‘$223bn needed for renewable goals in India’

New Delhi, (Samajweekly) India’s transition to green energy as part of its effort to mitigate climate change will need $223 billion investment for renewable energy installations by 2030 but those projects face regulatory, project and financing risks, said a white paper released on Wednesday.

As India embarks on an increased renewable energy pathway — India has announced a target of meeting 50 per cent of its electricity demand from renewable energy, thus, making renewable energy crucial in meeting the 2030 and 2070 climate goals — the new renewable energy plants will need increased finance, which can be done through tapping new sources of finance, said the white paper by research group BloombergNEF.

However, the scaling up (of renewables) faces regulatory, project and financing risks, the white paper prepared by BloombergNEF and commissioned by Power Foundation of India.

Power purchase agreement (PPA) renegotiation, land acquisition and payment delays have been cited as key risks by industry stakeholders surveyed by BloombergNEF while in the short-term, rising interest rates, a depreciating rupee and high inflation were the challenges cited. Changing technologies and de-commissioning of plants were at the bottom of the risk chart.

Surprisingly, the ‘Extreme Weather Events’ rated 3.18 on a scale of 1-5 as based on the feedback from the stakeholders, the report’s authors Shantanu Jaiswal and Rohit Gadre said.

“But, our paper warns of the actual threat. We have mentioned that RE projects are built for 25-30 years operational life and over this period, climate change can increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as floods, dust storms and cyclones. Such occurrences can lead to heavy damages to their projects and may lead to total loss of revenue,” Gadre said.

The authors highlighted the need for looking for other sources of finance.

Jaiswal, lead author of the report and head of India research at BloombergNEF, said: “Growth of renewable energy in India has been funded by a diverse set of financiers. Debt and equity structures have evolved as the market grew and new risks emerged. India’s ambitious renewable energy targets now require further scaling up of financing with new instruments and learnings from other global markets.”