Supporting India's States with Renewable Energy Integration
NREL partners directly with states in India to evaluate strategies for integrating renewable energy into India's power system.
The Government of India made a commitment to transition to clean energy in its power sector through several nationwide targets, such as reaching 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030 and a nationally determined contribution commitment of 40% renewable electricity capacity by 2030. India's states will play a key role in this transition. Advancing the data, tools, and methods used to plan and manage this power sector transformation is a critical component of ensuring success in reaching targets and creating an environment for further ambitions across the energy sector.
Given the position of India's states in managing the electric power grid, this transformation will require a leading role from individual state utility companies and coordination among them. NREL supports these states and organizations by addressing renewable energy integration through several key strategies:
In addition to partnering with the state utilities, NREL partners with local civil society organizations to sustain the impact of these programs. By enhancing capabilities in planning and managing the growth in renewables, this program helps state utility companies and other energy stakeholders in India make data-driven, cost-effective investments in procuring resources and modernizing their power system to meet multiple objectives.
Where Is NREL Working?
NREL is using the open-access model ReEDS to support optimal bulk power system planning in Tamil Nadu, one of India's pioneering renewable energy states, by evaluating several clean energy pathways. This work is helping decision makers understand how policies or other sector trends might impact the needs of the state over the next several decades by bringing together stakeholders to prioritize questions and share key results.
NREL also worked closely with Tamil Nadu's distribution company (DISCOM) to build a custom software tool, EMeRGE, that allows engineers to have better visibility on the impacts of rooftop solar or other distributed energy resources (DERs). By enabling a greater understanding of the impacts of DERs, Tamil Nadu can take aggressive steps to modernizing its grid while continuing to increase reliability. Both tools allow Tamil Nadu a better understanding of the impact of renewable energy on their system and will lead to an acceleration of the growth of these clean and low-cost sources of energy.
- Pathways for Tamil Nadu's Electric Power Sector: 2020–2030, NREL Technical Report (2021)
- An Analysis Framework for Distribution Network DER Integration in India: Distributed Solar for Tamil Nadu, NREL Technical Report (2021)
NREL is convening a stakeholder driven Modeling Working Group to coordinate with Karnataka officials and power system engineers on bulk power system planning studies and the identification of unique challenges and analysis needs associated with the changing power sector in Karnataka. Developing state-of-the-art planning models and methods specific to Karnataka will enable continued ambition for the state renewable energy sector and more closely integrate renewable energy growth with the power sector growth. Flexible tools and methods will also ease the integration of other sector transformations into power sector planning, such as transportation and buildings electrification.
NREL is working with the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) to support the State of Rajasthan Energy Department in medium- and long-term power sector planning. With guidance from a broad array of power sector stakeholders, NREL will be using ReEDS to understand how different policies and technology costs impact system requirements. Additionally, in close coordination with RMI, NREL will forecast the potential for rooftop PV in the state using dGen. This data will be combined with demand forecasts from RMI and fed into ReEDS to provide insights on how distributed generation, and other potential changes to system demand such as electric vehicle growth, could impact the generation requirements of the state in the coming years.
- Least-Cost Pathways for India's Electric Power Sector, NREL Technical Report (2020)
- India 2030 Wind and Solar Integration Study: Interim Report, NREL Technical Report (2019)