Solar Industry Mindset Needs to Change from 10 GW a Year to 30 GW a Year: Mercom India Renewables Summit 2023 Highlights

Solar Industry Mindset Needs to Change from 10 GW a Year to 30 GW a Year: Mercom India Renewables Summit 2023 Highlights

NEW DELHI – May 06, 2023 – Over 300 cleantech professionals, including key stakeholders and decision-makers, gathered at the Mercom India Renewables Summit 2023 in New Delhi from April 26-27 to deliberate on the trajectory of India’s renewable energy sector.

Representatives from the government, industry, and financial institutions agreed at the two-day summit that India is in the midst of an obvious and impressive push to transition to green energy. However, they also called on the government and private businesses to work together to accelerate India’s wind and solar capacity so the country could reach its 2030 target of producing 450 GW in renewable energy by 2030.

In his opening address, Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group, said that, with 165 GW of capacity built to date, India needed to think beyond its cast-in-stone auction trajectory to achieve the 450 GW of renewables by 2030. “We need to think BIGGER and change our mindset from a 10 GW a year [solar] industry to a 30 GW a year industry,” he said.

Prabhu and other experts pointed to frequent policy changes as a major threat that could have the potential to destabilize the energy transition process. Yet, Prabhu was confident in the country’s ability to meet its renewables targets and said Mercom supports the government’s initiatives to shore up domestic manufacturing because that is what is needed for India to become self-sustainable.

One real-life example is Power Finance Corporation, which has already disbursed INR 14,000 crore (US$155 million) in FY 2022-23 to support over 5 GW worth of renewable projects in India, according to PK Sinha, executive director of projects. He said that over US$ 500 billion was still needed for India to meet its 2030 renewable energy goals but added, “global investors have confidence in a maturing Indian renewable energy sector.”

Commenting on solar domestic manufacturing needs, Lalit Bohra, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), spoke about the planned bid trajectory for the next five years: “With tenders being issued and manufacturing capacity plans in place, India should achieve 100 GW more than the targeted capacity by 2047.”

In a nod to the offshore wind industry, Dinesh Jagdale, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) said the MNRE has come up with two types of bidding mechanisms – conventional and sea-bed leases – to promote diversified investments.

Attendees at the summit unanimously agreed that, as we move toward a world where renewable energy provides round-the-clock power to consumers, stakeholders will need to embrace hybrid wind-solar, cutting-edge technologies like green hydrogen and the decarbonization of traditional industries like steel and cement.

The Mercom India Renewables Summit was supported by the Solar Energy Corporation of India, Skill Council for Green Jobs, Association of Renewable Energy Agencies of States, an MNRE initiative, the National Solar Energy Federation India, and the India Energy Storage Alliance.

Event participants included the who’s who of India’s clean energy sector, including Mohit Bhargava, CEO, NTPC Renewable Energy Limited; Shivanand Nimbargi, MD & CEO, Ayana Renewable; Puneet Gupta, Chief Technology Officer, Adani Solar; Prashant Choubey, President, Avaada Energy; Sujoy Ghosh, Vice President & Country Managing Director -India, First Solar; Rupam Raja, Chief Commercial Officer, Fluence India; among others.

Other notable panelists on day one included: Lalit Bohra, Joint Secretary, MNRE; Dilip Nigam, Adviser at MNRE; Dinesh Dayanand Jagdale, Joint Secretary, MNRE; Chintan Shah, Renewable Energy Expert.

Day two of the event featured industry stalwarts, including: AK Sinha, AGM of SECI; P. K Sinha, Executive Director of Projects at Power Finance Corporation; Joseph Teja, Consultant to NITI Aayog.