Rajasthan’s installed renewable energy capacity reached 9.6 gigawatts (GW) at the end of fiscal 2019-20.
It also added more solar power capacity (1.7GW) in 2019-20 than any other Indian state, ahead of Karnataka (1.4GW), the state with the highest installed solar capacity, and Tamil Nadu (1.3GW).
However, its power distribution companies (discoms) are among the worst performing in India.
Expensive coal-fired capacity tariffs coupled with huge aggregate technical and commercial losses led to the Rajasthan discoms booking a loss of Rs 6,355 crore ($900m) in 2019-20 after accounting for state government subsidies.
A shift to cheaper renewable capacity could help alleviate the discoms’ financial liquidity and cash flow issues.
Rajasthan has high solar radiation and wind speeds and an abundance of barren land that make it suitable for utility-scale solar parks.
And it is already home to the world’s largest solar park — the 2.25 GW Bhadla Solar Park, located in Jodhpur district.
Currently, Rajasthan depends on electricity imported from other states given a power deficit during peak daytime hours.
With an increase in renewable energy investment the state could become a net exporter of electricity in the coming decade, according to the report.
The state government should be taking proactive measures to fully utilise Rajasthan’s renewable energy potential and build capacity to transmit power to states with energy deficits.
“Revenues from the interstate export of power would help sustainably grow GDP and improve India’s energy security and load balancing capacity.”
If Rajasthan fulfills its solar power potential, it could be one of the largest contributors to India’s target of 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030, IEEFA’s modelling suggests.
Reference- IEEFA Report, Mercom India