India can increase its renewable energy (RE) capacity to 175 Gw by 2022, the official target, but it needs to do some things quickly for that to happen, says Claudia Acre, South Asia head of KfW, the German development bank.It needs to resolve the problems faced by power distribution companies (discoms), finding a ‘win-win’ solution for them and the banks to which they owe huge sums of money. Also, focus on quality installations to attract more investors and address the issue of certification.
KfW, she said, had already provided €1.3 billion for the ‘green corridor’ project. Another €1 bn has been sanctioned for solar energy capacity addition during 2015-20.At the ‘Intersolar India’ conference here, she told this newspaper: “India’s target of installing 175 Gw of RE capacity by 2022 is on the lines of what other countries, including Germany, did. Even if it is completed by 2025, it would be a good achievement.”
However, she stressed, the discoms will have to be convinced to embrace RE targets. On quality installations: “If you do not bring these, people will invest but if the things after five years are broken, people will not believe the model will work. Therefore, from the beginning, India will have to look at quality and also address the issue with regard to certification, so that people are not disappointed later.”
KfW began financing the green corridor project three years earlier. “Under the project, new transmission lines will feed the electricity obtained from renewables into the public network. Together with Power Grid’s national lines, states will strengthen the transmission network. Electricity will thus be transported more effectively,” she explained.As for capacity addition in solar energy, “This year, we are starting an Indo-German solar partnership and it’s mainly KfW providing the finance. This would be another €1 bn in financing the addition. Efforts will be made to complete it early, as KfW did with the green corridor project.”