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India to reach 57% renewable penetration by 2027, forecasts government

Bullish ten-year energy blueprint suggests India will surpass renewable targets outlined in Paris Agreement by more than 50% and three years ahead of schedule.

The Indian government is expecting the country to source 57% of its energy requirements from renewables by 2027 – three years and many percentage points ahead of the 2030 target of 40% agreed to in Paris at COP21 last year.

This bold statement by India’s Central Electricity Authority is outlined in a draft ten-year energy blueprint that projects private investment in India’s solar and wind industries to drastically increase over the next decade, propelling installations to new heights and smashing the already-ambitious targets.

According to the plan, India will have installed 275 GW of renewable energy by 2027 – with more than half of figure likely to come from solar.

Piyush Goyal, the Indian energy minister, has also confirmed that there will be no new coal-fired power plants built until at least 2027 as the country hedges its energy future on renewable energy and takes seriously its pledges made under the Paris Agreement.

Despite public government funding in solar and wind power still way short of the levels required to meet the 175 GW of renewable capacity by 2022 goal, an influx of overseas capital has arrived in 2016, with more of the same likely in the forthcoming years.

Around $20 billion has been committed to India’s soaring solar sector by Taiwan’s Foxconn and Japan’s Softbank, with domestic assistance arriving in the form of India’s Bharti Enterprises. Indian developers are also jostling for greater prominence, with Tata pledging to draw 40% of its energy from renewable source by 2025, and Adani and Azure Power stepping up their solar investments.

“India is moving beyond fossil fuels at a pace scarcely imagined only two years ago,” Tim Buckley, director at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, told the Guardian. “Goyal has put forward an energy plan that is commercially viable and commercially justified without subsidies, so you have big global corporations and utilities committing to it.”

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