The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) this week released an in-depth study of future investments in India’s power system that suggests India could economically meet demand for electricity through renewables by 2030. The report shows that India could economically meet its demand for electricity, which is expected to double by 2030, through renewable energies and complementary flexible resources, including energy storage, agricultural load transfer and hydropower, and making optimal use of the existing thermal energy assets in the country, the US State Department press note said.
The LNBL study was funded by the Office of Energy Resources of the United States Department of State which is establishing a national roadmap for India to meet the target of 500 GW of non-fossil electricity capacity by 2030, reported a press note from the US State Department. The LBNL study validates the profitability of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of installing 500 GW of non-fossil electricity capacity by 2030. These goals are essential to achieve global climate goals, as India is the third country energy consumer in the world.
Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez of the US Department of State and Secretary Alok Kumar of the Indian Ministry of Energy highlighted the LBNL study during a virtual launch Thursday (local time). This study was conducted as part of the Flexible Resources Initiative (FRI) of the United States-India Working Group on Clean Energy Financing, managed by the Office of Energy Resources of the Department of State. FRI offers cost-effective strategies to improve the flexibility and robustness of India’s power system in support of its clean energy transition.
The study, Least Cost Pathway for India’s Power System Investments through 2030, found that dramatic cost reductions over the past decade in energy sources, such as solar power, and flexible resources, such as battery storage, allow India to meet its growing demand for electricity at an affordable price. reliably over the next decade, while reducing electricity costs by 8-10% and the emission intensity of electricity supply by 43-50% from 2020 levels. It also finds that only 23 gigawatts of net additions to coal capacity will be needed if battery storage costs continue to decline, supply chain issues are resolved, and adequate funding is secured.
The study is complemented by a report on important policy and regulatory recommendations that, if implemented, will enable India to meet the 2030 goals at the lowest cost. These recommendations include a nuanced long-term resource adequacy framework for system planning and procurement, as well as reforms of gas pipeline operations in India to enable cost-effective and flexible operations of existing Indian gas power plants for the seasonal balancing.
These recommended regulatory changes will promote optimal investments, help avoid asset overbuilding and ensure the swift withdrawal of unprofitable assets, the note added. (ANI)
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