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30 June 2017

India to integrate 175 GW of renewables by 2022

According to new analysis, India’s power grid can be balanced even in the event of the nation integrating 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy into the grid by 2022.  

The report, Pathways to Integrate 175 Gigawatts of Renewable Energy into India’s Electricity Grid, was launched on Thursday 29 June by Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal.

The report – which was developed under the U.S.-India bilateral programme “Greening the Grid” – confirms both the technical and economic viability of integrating 175 GW of renewables into India’s power grid by 2022, as well as identifying the most appropriate course of action to enable such integration.

Minister Goyal said: “It is time for the people of India to get ready and embrace the change with a ‘New Mindset’ of a ‘New Grid’ for a ‘New India’, which is ready to integrate a large amount of renewable energy."

The authors of the report state that power system balancing with 100 GW solar and 60 GW wind is achievable at “15-minute operational timescales with minimal reduction in renewable energy output.”

According to the report – which was developed by a multi-institutional team from India’s Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) – the existing fast-ramping infrastructure is sufficient to maintain grid balance. 

The report used advanced weather and power system modelling to evaluate the most effective strategies to integrate renewable energy.

It also demonstrates the importance of both policy and market planning.

The report was produced under the leadership of the Indian Ministry of Power and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and was co-sponsored by the World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) and the 21st Century Power Partnership.

Michael Satin, Director of Clean Energy and Environment at USAID/India, said: “USAID has a long-standing collaboration with the Government of India in the area of energy. Energy is a key determinant of growth and India needs sustainable energy sources to continue to grow at 7-8 per cent annually.”

He went on to say: “Introducing renewable energy solutions into established energy systems often requires changes to well-established policy, institutions, and market structures. This study will prove to be helpful in scaling up renewable energy in India effectively and sustainably.”

The news follows the announcement that largest coal mining company in the world, Coal India, has announced plans to decommission a total of 37 mines which are no longer economically viable in India.

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