According to the Government of India (GoI), 8,004.64 MW of renewable capacity was installed in India between April 2019 and January 2020. During the same period in the previous year, the country installed 5,978.47 MW, leading to an increase of 34% in 2019.
Answering a query on the installations and investment in the sector, Union Power Minister R.K. Singh announced in Parliament that most of the grid-connected renewable energy projects in the country are being implemented by the private sector developers selected through a transparent, competitive bidding process. Based on the standard capital cost per MW, an investment of around ₹1.34 trillion (~$18 billion) is estimated to have been made in the renewable energy sector during the last three years from 2017-18 to 2019-20 up to January 2020.
According to a report published by the UN Environment in collaboration with the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, India was ranked fourth in terms of new investments in renewable energy.
Replying to another question, Singh also informed the House that central financial assistance (CFA) of ₹344. 22 billion (~$4.65 billion) has been allocated for the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) program.
He said that that the installation of 25,750 MW of solar capacity and savings in diesel consumption due to the installation of 1.75 million standalone solar pumps under the PM-KUSUM program is likely to reduce 27 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission.
In February 2019, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the launch of KUSUM. The program has been divided into three components and aims to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022.
The first component under the program includes the installation of 10,000 MW of decentralized ground-mounted grid-connected renewable power projects. The second component is the installation of 1.75 million standalone solar-powered agriculture pumps, and the third component is the solarization of one million grid-connected solar-powered agriculture pumps.
The government also plans to expand PM-KUSUM to provide two million farmers to set up standalone solar agricultural pumps and 1.5 million farmers to set up grid-connected pumps. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget 2020-21 in February 2020, had stated that under the program, farmers with fallow lands would be able to generate solar power to sell to the grid.
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.