India is ready to integrate large amounts of renewable energy: Piyush Goyal

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The uncertainty and unpredictability which can bring a huge rush of renewable energy into India’s power grid will be a big conundrum, however a study released last week by the Union Minister of Power, coal, new and renewable energy, Piyush Goyal, details how there can be a smooth transition into integrating 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy into India’s energy mix.

This transition will be the world’s largest clean energy expansion programme, to meet the government’s target of adding 175 GW of clean energy into the country’s grid.

The study called “Pathways to Integrate 175 GW of renewable energy into India’s electricity grid”, says that “power system balancing with 100 GW solar and 60 GW wind is achievable at 15-minute operational timescales with minimal reduction in renewable energy output.”

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The study which was developed under the US-India bilateral program called “Greening the Grid” gives details about economic and technical viability of integrating 175 GW of renewable energy into India’s power grid, and identifies the way forward to this transition.

In 2015, the government of India had set an ambitious target of integrating 100 GW of solar power and 60 GW of wind power into India’s electricity mix by 2022, and the study reveals that “Changes to operational practice can reduce the cost of operating the power system and reduce RE curtailment, but are not essential for 160 GW RE integration”.

Authored by the partnership of India’s Ministry of Power and U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), the study reveals that “Power system balancing with 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind is achievable with minimal integration challenges, bringing benefits of reduced fuel consumption and emissions.”

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