The rising sun: disruption on the horizon

India aims to reduce emission intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels, and solar power is likely to contribute 4 per cent towards this target, states this new report released by Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, and New and Renewable Energy. The third edition of the Rising Sun is inspired by the clear trend of renewable energy emerging as a mainstream energy source globally within the next decade. In addition, the edition draws from the recent developments that have taken place in the solar PV cost curves and what those mean for the fast-growing Indian economy. The report highlights that solar could scale up substantially to be a significant energy source by 2025, with the market penetration of solar power expected to be 5.7 per cent (54 GW) by 2020 and 12.5 per cent (166GW) by 2025. India aims to reduce emission intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels, and solar power is likely to contribute 4 per cent towards this target, the report states. The report talks about how the scale up and competitiveness of solar power could disrupt the traditional generators. The disruptive force is expected to start being felt from 2017 and may accelerate post 2020. In some states which are promoting solar (and also wind power) aggressively, conventional coal generators could see their Plant Load Factors (PLFs) fall by as much as 10-15 per cent by 2020, as solar replaces coal-fired generation in the daytime hours. This effect may speed up post 2020 with the annual addition of large amounts of solar (estimated to exceed by 20GW per year by 2022-23).