While Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu need to make their power infrastructure more ready, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal need to make better use of their potential for renewable energy
According to a recent assessment from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and Ember, Gujarat and Karnataka are two states that are progressing the fastest in terms of overall preparedness and commitment for the switch to clean electricity.
The paper examines 16 Indian states across four dimensions, which together supply 90% of the nation's yearly electricity needs. The aspects measure a state's readiness to move away from fossil fuel-based energy, its capacity to encourage greener market participation, the dependability of its power system, and its policies supporting the decarbonization of the power sector. The States' Electricity Transition (SET) scoring system, which evaluates how well each state is doing in making the switch to clean electricity, was created by the report's authors using the results of this investigation.
“India’s revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets have put the country on the right path for transitioning its electricity sector. To achieve those targets, the centre now needs the cooperation of the states to move faster in their clean electricity transitions. This means states redoubling their efforts to walk the electricity transition pathway, and both central and state governments tracking progress and taking corrective measures as required,” says the report’s co-author Vibhuti Garg, Director, South Asia, IEEFA.
The only state to achieve high scores in all areas of the study's clean electricity transition was Karnataka. In terms of decarbonizing its energy sector, power system performance, and ecosystem preparation, it was the best-performing state. Additionally, it has political pledges and policies that will make the transition easier. Karnataka was somewhat ahead of Gujarat in decarbonizing its electrical sector. Similar to Punjab, Haryana has made progress in its planning and implementation of the switch to electricity.
Apart from key findings, the report has also listed a few recommendations: To ensure a successful and long-lasting transition to clean electricity, states must make multi-dimensional efforts; Governments must enhance their involvement in green market processes by implementing more benevolent regulations like free access to renewable energy sources and power banking; To accurately measure progress and give state governments the tools they need to make the necessary corrections, data availability and transparency at the state level must be increased and finally ensuring that clean electricity transition policies are implemented effectively and on schedule, state governments must close the gap between purpose and practice.
The report identifies priority areas for states to strengthen their readiness for the transition, including maximising the potential for solar and wind energy generation and increasing the use of energy storage technologies, such as batteries and pumped hydro, for better renewable energy integration.
“Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have work to do to strengthen their clean electricity transition performances. These three states should maximise their renewable energy generation potential, and at the same time increase their commitment to moving away from fossil-fuels-based electricity,” says co-author Saloni Sachdeva Michael, Energy Analyst, IEEFA
The paper also suggests that states concentrate more on bolstering their power systems as more renewable energy becomes available.
“Even the long-considered front-runners of adding renewable energy capacity, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, have to improve the readiness of their power ecosystems for a clean electricity transition,” says co-author Aditya Lolla, Senior Electricity Policy Analyst, Ember.
“State energy departments also need to strengthen electricity infrastructure for better integration of renewables. In addition to managing the demand and supply of electricity, ensuring effective utilisation, monitoring, and tracking of electrons is also very important,” he adds.
The paper identifies expanding governmental involvement in green market mechanisms as a crucial component of the switch to clean electricity.
“We found limited participation of states in green market mechanisms like the Green Day Ahead Market (GDAM), Green Term Ahead Market (GTAM) and more,” says Sachdeva Michael.
The report also emphasises how cutting-edge bilateral financial market mechanisms, such as Contracts for Difference (CfD) and Virtual Power Purchase Agreements (VPPA), have enormous potential to expand the market and provide buyers and regulators with the assurance they need to manage intermittent renewable energy generation.
The paper also concludes that in order to properly manage trash from solar panels, batteries, and electric vehicles, the states must adopt a more comprehensive and circular strategy. When India establishes new industrial facilities as part of the "Atmanirbhar Bharat" (self-reliant India) initiative, this will become increasingly important.
The research also emphasises that a number of governments must close the gap between the goals of their power transition plans and how they are actually carried out.