Mumbai: Even as the recently announced national wind-solar hybrid policy is expected to boost renewable power generation, setting up adequate number of evacuation network will be critical, experts say.
Under the new policy, the government intends to auction wind-solar hybrid projects on tariff based competitive bidding, and these can be set up anywhere across the country depending on feasibility and land availability with bidders.
“Consistent forecasts from analysts suggest that the country will face major grid integration issues in the coming years if evacuation infrastructure is not improved at the same rate as renewables capacity additions,” Vijay Khandwekar, head-module mounting structure business, solar projects, Tata International, told PTI.
The government has set an ambitious target of achieving 175 gw of renewable capacity by 2022, of which solar would be 100 gw, and the rest 60 gw would be wind.
The installed capacities of 20 gw of solar and 35 gw of wind at present, however, is far from the combined target of 160 gw.
Rating agency Icra in its recent report had said that the adequate evacuation network availability would be critical for new hybrid projects as well as for hybridisation of existing wind or solar projects, given the higher generation profile expected.
According to PwC, the country has been developing solar-wind hybrid projects since the past five years, with an installed capacity of 20 gw.
Amit Kumar, partner-clean energy, PwC India told PTI that the challenges expected while integrating solarwind hybrid systems would include producing the power of high quality and reliability, which needs to be synchronised with local grid.
“Issues of dispatching the variable energy shall also arise; which have to be dealt at the load dispatch centres,” he said.
As per the policy, the tariff would be initially feed-in tariff. It would be very low since evacuation infrastructure would be shared. However, the policy also mentions competitive bidding, which might keep the tariffs in check, according to PwC.
The policy also promotes usage of battery storage in hybrid projects for optimising the output and reduces the invariability.
Kumar said this would not only reduce the variability of solar and wind technologies, but would also provide higher energy outputs for the given capacities; thus ensuring availability of firm power for a particular period of time.
At the state level, Andhra had issued its draft solar wind hybrid policy in 2016, which clearly earmarks extensive efforts for promoting this technology.