Non-fossil fuels — renewables, nuclear and large hydroelectric power plants — will account for more than half (56.5%) of India’s installed power capacity by 2027, according to a draft of the third National Electricity Plan (NEP3).
The draft notes that if India achieves its target to install 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 — as committed under the 2015 Paris Agreement — it will not need to install, at least until 2027, any more coal-fired capacity than the 50 GW currently under construction.
The ministry of power produces a National Electricity Plan every five years in which it reviews the progress made over the previous five years, and sets out a detailed action plan for the next 10 with the overarching aim of achieving universal access to electricity and ensuring that power is supplied efficiently and at reasonable prices.
NEP3 outlines how the government expects the electricity sector to develop over the five years from 2017 to 2022 as well as the subsequent five years to 2027.
When the draft was released, India had installed just over 50 GW of renewable power capacity, of which wind energy made up 57.4% and solar 18%. This gave renewables a 15% share in total installed capacity of over 314 GW while coal made up 60% — remaining being large hydropower, nuclear, gas and diesel. Renewables will have to scale rapidly to meet a national target set in 2015 to increase capacity to 175 GW by 2022 — 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind and remainder from smaller sources such as biofuels and biomass.