India Aims to Add 21 GW of Renewable Power Capacity in FY24
Power Minister R K Singh says India cannot be forced to cut coal usage
India aims to add 21 GW of renewable energy capacity and 10 GW of thermal capacity during the financial year (FY) 2023-24, according to Power Secretary Pankaj Agarwal.
At the National Conference of Power and New & Renewable Energy, Agarwal said concrete steps were being taken to achieve a total power capacity of 900 GW by FY 2031-32.
India’s installed renewable energy capacity, as of July 2023, stood at 173.5 GW, amounting to 41.4% of the share of the overall power capacity mix, according to data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), and Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker.
Speaking about the challenges, Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy R K Singh made it clear India will not compromise on making available adequate power to meet growth needs.
“COP-28 is going to be held in UAE. There is going to be pressure on nations at COP to reduce the usage of coal. We are not going to do this since our point of view is clear that we are not going to compromise on the availability of power for our growth, even if it requires that we add coal-based capacity. At the same time, we need to and we will achieve the targets we had set for ourselves at COP,” he said.
Singh said India’s power demand had increased by 20% compared to 2022. The peak demand this year was 241 GW as against 190 GW in 2017-18. All states had been asked to run their power plants at full capacity.
“Earlier, around 25,000 MW was under construction, mostly in the public sector. We started work on adding 25,000 MW, but we need to start work on an additional 30,000 MW. We need about 80,000 MW of thermal capacity under construction,” the Minister said.
The CEA has forecast an all-India peak power demand of 256.53 GW in the financial year (FY) 2024-25, rising sharply from FY 2023-24. Power demand is expected to soar above 256 GW in September 2024.