Rajasthan at helm of India’s green energy shift; Gujarat close on heels

With over 26,800 MW of installed renewable energy capacity, Rajasthan is at the helm of India’s transition towards green energy. Following close behind is Gujarat, which is looking to overtake Rajasthan as the leader in renewable energy in the next couple of years.

“We have already overtaken Tamil Nadu as the number one state in generating wind power. We are currently placed second among states in solar power generation. But with 30000 MW of renewable energy park at Khavda in Kutch getting operationalised in the next couple of years, Gujarat will overtake Rajasthan as the number one player in solar energy,” said Mahesh Babu, managing director of Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd (GPCL), the nodal agency appointed by the state government for renewable energy in Gujarat.

Experts point out that 64.5 per cent of Rajasthan’s power generation capacity comes from renewable energy sources. This is much higher than the 47 per cent of renewable energy mix present in Gujarat’s energy basket.

Rajasthan produced 39,300 million units of green energy in the first 10 months of 2023-24: a three-fold rise compared to the same period in 2019-20. In comparison, Gujarat being the second largest producer of renewable energy in the country, produced 36,184 million units of green power in the ten months of the current financial year. This is the double the quantum of green energy the state produced during the same ten-month period in 2019-20.

“India is slated to achieve its renewable energy targets ahead of schedule and the government is expected to revise the targets after the Lok Sabha elections end. The sector is more lucrative than what it was 15 years ago. Going forward, apart from Rajasthan and Gujarat, states like Maharashtra and Karnataka are expected to attract more renewable energy projects,” said a top executive of a company implementing renewable energy projects in the country.

Southern states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu that dominated the sector and were the top producers of renewable energy in 2019-20, have subsequently slipped. Though renewable energy makes up 67 and 55 percent of the total energy basket of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, respectively — much higher to that of Rajasthan and Gujarat — the renewable energy sector in Karnataka grew by 83 per cent, while that in Tamil Nadu grew by 88 per cent during the five-year period between 2019-23.

Karnataka produced 33,500 million units in the ten-month period and stands in third position, followed by Tamil Nadu with 29,000 million units of green power. Among the top biggest renewable energy producing states, Andhra Pradesh grew the slowest, registering just 28 percent growth since 2019. Maharashtra, which currently has the highest quantum of thermal power (28,916 MW), grew by almost 61 per cent in renewable energy production in the last five years.

Companies like Torrent Power are looking at states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka to execute their 1.7 GW of renewable energy projects that are under construction. Recently the company announced to set up 306 MW of grid-connected Solar Power projects at 48 locations across Nasik district in Maharashtra at a cost of ₹1540 crore. 

Mumbai-based Avaada Group which announced setting up of a 421 MW solar project in Gujarat earlier this month said it was looking to leverage the ISTS connectivity in the state. “The planned projects — located in underdeveloped wastelands of Kutch — are expected to generate around 17.5 billion units of green electricity annually. Through this project, we aim to not only utilise the abundant solar resources of Gujarat, but also contribute to India’s renewable energy goals,” Vineet Mittal, Chairperson of Avaada Group added.

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