India can generate 68,000 MW power from renewable sources: WB

The World Bank today said 68,000 MW of power costing less than Rs 6 per unit can be generated from renewable energy sources, which can play an important role in increasing India’s energy security.

A report by the multilateral funding agency said that the 68,000 MW of wind, hydro and biomass energy can be harnessed at less than Rs 6 per unit.

“Developing indigenous renewable energy sources, which have low marginal costs of generation, are more economically viable in the long run,” the study –Potential of Renewable Energy in India — said.

India’s electricity demand is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 7.4 per cent in the next 25 years. Generation capacity will have to increase five-fold to keep pace with the growth of demand.

The installed capacity of the country stands at about 1,70,229 MW from all sources of energy, as per official data.

The report also suggested that renewable energy development can also be an important tool for regional economic development within the country.

The states of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand have 65 per cent of India’s small hydropower resources. Much of the economically attractive wind potential in Orissa or the biomass potential in Madhya Pradesh also lies largely undeveloped, it added.

The report emphasised that coal , gas and oil have witnessed considerable price volatility in recent years, renewables are the only free hedging mechanism against price volatility of fossil fuels.

The risk-adjusted cost of renewable energy is lower than that of fossil-based fuels, and their use enhances the price certainty of the portfolio and increases energy security, it said.

Small hydropower, one of the least expensive and most attractive forms of renewable energy, lies largely untapped, the generation costs of small hydropower are comparable with thermal generation sources, and the generation costs of biomass are comparable to those of wind.

This resource is the most attractive in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Uttarakhand.

The entire renewable potential, including solar, is less expensive than diesel, where existing 20,000 MW of diesel based installed capacity points to innovative possibilities of scaling up renewable in a big way, said N Roberto Zagha, World Bank Country Director in India.

The government has set an ambitious target of installing at least 40,000 MW of additional capacity of renewables in the next 10 years.

The report is based on data from nearly 180 wind, biomass, and small hydropower projects in 20 states, as well as information from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission .

Source – Economic Times

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SUMIT KUMAR

Executive at India Electron Exchange

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