Listen to this article
India needs to add 224.9 GW of renewable energy generation capacity by 2032 to meet the peak demand and energy requirement for the financial year (FY) 2031-32, according to the ‘National Electricity Plan’ draft published by Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
Stakeholders must submit their comments and suggestions by December 05, 2022.
India has achieved a cumulative installed renewable energy capacity (including large hydro) of 159.81 GW. The projected electrical energy requirement and peak electricity demand on an all-India basis are estimated as 1,874 billion units (BU) and 272 GW for the year 2026-27 and 2,538 BU and 363 GW for 2031-32.
The capacity addition required during 2022-27 to meet the peak demand and energy requirement for the year 2026-27 is 228.54 GW comprising 40.63 GW of conventional capacity and 187.9 GW of renewable capacity, including large hydro (10.95 GW), solar (132.08 GW), wind (40.5 GW), biomass (2.31 GW), and pumped storage projects (2.7 GW). This estimate excludes 5.85 GW of likely hydro-based imports.
The draft states that the estimated renewable energy installed capacity will likely be 344.51 GW by 2026-27 and 569.42 GW by 2031-32.
Based on the projections of capacity addition targets from renewable sources by 2026-27 and considering a renewable capacity addition of 224.9 GW between 2027 and 2032, expected electricity generation from various renewable sources has been estimated at 667.2 BU by 2026-27 and 1144.4 BU by 2031-32. The contribution of renewables will be around 35.6% of the country’s total energy in 2026-27 and 45.09% by 2031-32.
According to generation planning studies, pumped storage projects (PSP) based storage capacity of about 6.81 GW with 46.65 GWh of storage is required the by the year 2026-27 to fulfill the storage requirements of the grid. The storage capacity requirement increases to 70.38 GW (18.82 GW PSP and 51.56 GW battery energy storage system (BESS)) with storage of 392.78 GWh (135 GWh from PSP and 257.78 GWh from BESS) by the year 2031-32. A 5-hour BESS is found to be operating prominently in single-cycle mode throughout the year.
As of March 2022, there are eight PSP projects in the country totaling 4.74 GW, out of which projects with a capacity of 3.3 GW are currently functioning in pumped mode. CEA has identified a PSP potential of 96.52 GW in different parts of the country. Western India has the highest PSP potential at 37.84 GW due to its topography.
The draft electricity plan says lithium-ion batteries are the most promising for both small and large-scale electricity storage in power generation. Due to technological innovations and improved manufacturing capacity, lithium-ion chemistries have experienced a steep price decline since inception. The cost trajectory of battery energy storage systems is projected to decline.
Hydrogen could provide additional utility-scale energy storage options and unique opportunities to integrate the transportation and power sectors. Although hydrogen is currently a high-cost option, it offers some advantages over competing technologies due to its high storage energy density and potential for co-firing in a combustion turbine with natural gas.
To meet the generational capacity additions targets of 40.63 GW from conventional sources and 187.9 GW from renewable energy sources, the total fund requirement for 2022-2027 is estimated to be ₹14.31 trillion (~$179.45 billion). For 2027-2032, ₹17.16 trillion (~$215.19 billion) would be required to meet the generational capacity additions targets of 18.13 GW from conventional sources and 224.9 GW from renewable energy sources, and 51.5 GW of 5-hour battery storage.
India is likely to have an energy surplus of 2.9% and a peak surplus of 3.4% for the year 2022-23, according to the CEA’s Load Generation Balance Report.
The all-India peak power demand touched an all-time high of 201.066 GW on April 26, 2022, surpassing the peak power demand of 200.539 GW met on July 7, 2021.
Arjun Joshi is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, he worked as a technical writer for enterprise resource software companies based in India and abroad. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Psychology, and Optional English from Garden City University, Bangalore. More articles from Arjun Joshi.