India to Quadruple Renewable Capacity to 175 Gigawatts by 2022

India plans to quadruple its renewable power capacity to 175 gigawatts by 2022 as part of the government’s plan to supply electricity to every household, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Saturday.

India will seek to add 100 gigawatts of photovoltaic capacity, 60 gigawatts of wind power, 10 gigawatts of biomass and five gigawatts of hydro projects, Jaitley said in New Delhi in his budget speech for the fiscal year beginning April 1.

The goal is likely to be difficult to achieve because it will require a significant increase in installation and the government has signalled it would like to end tax breaks that have been used to spur the introduction of renewable power. In the past, when the government withdrew tax breaks, capacity installation fell.

“These targets look quite ambitious,” said Ashish Sethia, of Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Singapore. At most 4,900 megawatts of renewables have been installed in a “good year,” and to achieve the new target implies the addition of 20,000 megawatts of capacity per year, he said.

Gamesa India, Suzlon Energy Ltd. and Welspun Renewables Energy Pvt. Ltd. are among companies likely to benefit from the increased renewable targets in the second-most populous nation.

“We are confident that renewable energy in India will take off from here and witness exponential growth in the next few years,” Suzlon Chairman Tulsi Tanti said in an e-mailed statement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a goal of 24-hour power supply, clean drinking water and a toilet for each household by 2022 when the nation celebrates its 75th year of independence. He is keen to achieve the power supply target using renewables and has been asking state-run companies to invest in clean energy.

About one third of Indian households currently lack electricity.

India’s current installed renewable capacity stands at 34 gigawatts.

Copyright 2015 Bloomberg

Lead image: India flag via Shutterstock

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