Growth in India’s renewable energy output slumped to 5.7 percent over the seven months to October 2019, from 28.5 percent a year earlier, the country’s Central Electricity Authority said, as quoted by The Economic Times.
Among the reasons for the decline, the authority cited energy output curtailment by different states as well as a slump in energy demand.
Last month, Indian media reported a number of coal-fired and nuclear power plants were being shut down temporarily for lackluster energy demand. Some of these, according to the data, had been idle for months.
India has one of the most ambitious renewable power programs in the world, with plans to have wind and solar account for 55 percent of the total energy mix by 2030. In terms of capacity, the government plans to have 200 GW installed by 2022. That would up from the current 87 GW. There is 31 GW in renewable energy capacity under construction currently and another 35 GW at the bidding stage.
“So this becomes 140,000-145,000 MW. In hydro, we have installed capacity of around 45,000 MW and under installation capacity is about 13,000 MW. Which makes it around 60,000 MW. So we will cross 200,000 MW capacity of renewable energy by 2022,” a government minister said last month.
Over the last five years, growth in renewable energy generation in India has never fallen below 20 percent, not least because of government efforts in this area. However, in addition to lukewarm energy demand growth, the industry has had to contend with the weak financial performance of state power distribution companies.
This has made states warier of committing to the financing of new renewable power projects and has also forced them to curtail production from existing installations, “as they do not want to submit bank guarantees or letters of credit in favour of such plants,” The Economic Times reported.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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