India’s Green Policies in 2022 Laid the Groundwork to Meet Future Targets
RPOs and evacuation infrastructure to provide the backbone for renewables
December 27, 2022
The Ministries of Power and New and Renewable Energy continued with policy reforms in 2022, laying the groundwork for a robust green energy market in the country. The government has also tried to ensure that the momentum in the renewable energy sector is regained after the Covid pandemic subsided.
One of the decisions that is likely to boost the adoption of renewables among commercial establishments was the issuance of the Electricity (Promoting Renewable Energy Through Green Energy Open Access) Rules, 2022. As per the new regulations, consumers will be eligible for green energy open access if they have a contracted demand or sanctioned load of 100 kW or more. For captive consumers, there will be no load limitation.
Industry experts believe this decision could ramp up the consumer base for renewable open access by 1,000 times.
The reform measures boosted investors’ confidence in the renewable sector, leading to a surge in foreign direct investment (FDI). The FDI inflows stood at $949.45 million (₹75,555 million) in the first quarter of the financial year 2022-23, a year-on-year increase of 269%. The cumulative FDI inflow in the renewable sector stood at $11.75 billion (~₹889.29 billion) from April 2010 to June 2022.
Further, with an eye on meeting 50% of energy demand from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030, the government issued the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) and Energy Storage Obligation until the financial year 2029-2030. Based on the recommendations of the joint committee and discussions with MNRE, MoP has specified the new RPO trajectory beyond 2021 -22.
The government has also been proactively shutting down inefficient thermal units, and a total of 259 units with a total capacity of 18,152 MW have been retired as of November 2022. Additionally, the net zero targets by 2030 by Indian Railways alone are expected to reduce emissions by 60 million tonnes annually.
A comprehensive plan to evacuate the planned renewable power capacity of 500 GW by 2030 at an estimated cost of ₹2.44 trillion (~$29.64 billion) was also unveiled during the year.
Earlier in the year, in a major push to provide evacuation infrastructure for renewable generation,
MNRE issued a notification approving the implementation of the Intrastate Transmission System Green Energy Corridor (GEC), Phase-II, in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh. The GEC Phase-II program aims to evacuate 20 GW of renewable power and add 10,753 km of transmission lines and 27,546 MVA capacity of substations across the listed seven states.
Various state and central policies were also announced to promote the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). These include issuing guidelines to build EV charging infrastructure to help set timelines for providing grid connectivity for installing public stations. Initially intended for three years, FAME-II was also extended in 2021 by 24 months until March 31, 2024. FAME India is part of the National Electricity Mobility Mission Plan, launched to push for early adoption and market creation for hybrids and EVs.
Additionally, the ministry has notified fuel efficiency norms to reduce carbon footprints for transport sector, and various schemes and programs are currently under work to enhance energy efficiency.