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With Cop26 goals in mind, Centre sets up new panels

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15th January, 2022 10:35 IST
After COP26, what is India's way forward?
The Centre has begun working on its Cop26 goals, setting up panels to draw up action plans to meet its climate targets announced by Prime Minister Modi at the Glasgow conference.

An inter-ministerial meeting was held recently wherein all stakeholder departments across all sectors -- coal, steel, cement, transport, shipping, power, railways, civil aviation, urban development and more -- were asked to draw up action plans to help achieve the Cop26 goals at the earliest, ET has learnt.

The impact of renewable energy (RE) scale-up on thermal power plants is under examination. Top of the list is the target to achieve 500GW of non-fossil fuel based energy capacity by 2030.

arious panels have already begun meeting to detail every aspect of the scale-up -- from year-wise action plans for the increase in renewable energy, to ensuring a transmission system, storage options and purchase by discoms.

On December 30, 2021, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy set up a committee for preparing a roadmap for 'Mission 500GW' co chaired by secretaries to the ministry of power and MNRE. It is tasked with defining state-wise and year-wise share of solar, wind and other renewable energy sources to achieve the target by 2030. The mission will look at ways to incentivise and make the storage concern affordable.

A separate Group of Officers has been created by the power ministry in November 2021, days after the Cop 26 declaration, to formulate a policy framework to promote energy storage in the power sector.

Four sub groups -- on policy and regulation, financial and taxation issues, technology and demand management -- have helped put together a draft policy on energy storage which is under discussion, sources told ET. A third committee is looking at the other major issue that arises out of scaling up RE in India- transmission planning.

Set up in December 2021 under chairperson of the Central Electricity Authority, this committee is to draw up plans for the requisite 'inter state transmission system'.

"For enabling growth of RE capacity, areas which have high solar/wind energy potential, as identified by MNRE, need to be connected to the Inter State Transmission System, so that the RE capacity can come up there and the target of having 500GW non fossil fuel capacity by 2030 can be achieved", a power ministry order on the panel reads.

Another panel, under the co chairmanship of secretaries of Power and MNRE, has been set up last month to recommend Renewable Purchase Obligations beyond 2022. It will prepare a year-wise resource adequacy plan and plan an 'optimum generation mix' keeping in mind the present installed capacity and the requirement of additional power from various sources to meet the projected demand.

The committee will also bear in mind the international consensus on environment and sustainable development goals besides 'balancing environmental and economic considerations', its terms of reference say. The panel will assess possibility of maximum and feasible RE capacity addition in the country, plan addition that is sufficient to 'fulfil international commitments' and avoid excess generation from any source to keep the cost of power purchase low and save discoms from financial distress.

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