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Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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The World’s Most Promising Renewables Market Has Taken A Turn For The Worst

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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  • Mamdouh Salameh on December 20 2019 said:
    This is not the end of the world. India is still a rising star in the development and utilization of renewable energy.

    However, when there is a weak energy demand in the country for one reason or another, it affects all electricity generation from coal-fired and nuclear power plants to solar and wind electricity.

    Still, decision-makers sometimes get carried away with their ambitions for the development of renewable energy either for political reasons or to burnish their environmental credentials. A case in point is that renewables accounted for only 3.4% of total primary energy consumed in India in 2018 while India is planning to have wind and solar account for 55% of the total energy mix by 2030. It is impossible to raise the share of renewables primarily wind and solar from 3.4% to 55% in twelve years. A better planning and more modest goals would help the country achieve its goals slowly but surely.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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