Rajasthan could add 22.6 GW of new renewable energy capacity to the grid within a decade


A recent report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (Ieefa) forecasts that Rajasthan could add 22.6 GW of renewable energy to the grid by the end of FY2029-30. This will consist of 18 GW of new solar capacity, of which 3 GW is forecast to be distributed solar capacity (rooftop PV and solar irrigation pumps).

Rajasthan’s installed renewable energy capacity reached 9.6 GW at the end of FY 2019-20. This included 5.2 GW of solar. Also, during FY2019-20, it added more solar power capacity (1.7 GW) than any other Indian state—ahead of Karnataka (1.4 GW), the state with the highest installed solar capacity, and Tamil Nadu (1.3 GW).

“Rajasthan has a bright future as a renewable energy leader in India,” said the report’s author Kashish Shah, research analyst at Ieefa.

High solar radiation and wind speeds, and an abundance of barren land make Rajasthan suitable for utility-scale solar parks. And it is already home to the world’s largest solar park – the 2.25 GW Bhadla Solar Park, located in Jodhpur district.

“These factors make Rajasthan an attractive destination for domestic and foreign investors looking for opportunities in renewable energy, electricity grid infrastructure and associated manufacturing,” said Shah.

Electricity mix

Rajasthan’s electricity sector could look very different by the end of this decade, IEEFA’s modelling suggests.

Ieefa forecasts that the composition of the State’s electricity sector will shift dramatically, with renewables forming 74% of capacity and 63% of total generation by FY2029-30.

Today, renewable energy sources form 43.5% of Rajasthan’s operational installed capacity and produce 17.6% of its total on-grid generation. Meanwhile, the state’s 9.8 GW of coal-fired capacity makes up 45% of total installed capacity, producing 56.5% of entire on-grid generation.

IEEFA projects Rajasthan’s electricity requirements to grow by 42% over the next decade – from 81TWh in FY2019-20 to 115 TWh in FY2029-30.

“We estimate solar will supply 98% of the incremental electricity demand by FY2029-30; and that 4 GW of new onshore wind power capacity will serve 45% of the incremental demand,” said Shah.

 “As the discoms look to cater to their incremental demand through cheaper, deflationary renewables, coal-fired plants will progressively lose out on market share to about 28% or 13 TWh by FY2029/30,” he added.

The modelling in the Ieefa report takes into account India’s economic slowdown and the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to falling electricity demand.

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