Transmission Roadmap: CEA report outlines plans for integrating 537 GW of renewables by 2030

CEA report outlines plans for integrating 537 GW of renewables by 2030

India aims to increase the non-fossil fuel-based installed capacity to 500 GW by 2030. As of October 31, 2022, the installed capacity in the country stood at 409 GW, including 166 GW of renewable capacity (including large hydro), which is about 40 per cent of the total installed capacity.

To evacuate the power generated to the load centres which have high solar and wind energy potential, they need to be connected to the interstate transmission system (ISTS). The transmission system has to be planned in advance as the gestation period of wind- and solar-based generation projects is much less than the gestation period of the associated transmission system. To this end, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has released a report, “Transmission System for Integration of over 500 GW RE Capacity by 2030”. In the report, the transmission system has been planned for about 537 GW of renewable energy capacity (Table 1). A brief extract from the report…

In the report, the transmission system has been planned for major renewable energy potential zones including Leh renewable energy park in Ladakh; Fateh­garh, Bhadla, Bikaner in Rajasthan; Kha­vda renewable energy park in Gujarat; Anantapur and Kurnool renewable energy zones in Andhra Pradesh; and offshore wind farms in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. The installed renewable energy capacity target of 175 GW by 2022 comprises 66.5 GW of renewable capacity to be connected to the ISTS network. Part of the transmission system for this capacity has been commissioned (12.9 GW) and the rest is under construction (19.1 GW, slated for commissioning bet­ween December 2022 and November 2023), under tendering (8 GW), to be taken up for bidding (10.5 GW) and at various stages of planning.

In addition to the 66.5 GW capacity, the transmission system has been planned for 236.58 GW of renewable energy ca­pa­city. Of this, 181.5 GW is in the additional renewable energy potential zones identified for development by 2030. These zon­es are located in eight states (Table 2). Of the 181.5 GW capacity, 56 GW, 62.1 GW and 63.4 GW are likely to be commissioned by March 2025, Dec­ember 2027 and December 2030 respectively. Of the transmission schemes pla­nned for 181.5 GW of capacity, the tr­an­s­mission schem­es for Bikaner II and Bika­ner III renewable energy zones in Ra­jas­than; Koppal II and Gadag II re­newable energy zones in Karnataka; and Kall­am in Maharashtra have already been reco­mmended by the NCT. These transmission schemes will be taken up for bidding. Subsequently, the transmission sc­he­mes for other potential zones will be taken up. The report mentions th­at in Rajasthan, of the total 75 GW of id­en­tified renewable energy po­ten­tial zo­nes, 45 GW (30 GW solar and 15 GW wi­nd) lie in the Great Indian Bustard ar­ea in Barmer, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur districts.

The transmission schemes have been planned considering energy storage, so as to meet the requirement of round-the-clock (RTC) power. Several HVDC transmission corridors have also been planned for the evacuation of power from large renewable energy potential zones. It has been estimated that 50,890 ckt. km and 433,575 MVA is the additional requirement of transmission lines and substation capacity respectively, plann­ed under the ISTS for integrating additional wind and solar capacity by 2030. The capacity-wise tentative additional ckt. km and MVA capacity are provided in Table 3.

The tentative cost of the ISTS network for integrating 10 GW of offshore wind capacity and other wind and solar ca­pacity is Rs 281 billion and Rs 2.161 tri­lli­on respectively. The total cost of the pl­an­ned transmission infrastructure is Rs 2.442 trillion (Table 4). The present in­terregional transmission capacity stands at 112,250 MW. With the additio­nal in­terregional transmission corridors un­der implementation/planned, the cu­mul­ative interregional transmission capacity is likely to be about 150,000 MW in 2030.

Going forward, for the development of the planned transmission schemes, the government may provide some central financial assistance and low-cost fin­ancing from multilateral agencies in line with the Green Energy Corridors (GEC) scheme. Under the GEC-I sche­me, about 24 GW of renewable energy capacity was planned to be integrated with the intra-state network, of which about 7 GW is to be commissioned by March 2023.


Post the launch of the report, some in­dustry observers have expressed reservations over its successful implementation given the right-of-way issues that continue to exist, leading to project delays and cost overruns. According to some, aggressive bidding for transmission projects makes such projects unviable. Some stakeholders have an interesting observation. While the governme­nt aims to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, the report plans for 10 GW of offshore wind capacity (5 GW each for Gujarat and Tamil Nadu).

However, despite these reservations, the release of the detailed report on transmission infrastructure for evacuation of renewables is a positive development given that this has been seen as a major hu­rdle in scaling up renewables. The ge­station period of transmission projects is typically much longer than that of re­ne­wable energy projects, leading to delays in the commissioning of solar and wind assets, bid postponements and, in some cases, stranded assets. Th­us, this report provides the much-needed roadmap for transmission capacity de­ve­lopment, whi­ch will help transport the targeted solar and wind power to load centres and bring the country closer to its clean energy mix goals.