India’s government hit back at claims it is set to fall well short of its ambitious 2022 renewable energy targets, slamming them as “ill-founded” and issuing a lengthy rebuttal that ends with a pledge to not only meet, but beat the original goals.
A clearly irritated Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) in a detailed statement says a note by ratings agency CRISIL predicting India will miss its 175GW headline renewable energy goal by up to 42% doesn’t reflect “the status on the ground and plans ahead”.
The MNRE claims the report “lacks credibility in all respects as CRISIL did not even bother to consult this Ministry for its views”, over progress to the 2022 goals, which are a flagship policy for the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who recently said the target should be raised in the longer term.
India by September this year had built about 82.5GW wind and solar power plants, and has some 31GW “under various stages of installation”, with expectations 113GW will be installed by Q1 2021.
MNRE said: “Besides this, around 39GW of renewable power capacity is at various stages of bidding which would be installed by September 2021, taking the percentage of installed capacity to over 87% of the targeted capacity.
“With only 23GW of renewable power capacity left to bid, India is confident that the target of installing 175GW of renewable power capacity will not only be met but exceeded.”
The ministry offers a detailed list of measures it is taking to address the various issues raised as obstacles to the target, such as land allocation, tariff levels and payment to developers by distributors. MNRE said it also acted quickly to address the situation in Andhra Pradesh, where the state government caused uproar by retroactively changing power deals with projects.
Although it has sparked MNRE into response, CRISIL is by far from the only entity to have questioned India’s ability to meet the goal, which included 60GW of wind and 100GW of solar.
The founder and chairman of the National Solar Energy Federation of India told Recharge earlier this year that the solar target would not be met.
Modi at the recent New York climate summit said the country would aim for 450GW, without giving a timeframe.