India Speeds Up Renewable Energy Growth Through Economic Plan


India has installed about 5,531 megawatts from different renewable energy sources,

including 3,857 MW from wind. India’s renewable energy power generation capacity now stands at 15,789 megawatts following government efforts to boost the sector.

In a report to the Lok Sabha, India’s parliament, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, head of India’s own Renewable Energy Ministry, said the country installed 5,531 MW of renewable energy capacity since 2007.

The year marks the beginning of India’s 11th five-year economic plan. Renewable energy installations from the current economic plan account for 35 percent of all of India’s installation activities.

Since 2007, India installed 3,857 MW from wind energy; 619.53 MW from small hydro; 322 MW from biomass; 704.20 MW from bagasse cogeneration; 8.10 MW from solar energy; and 20.10 MW from urban and industrial waste to energy.

Dr. Abdullah said government efforts have been at the forefront of renewable energy growth in India.

The minister cited the allocation of 3.9 billion Indian rupees ($86 million) to different renewable energy projects and programs starting in 2009.

Indian policies

India has introduced policies and regulatory measures for renewable energy development, such as financial incentives, capital subsidy and customs duties.

The country imposed preferential tariff for renewable power in strategic areas under its National Electricity Policy 2005 and national tariff policies. In 2003, the country set a fixed minimum percentage for renewable electricity purchase through electricity legislation.

Further government efforts include a generation-based incentives scheme for wind power which lays a 0.5 rupee per unit incentive for electricity fed into the grid.

But the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission is currently the centerpiece of India’s renewable energy development.

The program, launched in November, will boost deployment of solar energy systems and install 20,000 MW solar capacity by 2022. The first phase of the mission targets grid connected solar power plants with a combined capacity of 1,100 MW; equivalent off-grid solar applications of 200 MW; and solar thermal collectors that will cover an area of 7 million square meters.

Currently, the Indian government is trying to spread public awareness on the necessity of generating power from renewable energy sources.

The country plans to impose taxes on coal. Meanwhile, the World Bank has allotted $4 billion in loans for India’s renewable energy projects.