India’s clean energy footprint is increasing every year and more than 64 GW of renewable energy capacity have been connected to the grid so far, according to Minister of Power R.K. Singh.
This is a significant development for the country as India’s national grid is not modern and the industry has grave misgivings about the continued integrity of it in the face of a rising amount of variable renewable energy generation.
In a written statement to the Rajya Sabha, Singh said, “As on January 31, 2018, the total renewable energy capacity installed in the country is about 65.9 GW, out of which 64.3 GW of renewable energy power projects are connected to the National Electricity Grid, and the remaining 1.6 GW are off-grid/captive power projects.”
Singh wrote about the effects of renewable energy on the grid and about the government’s road map for enhancing the national grid’s renewable-based capacity.
According to Singh, “Renewable energy sources (wind and solar) are characterized by variability and uncertainty. To address these aspects, a comprehensive plan comprising transmission as well as control infrastructure was identified as a part of Green Energy Corridors, which includes intra-state and inter-state transmission system strengthening and control infrastructure, establishment of renewable energy management centers (REMC) at state/regional/national load dispatch center levels.”
“The intra-state transmission (system) is being implemented by respective state transmission utilities (STUs) and inter-state transmission is being implemented by the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), which are under various stages of implementation. REMCs are also under implementation by PGCIL,” added Singh.
“In order to integrate the envisaged 20 GW capacity of solar power parks, a comprehensive transmission plan including intra-state and inter-state systems is also evolved as a part of “Green Energy Corridors-II.” The transmission program for two solar parks is already commissioned and balance is under various stages of implementation,” informed the minister.
In light of the constantly increasing renewable energy capacity, various states like Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu have proposed deviation charges for renewable energy generation.
Singh’s comments come as a sudden surge in the country’s planned renewable capacity has left many in the industry to wonder if India’s transmission infrastructure is well-equipped to handle the influx of renewable power generation.