Dark side of the shift to renewables
A rapid increase in renewable energy capacity will impact viability of investments in thermal power. A gradual shift is welcome
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had fixed a lofty goal of reaching 175GW renewable energy (RE) capacity by 2022. This includes a five-fold rise in the National Solar Mission target to 100GW capacity in 2022. This is a policy U-turn from the coal-based capacity addition programme undertaken in 2005.
Considering the current RE capacity of 45.91GW — including 28GW wind and 8.5GW solar — an addition of 32GW wind and 91.5GW solar in five years seems impossible, especially the latter. And, that’s probably the best news for the power sector at the moment. RE share in generation moved up from 5.8 per cent to 7 per cent during April-November this year. If the capacity reaches 175GW, the share of RE in generation would cross 20 per cent, inviting serious consequences.