Potentials and Prospects of India’s Renewable Energy Sector

28 Nov 2018, by IBC Asia Insights

Great Strides in Government Support but Challenges Still Persist

Indian legal institutions are making great initiatives to promote renewable energy within the country. By providing required policy support and continuously calling new renewable bids, the Government of India has taken progressive steps, resulting in addition of 13 GW of renewable capacity in financial year 17-18 and taking us a step closer to the desired renewable installation targets of 2022 and 2030.

The renewable energy industry is highly dynamic in nature and is evolving rapidly day by day. Still, few prominent issues persist which impact the overall industrial growth and are as follows:

  • Bankability of Power Purchase Agreement
  • Poor financial health of DISCOM’s
  • High cost of financing
  • Non-Availability of suitable and cheap Land
  • Absence of standards for ensuring Equipment Quality, especially for Modules which contributes 60% of the project cost.

Therefore, having a clear visibility of long term opportunities and the scale is of great value for sustaining any business. Knowing the right energy target mix of future (for the next ten years) for any operational geography along with the planed bid trajectory is very important for any renewable companies.

This knowledge enables us for preparing a sustainable business plan and at times getting the precise information becomes the biggest challenge. On operational front, a major challenge come in terms of having a poor grid infrastructure which affects the planned project pipelines and limits the growth of the firm.

Renewable Energy Industry Sees Positive Growth of Investments

The 2017 energy installation stats around the globe confirms that renewable technology though nascent in comparison to conventional power, have already become a leader in terms of capacity installation per year and is at the forefront of attracting new investments.

With the targets of achieving greater efficiency, reliability and affordability new investments within the industry are being made for improving efficiency of PV modules, automation of installation & maintenance activities, development of long-lasting – fast charging & affordable storage batteries. Moreover, another area which is highly promising is the development of e-charging infrastructure to support mass transition of fossil fuel-based vehicles to E-vehicles.

With increasing focus on factors such as global concern for energy security, access to clean energy, financial viability, advancement of technology, falling costs and ambitious government targets, the investment made in renewable energy is healthy and increasing year on year.

Renewable energy projects are highly capital intensive and due to availability of low amount of public funding, the onus of developing renewable energy projects lay with the private sector. The governments need to work towards safeguarding the interest of Investors by ensuring following three major points

  • Guarantee for the offtake of the power that is produced by the project
  • Full security of payments and paying them in a timely manner
  • Compensation in case of termination of PPA

Potential Growth in Hybridisation Projects to Optimize Renewable Energy Systems

Hybridisation of the renewable technologies i.e. combining of complimentary renewable generation profiles like solar and wind along with storage are the new growth areas and trend of future. Hybrid projects possess capability of replacing thermal projects as base load and provides optimum utilisation of the existing evacuation infrastructure.


Manoj Kohli
Executive Chairman
SoftBank Energy, Softbank Group India


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