September 2022

India has deployed more than 115 GW of renewable energy capacity as of August 2022, with much of the new installations taking place in the past five years. However, it is still a very long journey to 500 GW of non-fossil fuel power, especially since this tall target must be met in less than a decade and the road ahead is quite bumpy owing to discom ill-health, supply chain issues, and transmission and land constraints

While solar power has grown by leaps and bounds to reach 59 GW in a short span of time led by a strong government impetus, significant cost declines and economies of scale, wind power has struggled to keep up and now significantly lags solar with just 41 GW of deployments. Small-hydro and biomass have also suffered a similar fate even as solar power continues to shine brighter than the rest of the segments.

However, it has been realised by the industry, power utilities, grid operators as well as the government that solar or any other intermittent generation source is alone insufficient for achieving India’s energy transition dreams. Instead, a combination of clean energy sources along with storage solutions is necessary to ensure firm power supply and stable grid operations. Thus, hybridisation or blending of two or more resources is now gaining traction with the ultimate aim of providing round-the-clock (RTC) clean power supply.

To their credit, the government and the industry have both forayed into this transformational space with much enthusiasm. Two RTC auctions plus one large stand-alone storage auction have already concluded, and one has been recently announced. Guidelines for competitive bidding have been notified and are being amended as and when required. The industry has gone ahead and announced various large projects, exploring a mix of renewable energy sources with battery and pumped storage for supplying power to both utilities and corporate procurers, and also using this power to produce green hydrogen.

With the RTC market set to take off, supported by these early developments and initiatives, the time is ripe for all renewable energy technologies and segments to experience growth.

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