12 Renewable Energy Policy Initiatives Implemented By India (Part 1)

Since the National Democratic Alliance government took to power in May 2014 several landmark policy initiatives have been undertaken in the renewable energy sector. The result of these initiatives has been that India now stands to become the third-largest solar power market in the world and remains one of the largest wind energy markets in the world.

In this four part series of the articles we will briefly analyse the various initiatives of the Indian government and what impact they have on the renewable energy market. In this part we will look at the macro-level directional policy initiatives.

5x Increase In Renewable Energy Targets

When the National Solar Mission was launched in late 2010 the installed capacity target for March 2022 was 20 gigawatts of utility-scale projects and 2 gigawatts of rooftop solar power projects. In May 2014, this target was increased to 100 gigawatts installed capacity by March 2022. The government set a target to set up 20 gigawatts through solar power parks, which was subsequently increased to 40 gigawatts. The target for rooftop solar power projects was increased to 40 gigawatts by March 2022.

Wind energy capacity target was set as 60 gigawatts and the overall renewable energy target was set at 175 gigawatts by March 2022. The Renewable Purchase Obligation for solar power was increased from 3% by March 2022 to 8%.

Renewable Generation Obligation 

The Renewable Generation Obligation is an extension of the Renewable Purchase Obligation and was actually implemented following the disastrous outcome of the latter. According to an amendment in the National Tariff Policy, any project developer looking to develop a thermal power plant will have to set up renewable energy projects equivalent to at least 10% of the planned thermal power project. This also paves way for integrated supply of thermal power as well as renewable energy through the same power purchase agreement.

Renewable Energy Targets For Government Entities

After increasing the renewable energy targets by five times the Indian government allocated capacity addition targets amongst its own entities. Government-owned companies and entities were given individual capacity addition targets. NTPC, NHPC, Coal India, Indian Railways and several other companies pledged to add wind and solar power capacity during the first-ever renewable energy investors summit in 2015. Public sector companies pledged to add more than 19 gigawatts in renewable energy capacity in that summit. Shipping ports, airports and even the Indian armed forces also announced plans to set up large-scale renewable energy projects.

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