After Surviving the Pandemic, India’s Renewable Energy Sector Faces a Cash Crunch: Why, How, and What Comes Next
Post colonization, India tried everything possible to get rid of westernization and dependency on them. Instead, the country’s main focus shifted to the preservation of the environment and the growth and development of its citizens.
It has started implementing climate-friendly initiatives such as integrating sustainability into all aspects of life, reducing emissions by boosting renewables and green energy sources, and increasing carbon sinks, among other things.
However, a few studies on various parts of climate action have revealed flaws in our approach.
A paper titled “Mapping India’s Energy Subsidies 2021: Time for fresh assistance to clean energy” cast doubt on the government’s rhetoric of pushing renewable energy perspectives at both local and international fora. It explained how and why the Indian government had lowered renewable energy subsidies while concurrently expanding the fossil and oil gas subsidies. Contributions are needed to keep this vital sector growing.
- GROWTH IN THE INDIAN RENEWABLE SECTOR
In India, installed renewable production capacity has expanded in recent years, with a CAGR of 17.33% from FY 2016 to FY 20. The sector has become appealing to investors of all backgrounds due to favorable government policies and strengthened economics.
Renewable energy will likely play a more significant role in India’s energy demand, estimated to reach 15,820 TWh by 2040.
The government plans to install 227 GW of renewable energy by 2022, much exceeding the Paris Agreement’s 175 GW objective, and increase it to 523 GW (including 73 GW from hydro) by 2030. (450 GW under the Paris Agreement).
According to data released by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), the FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) inflow in the Indian clean energy sector stands at a staggering US$ 9.83 billion between 2000 and 2020.
According to British Business Energy’s analysis, India is rated third among world countries regarding renewable energy investments.
That is commendable, but India will require Rs if a recent estimate by an Indian parliamentary commission is to believe. 2.61 trillion to develop the necessary capacity to meet its aim of 175 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2022.
The average yearly investment in the renewables sector has reached Rs. 823 billion (Rs. 82,300 crores) during the last five years, but the 2022 goal will become a distant dream if this trend continues.
- HOW TO OVERCOME THE PROPOSED LOSS?
The parliamentary panel has asked the concerned authority, the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), to raise more funds and rise to the challenge of funding renewable energy projects.
To keep up with the projects’ expansion, the responsible ministry (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) would provide “additional long-term funding and concessional loans through international and bilateral organizations.”
“India should add a massive 38 GW of capacity each year if we are to accomplish our declared objective of 450 GW by 2030,” an expert told Mongabay India. Experts estimate that it will only add about 8 GW each year for the next few years, but the gap is enormous.” “Even if the market is ready and regains strength, there must be a mechanism to stimulate more outstanding capital flows from the private sector, not just from the public sector.
- WHAT HAS MNRE DONE SO FAR?
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has increased to 100% under automatic route to attract more foreign investments. It can also allow liquidity of projects. In addition, MNRE has established Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Parks (UMREPs), which provide investors with land and transmission to begin operations quickly.
It has even aided in constructing transmission lines as part of the green energy corridor project, which aims to provide an efficient power transmission mechanism in renewable-rich regions.
- HOW IS NPA AFFECTING THE SECTOR?
According to the panel’s report, IREDA has funded 229 projects totaling 11.83 GW of renewable energy capacity and totaling Rs. 259 billion (Rs. 25,922.60 crore).
86 non-performing assets (NPAs) totaling Rs. 21.1 billion (Rs. 2110.64 crores) remain unpaid, coupled with 31 delayed projects totaling Rs. 17.48 billion (Rs. 1748.146 crores).
The Indian government plans to construct a “green city” in each state powered by renewable energy, including solar rooftop systems on all homes, solar parks on the outskirts, waste-to-energy systems, and even electric vehicle-fueled public transit.
Private companies that have been profitable for a long time can contribute to the growth of this young industry.