Transmission Roadmap: CEA report outlines plans for integrating 537 GW of renewables by 2030

India aims to increase the non-fossil fuel-based installed capacity to 500 GW by 2030. As of October 31, 2022, the installed capacity in the country stood at 409 GW, including 166 GW of renewa­ble capacity (including large hydro), whi­ch is about 40 per cent of the total ins­tall­ed capacity.

To evacuate the power generated to the load centres which have high solar and wind energy potential need to be connected to the interstate transmission system (ISTS). The transmission system has to be planned in advance as the gestati­on period of wind- and solar-based generation pro­jects is much less than the gestation period of the associated transmission system. To this end, the Central Elec­tricity Au­thority (CEA) has released a re­po­rt, “Trans­mission System for Integra­ti­on of over 500 GW RE Capacity by 2030”. In the report, the transmission system has been planned for about 537 GW of re­ne­wable energy ca­pacity (Table 1). Renew­able Watch provides a brief extract from the report…

In the report, the transmission system has been planned for major renewable energy potential zones including Leh renewable energy park in Ladakh; Fatehgarh, Bha­d­la, Bikaner in Rajasthan; Khavda renewa­ble energy park in Gujarat; Anantapur and Kurnool renewable energy zones in Andh­ra Pradesh; and offshore wind farms in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. The installed re­newable energy capacity target of 175 GW by 2022 comprises 66.5 GW of rene­wable capacity to be connected to the ISTS network. Part of the transmission sy­s­tem for this capacity has been commissioned (12.9 GW) and the rest is under construction (19.1 GW, slated for commissioning between December 2022 and Nov­ember 2023), under tendering (8 GW), to be taken up for bidding (10.5 GW) and at various stages of planning.

In addition to the 66.5 GW capacity, the transmission system has been planned for 236.58 GW of renewable energy capa­city. Of this, 181.5 GW is in the additional re­ne­wable energy potential zones identified for development by 2030. These zo­nes are lo­cated in eight states (Table 2). Of the 181.5 GW capacity, 56 GW, 62.1 GW and 63.4 GW are likely to be com­­­missioned by Mar­ch 2025, Decem­ber 2027 and Decem­ber 2030 respectively. Of the transmission sc­he­mes planned for 181.5 GW of capacity, the transmission sc­he­­mes for Bikaner II and Bikaner III re­ne­wable energy zones in Rajasthan; Ko­ppal II and Gadag II renewable energy zon­es in Karnataka; and Kall­am in Maha­rashtra have already been recommended by the NCT. These transmission schemes will be taken up for bidding. Subsequ­e­ntly, the transmission schemes for other po­tential zones will be taken up. The re­port mentions that in Rajasthan, of the total 75 GW of identified renewable en­er­gy potential zones, 45 GW (30 GW solar and 15 GW wind) lie in the Great Indian Bus­tard area in Barmer, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur districts.

The transmission schemes have been planned considering energy storage, so as to meet the requirement of round-the-clock (RTC) power. Several HVDC transmission corridors have also been planned for the evacuation of power from large renewable energy potential zones. It has been estimated that 50,890 ckt. km and 433,575 MVA is the additional requirement of transmission lines and substation capacity respectively, planned under the ISTS for integrating additional wind and solar capacity by 2030. The capacity-wise tentative additional ckt. km and MVA ca­pacity are provided in Table 3.

The tentative cost of the ISTS network for integrating 10 GW of offshore wind capacity and other wind and solar capacity is Rs 281 billion and Rs 2.161 trillion respectively. The total cost of the planned transmission infrastructure is Rs 2.442 trillion (Table 4). The present interregional transmission capacity stands at 112,250 MW. With the additional interregional transmission corridors under implementation/plan­n­ed, the cumulative interregional transmission capacity is likely to be about 150,000 MW in 2030.

Going forward, for the development of the planned transmission schemes, the government may provide some central financial assistance and low-cost financing from multilateral agencies in line with the Green Energy Corridors (GEC) scheme. Under the GEC-I scheme, about 24 GW of renewable energy capacity was planned to be integrated with the intra-state network, of which about 7 GW is to be commissioned by March 2023.


Post the launch of the report, some industry observers have expressed reservations over its successful implementation given the right-of-way issues that continue to ex­ist, leading to project delays and cost overruns. According to some, aggressive bidding for transmission projects makes such projects unviable. Some stakeholders have an interesting observation. While the government aims to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, the report plans for 10 GW of offshore wind capacity (5 GW each for Gujarat and Tamil Nadu).

However, despite these reservations, the release of the detailed report on transmission infrastructure for evacuation of renewables is a positive development given that this has been seen as a major hurdle in scaling up renewables. The gestation period of transmission projects is typically much longer than that of renewable energy projects, leading to delays in the commissioning of solar and wind assets, bid postponements and, in some cases, stranded assets. Thus, this report provides the mu­ch-needed roadmap for transmission ca­pa­city development, which will help transport the targeted solar and wind power to load centres and bring the country closer to its clean energy mix goals.