The large Renewable Energy (RE) target of the Government of India calls for a coordinated approach to integrate the growing share of renewable electricity into the grid. The Renewable Purchase Obligation targets assigned by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) aim at above 17 percent share of RE in the electricity mix by 2022 from the current marginal shares. NITI Aayog has been expressly assigned the responsibility to affording a platform between Center and States on important matters. It has been leading various activities aimed at achieving India’s Renewable Energy target of 175 GW by 2022, and in formulating the long term renewable energy vision for the country. The reports on RE Roadmap 2030 (February 2015), followed by Report of the Expert Group on 175 GW RE by 2022 (December 2015), proposed strategic interventions for achieving India’s ambitious RE targets of 175 GW by 2022. The efforts, which involved several rounds of multiple-stakeholder discussions, concluded that to encourage Renewable Energy, India needed new policies, programs and operational rules to enable power flows from point of generation to load centers; ensure fair compensation to generators; and offer reliability to consumers at affordable prices.
While several recommendations proposed in the Roadmap were already being considered by the government - for example draft RE law etc., it was imperative to approach the sector in a holistic manner for sustainable transformation of the electricity sector. Not only was it felt that there was a need to align the multiple activities which were being taken up by different agencies, but the process established the critical role that States would have to play to realize these ambitions.
In order to achieve this objective and enable this coordination, NITI Aayog has constituted a common platform for states to be able to discuss and deliberate on various aspects of RE. The platform offers a two-tier structure consisting of an Advisory Group (AG) and a Steering Committee (SC). The AG is chaired by the Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog with State Energy Ministers and the Minister of Power as its members, while the SC is chaired by CEO NITI Aayog, with state energy secretaries as its members.
The Advisory Group has been constituted to not only review progress of RE development in the country based on status reports provided by the Steering Committee, but also to suggest interventions required to promote India as an RE investment destination/hub to achieve national renewable energy targets.
The Steering Committee (SC) has been constituted to also provide a platform among the different stakeholders at the central and state levels to discuss market and infrastructural issues related to management of electricity generated from renewable sources. Moreover, the SC will also work towards promoting knowledge/experience sharing of the several initiatives which are underway to create the support system for RE.
These two groups would be coordinating activities of Renewable Energy deployment across 10 different states of India. Eight of these states are identified as RE rich, in terms of Solar and Wind, and two others with relatively lower potentials. The 10 states identified for this activity are: Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and Assam.
In addition to the two-tier machinery put in place to aid the transformation of the energy sector and to enable the country to achieve its target capacity addition in 2022 and 2030, State Working Groups (SWGs) constituted under each representative state has also been developed to work towards achieving these targets within the states. The decision to institute such groups was taken during the first meeting of the Steering Committee that was held on 20 June 2016 at NITI Aayog, New Delhi.
The focus of the State Working Groups within each state is on supporting the preparation of the State Renewable Electricity Capacity Addition Roadmap—an action plan to achieve the states’ 2022 renewable energy target and a mission document highlighting states’ contribution to achieve India’s NDCs target for 2030 - and implementation of the suggested action plan to achieve the states’ RE target by 2022 and beyond.
To support the development and preparation of the State Level Roadmaps by coordinating the activities with the various state-level stakeholders, the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) is assisting NITI Aayog in assigning dedicated consultants to the identified states with financial support from organizations such as Department for International Development (DfID), UK.
As on December 2016, various states are in different states of developing the State Renewable Energy Roadmaps for 2022, along with the 2030 Renewable Energy Mission Documents.