As of August 2022, India has installed 66% of its December 2022 RE target of 175 GW, but achieving it completely looks challenging with four major states lagging behind
A new analysis showed Gujarat is the latest state to meet its 2022 renewable energy target in the country. According to the analysis by global energy think-tank Ember, by August, India had achieved two-thirds of its end-of-year 175 GW renewables target. Gujarat surpassed its target in May 2022 and joined Telangana, Rajasthan and Karnataka. However, four key states account for the majority of the shortfall, namely Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.
According to the analysis, Rajasthan overtook Gujarat in March 2022 with the most installed RE. Almost half of the renewables built in India this year were in Rajasthan (5 GW out of 11.1 GW). That’s even after Rajasthan had already met its 2022 renewables target last December. In the first eight months of this year, 49% of India’s new solar capacity was built in Rajasthan and 63% of India’s new wind was built in Gujarat. Gujarat’s success has been in a consistent build-rate in the past few years and it’s one of the few states that is still building wind, the report mentioned.
Tamil Nadu added a little more than 1GW RE in 2022 so far, almost all of which came from solar. Despite having the third-highest installed RE capacity in India, as of August 2022, Tamil Nadu is still about 4GW short of its December 2022 target, found the analysis.
Solar over wind
The analysis also found that solar is becoming mainstream in India. While solar represented 89% of new renewable capacity installations this year, wind installations only rose by 7% compared to last year, now representing only 10% of all new renewables (RE) installations so far this year.
The country has experienced strong solar growth in 2022, with new solar installations rising by 22% in the first eight months of the year compared to the same period last year. We reported earlier on the parliamentary panel recommending the government to pay attention to the lagging wind energy sector.
“India’s solar rush earlier this year shows how quickly change can come. It has even led to a record RE capacity addition of 3.5 GW in March this year. In order for India to achieve its ambitious 2030 RE and non-fossil capacity targets, the country needs to consistently hit this all-time record set in March, said Aditya Lolla, senior electricity policy analyst, Ember.
Need to buck up
Overall renewable installations also slowed considerably from April 2022, in part due to an increase in the basic Customs duty. By July 2022, India saw the lowest level of new installations since June 2020, before picking up in August, the report added.
Currently, just four states account for 61% of the shortfall (58 GW) to the December 2022 target, namely Maharashtra (11.1 GW), Uttar Pradesh (9.7 GW), Andhra Pradesh (9.2 GW), and Madhya Pradesh (6.5 GW). The analysis warned that if these states continue to see such low installation rates, it would take decades for them to reach even their December 2022 target—20 years for Maharashtra, 80 years for Uttar Pradesh, 44 years for Andhra Pradesh and 55 years for Madhya Pradesh.
While India may not reach 175 GW RES by the end of 2022, its 2030 targets of 450 GW renewables and 500 GW non-fossil capacity are well within reach, the analysis stated. However, it would require key states to seize the opportunity and address the barriers to renewables uptake to accelerate their renewables deployment and contribute to the success of national clean energy transition.