Integration of Renewable Energies into the Indian Electricity System (I-RE)

Project description

Title: Integration of Renewable Energies into the Indian Electricity System (I-RE)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
Country: India
Lead executing agency: Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India
Overall term:11/2014 to 06/2018

Context

Indian energy sector faces multifaceted challenges including but not limited to; increasing energy demands on account of developing economy and rising population, increased fossil fuel imports, deficit in meeting electricity demand, high share greenhouse gases from energy sector in national emissions stack and lack of access to electricity to almost one fourth of its population.

The Indian government has recognized these issues and is focusing on, among other things, the technical and economic potential of a power supply based on renewable energies, especially solar energy. The government has recently revised the target of renewable energy capacities in India to 175 gigawatts (GW) by 2022. However, long-term planning approaches must be devised in order to address the above-mentioned, multi-dimensional challenges.

Further, with the continuing megatrend of urbanization in India, the possible use of rooftop photovoltaic plants offers an outstanding opportunity to contribute to a climate-neutral energy supply that is integrated into urban spaces. The government has therefore set an ambitious target to install 40 GW of rooftop photovoltaic plants by 2022. Aspects of safety, reliability, and costs concerning the integration of rooftop systems into the distribution network on such a large scale have to be taken into account.

Objective

The objective of the project is to support the Government of India in achieving its objectives of promoting renewable energy with focus on achieving the target of 175 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2022. Specifically, the project will attempt to:

  • Support the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in developing a long-term renewable energy based electricity sector “vision” for India.
  • Support integration of renewable energies and, specifically, rooftop photovoltaic plants into the distribution grid at low and medium voltage levels.

Approach

To achieve the objectives, the project will specifically focus on:

  • Raising awareness and conducting dialogues with stakeholders for the development of a power system with high proportion of renewable energies.
  • Using an energy modelling tool to analyse scenarios with variable shares of renewable energy in the total electricity mix, and assess the technical feasibility and economic benefits.
  • Developing recommendations for adapting the framework conditions for the dissemination, promotion, and elimination of obstacles in the deployment of grid-based, decentralised photovoltaic systems.
  • Working in close coordination with distribution licensees to study the impacts of integration of large number of rooftop solar power plants and suggest possible techno-economic solutions.
  • Building the capacity of the stakeholders in the value chain of the rooftop solar segment.

Tentative work plan for two main studies

Important stakeholders including the MNRE, regulatory commissions, electricity authorities, distribution licensees, and others will be consulted on various topics in order to achieve the objectives. The results of the project will support the vision of the Government of India to promote renewable energy in order to enhance energy security and energy supply for the population.

Results

The results expected on completion of the project are:

  • Strengthen implementation of policy and regulatory framework for promotion of renewable energy.
  • Demonstrate coherence between climate and energy policies.
  • Present cases for optimal investment planning of a reliable and affordable electricity system in longer range.
  • Provide recommendations for designing long-term energy policies to ensure high share of renewable energy in the electricity mix.
  • Transfer of knowledge to relevant stakeholders in order to enable them to adapt the results of this project considering future requirements.
  • Provide insights on impacts and solutions of integrating large number of rooftop photovoltaic plants in the electricity distribution system.
  • Develop recommendations for an optimized solution in terms of safety, reliability, and cost implications, based on a study of grid integration of rooftop photovoltaic plants.
  • Replicate the concepts of energy planning with high share of renewable energy at the state level.