27 states and union territories need to step up in India’s race to 175 GW renewables

  • New Delhi, India

  • 28 April 2022

A report published today by the global think tank Ember reveals that four of India’s states and union territories have already surpassed their 2022 renewable (RE) capacity targets, as India continues its race to 175 GW RE by December 2022. But 27 states are not yet even halfway towards their respective targets and would need a big step up to meet these by the end of the year.

Ember’s research, titled India’s race to 175 GW shows that India has installed 110 GW RE as of March 2022. India saw 9.2 GW of RE capacity addition in the last six months, with about three-quarters coming from RE deployments in Rajasthan and Gujarat. As of March 2022, three states and one union territory have now surpassed their end-of-year targets — Telangana (248%), Rajasthan (119%), Karnataka (107%), and Andaman and Nicobar (129%).

States and union territories need to step up

The report also finds that India has some way to go to reach 175 GW renewable energy this year, despite gaining momentum in the recent months. It will need 65 GW more in the next 9 months to meet its target of 175 GW by December 2022. For India to reach the 2022 target, all states need to contribute.

Five key Indian states account for two-thirds of this 65 GW shortfall – Maharashtra (11 GW), Uttar Pradesh (10 GW), Andhra Pradesh (9 GW), Madhya Pradesh (7 GW) and Tamil Nadu (5 GW). Of these states, only Tamil Nadu installed more than 0.5 GW of RE capacity in the last six months.

Lack of progress in key states is holding back India’s race to 175 GW. Solar and wind deployments need a big push in the coming months to drive India closer to this target.

Aditya Lolla Asia Senior Electricity Policy Analyst, Ember

The country is currently behind on its solar and wind targets. To meet its 100 GW solar target by the end of 2022, 85% growth is needed in the next nine months. Wind power grew by just 3% in the last three quarters and needs almost a 50% rise in the next three quarters to reach the 60 GW wind target.

India’s coal phasedown journey to 2030

India’s coal phasedown commitment at COP26 makes it critical to deliver its renewables targets. The country’s electricity demand is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 4-5% until 2030. India targets 450 GW renewables and 500 GW non-fossil capacity by 2030 which can keep coal generation from rising over the current levels. But this requires a five-fold growth in solar and four-fold growth in wind in the next eight years. To achieve this, India cannot afford to slip too much on its more immediate target of 175 GW RE by 2022.

Although India may fall short of its 2022 RE target of 175 GW without including large hydro, it is more than possible for India to deliver on its 2030 targets of 450 GW RE or 500 GW non-fossil capacity. But that would need all the states to be fully engaged and aligned with the national targets.

Aditya Lolla Asia Senior Electricity Policy Analyst, Ember