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 Climate Change

Power
Published on: Oct. 6, 2021, 1:24 p.m.
Where are the green corridors?
  • Utilities are looking forward to green energy corridors that connect their solar parks, wind parks or hybrid farms

By Business India Editorial

When it comes to green and clean energy, India is acting big. As the country goes forward to meeting its ambitious target of 450 GW renewable energy by 2030, it throws up both business opportunities as well as resource challenges.

Imagine this situation. Thanks to renewable energy that is expected to come into the grid in near future, consumers are becoming ‘prosumers’ as they both consume and produce power. Energy production is decentralised because of individual and widespread producers. The grid will be undergoing a complex transition as it becomes the centre of both generation and consumption. Charging of a large number of electric vehicles, operating data centres, and even the Indian Railways, which is setting a mission of net carbon zero by 2023, will certainly add more burden to the grid.

This calls for green grids and green energy corridors.

“These rapid changes have resulted in tremendous challenges and opportunities, with the grids needing to be resilient,” said N Venu, Managing Director and CEO, India and South Asia, Hitachi ABB Power Grids. He said that the grids are now becoming bigger by the day and need expert handling as the growing share of renewable energy is susceptible to interruptions because “we don’t know when the sun shines and when the wind blows”.

International Energy Agency has reported that India may need to add a power system the size of the European Union to meet future requirements. “We need to expand the current transmission and transformation capacity manifold. The grids must be robust enough to withstand these rapid changes and handle the large entry of renewables, growth of EVs and green data centres.”

Central Electricity Authority’s annual report for 2019-20 says that India needs $281 billion to build its transmission systems for evacuating renewables. There is also a need for innovative energy solutions and digital platforms for the entire power ecosystem — generation, transmission, distribution and consumption. Importantly, sustainability must be plugged into the system.

Green corridors, like the Green Energy Corridor the government had launched seven years ago, will be the need of the day. At state level, utilities are looking forward to green energy corridors that connect their solar parks, wind parks or hybrid farms.

In a recent report, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said that the challenge of India’s growing daily peak demand does not require investment in excess baseload thermal capacity. Instead, the electricity system needs flexible and dynamic generation solutions in the form of battery storage, pumped hydro storage, peaking gas-fired capacity and flexible operation of the existing coal fleet.

Vibhuti Garg, IEEFA’s energy economists said that increasing renewable energy generation, along with other flexible sources, can address the issue of peak shortages as the load profile is also changing in India, with high demand occurring during the day.

All points to one direction: green grids and green corridors.


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