvariability and intermittency can be met by evolving improved technology tomeet storage needs. Factors such as cost, securityand access make Renewable energy a solution to India’s energy woes.
It has thepotential to impact India economically, socially and environmentally. http://www.livemint.com/Industry/aOhc0bEziRHFuoR5ae03xO/Challenges-ahead-for-clean-energy.htmlhttp://www.livemint.com/Opinion/ec0cnDaAbNYUTFHMSgWxcP/Indian-renewable-sector-at-crossroads.htmlReview of Existing Work/Actions taken: