Renewable energy capacity contributes 0.25% to the total installed power capacity of India’s largest power generation company, NTPC Limited. This, however, could change dramatically if the company fulfills the commitment it stated recently.
NTPC Limited plans to invest $10 billion to set up 10 GW of renewable energy capacity over the next 5 years. A large part of this capacity is expected in the form of solar power projects. The company has been asked by several state governments to set up large-scale solar parks and is reported to have 3 GW solar power capacity in its pipeline.
NTPC has already issued at least 4 tenders of 250 MW solar power capacity each. These projects will be installed across 4 different states.
The commitment made by NTPC is very encouraging as it owns India’s largest thermal power capacity. Usually state-owned companies do not face as many problems as the private project developers who have to jostle for coal and even import coal at very high prices. In such a case, the country’s largest power producer moving to renewable energy capacity speaks volumes of the dramatic change the Indian power sector is undergoing.
The ambitious target is also good news for renewable energy equipment makers based in India. Being a nationalized company NTPC will use only Indian-made equipment. All state-owned companies have been asked to source equipment from Indian manufacturers only. This policy has been implemented by the government to provide relief to Indian manufacturers, especially solar module manufacturers, which have been facing losses due to flood of cheap imported equipment from China and the US.
Following the announcement of this policy, NTPC made it clear that the solar panels used in the 4 projects covered in the recent auction will be sourced from Indian manufacturers only. Thus, the $10 billion commitment made by NTPC is not only a positive news for Indian solar module manufacturers, but also the Indian power sector as a whole which awaits a real shift towards clean energy and away from coal-based power infrastructure.
(This news story is from Clean Technica)