R.K. Singh did not specify when these new capacities were going to be commissioned. Last November, at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced plans to boost renewable energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030 in order to reduce greenhouse emissions by 45% over the same period. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), at the end of 2021, the installed capacity of stations for all types of renewable energy sources in India amounted to 147.1 GW, of which 35% (51.6 GW) were hydroelectric power plants (HPPs), 34% (49.7 GW) were solar panels, and 27% (40.1 GW) were wind turbines, all other types of generation accounting for the remaining 4%.
India’s power industry is coal-centred. According to the BP World Energy Review, in 2020 it accounted for 72% of generation, while gas and nuclear plants accounted for respectively 5% and 3%, and HPPs and other renewables accounted for a total of 20%. Between 2000 and 2021 the country launched 187 GW of new coal generating capacities (13% of the global volume), being outmatched only by China with its 69% and 1005 GW. At the same time, by early 2022, 31.3 GW of new coal capacity was under construction in India (in China, 92.3 GW), according to the Global Energy Monitor. Demand for this capacity will be fueled by continued urbanisation, where India lags behind China (35% vs. 61%, according to 2020 World Bank data).
Favourable weather conditions (India enjoys 300 sunny days annually on average) facilitate progress of solar energy. In 2021, over a mere decade, PV panel capacity achieved a record 10.3 GW. The 1.5 GW wind power increase was more modest, but among Asian nations, India came in second. The country still lacks operating surface wind farms; the launch of the announced 30 GW of coastal wind generators will allow India to enter this new market.