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Green Energy Corridors: Building The Future For Sustainable Energy

By - King Stubb & Kasiva on October 18, 2023


As the planet struggles with the critical challenge of climate change, the shift towards renewable energy sources has become an absolute necessity rather than merely a choice. In India, electricity generation involves two primary methods: renewable and non-renewable. The former involves electricity generation from wind, solar, hydro energy, and geothermal sources, while the latter draws electricity from coal.

The Green Energy Corridor Scheme for the development of intra-state transmission systems for renewable energy (RE) projects. In Phase I, the scheme provides financial assistance (CFA) equivalent to 40% of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) cost or the awarded cost, whichever is lower. In Phase II, this assistance is reduced to 33% of the DPR cost or the awarded cost, again, whichever is lower. These provisions aim to support the growth of renewable energy projects and enhance the country's green energy infrastructure.

The Green Energy Corridors (GECs) initiative was launched by the Government of India[1] to generate sustainable, clean, and efficient energy. At its core, GECs are grid-connected networks, specifically built to connect all renewable energy sources (RES) and transmit their power from resource-rich areas to areas with high demands.

India’s commitment to expanding its renewable energy capacity aligns with its pledge to the Paris Agreement and the global mission to combat climate change.

The Green Corridor project is jointly implemented by two agencies. Intra-state transmission responsibilities are managed by individual state transmission utilities, while inter-state transmission falls under the jurisdiction of the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL).

Understanding Green Energy Corridor

Two phases of implementation were planned for this project.

Phase I:

In 2015-16, phase I (also known as Intra State Transmission System (InSTS) was launched in 8 Indian states- Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and Himachal Pradesh.

The key objective of this project is to maximise India’s renewable energy potential and to build the infrastructure required for the extraction of excess renewable energy generated in these states and integrate it into India’s national grid system. The national grid will distribute this extra electricity to states with energy shortages, such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, etc.

At the launch of the project, the primary goal was to lay around 9700 circuit kilometres of transmission lines and build substations with a capacity of about 22600 MVA by December 2020. The budget for the project was ₹10041 crores, with the Central Government providing 40% of the funding, 20% being state equity, and the remaining 40% being financed through a 500 million Euros loan from Germany.[2] 

Phase 2:

Phase 1 was an incredible success since India was able to complete the intended transmission of excess renewable energy from energy-rich states to energy-deficient areas.

The government launched Phase 2 in January 2022 to build 27.5 GVA electricity substations. In addition, the government also plans to build over 10,500 Kilometres of transmission lines across the nation including all the states that participated in phase 1. The total energy extraction goal for this phase has been set at 24 GW.

The whole budget was set at Rs. 12,000 crores, and the target for completion is the financial year 2026-27, with 33% of the total cost to be covered by the Central government.[3]

The GEC Scheme for the development of intra-state transmission systems for renewable energy (RE) projects:

In Phase I, the scheme provides financial assistance (CFA) equivalent to 40% of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) cost or the awarded cost, whichever is lower.

In Phase II, this assistance is reduced to 33% of the DPR cost or the awarded cost, again, whichever is lower. These provisions aim to support the growth of renewable energy projects and enhance the country's green energy infrastructure.[4]

Advantages And Significance Of GECs

GECs are certain to bring significant benefits to India’s electricity generation and distribution landscape. The factors that show their significance are:

  • They will significantly reduce India’s overall carbon footprint and promote the development of sustainable and environmentally friendly energy solutions.
  • India will become a leading generator and user of renewable energy, aligning with its target of achieving a 450 GW installed capacity from non-conventional energy sources by 2030.
  • They will also promote economic development by bringing in investments, generating employment, and reducing consumers' energy expenses.
  • India will be able to fulfil its climate commitment targets, as agreed upon during the COP 26 summit in Glasgow.
  • This initiative will address the energy crisis that some areas are now experiencing by making electricity accessible to them 24/7.
  • These corridors significantly reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and reliance on fossil fuels by facilitating the seamless transmission of green energy.

The Need For Inter-State Coordination

Challenges in Transmitting Renewable Energy Across State Boundaries

One of the primary challenges in developing GECs is the coordination required among different states. Energy transmission often crosses state boundaries, necessitating cooperation to build and maintain these corridors. Inconsistent policies and regulations between states can hinder progress and increase costs.

Benefits of a Coordinated Approach

Efficient energy transmission requires a harmonized approach among states, utilities, and regulatory bodies. By coordinating efforts, states can optimize infrastructure development, reduce transmission losses, and enhance the reliability of the grid. Successful inter-state coordination can serve as a blueprint for others to follow.

Case Studies of Successful Inter-State Coordination

The Energiewende plan in Germany, for instance, involves a cooperative effort between many states to make the transition to renewable energy, positioning Germany as a leader in renewable energy.

The Electricity Act of 2003 lays down the framework for generating, distributing, transmitting, and utilizing electricity in India, with specific provisions for renewable energy sources. Additionally, it empowers the Appropriate Commission to set pricing structures, offer incentives, and provide guidance to promote the expansion of the renewable energy sector.

The development and growth of renewable energy in India are closely supervised by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), which acts as a central point for implementing projects, framing policies, and encouraging industrial innovation. The MNRE's initiatives have been instrumental in driving India towards its renewable energy targets.[5]

National Green Corridor Programme (NGCP): The Indian government launched the NGCP in 2013 with an investment of Rs. 43,000 Crore, to facilitate the smooth integration of renewable energy into the national grid network. This programme aimed to build a reliable transmission system for renewable energy.

Initiatives Associated With Gecs

The following projects have been started to effectively achieve the objectives of GECs:

  • Hydrogen Fuel Vehicles.
  • Rewa Power Plant
  • Surya Mitra Skill Development Programme
  • At COP 26, the UK and India together announced the “One Sun, One World, and One Grid” and “Green Grid” initiatives[6].
  • Atal Jyoti Yojana
  • National Wind Solar Hybrid Policy 2018
  • National Solar Mission[7]
  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Surkasha Evam Utthan Mahabhiyan
  • Solar Park scheme
  • ISA (International Solar Alliance)[8]

Community Engagement And Investment

Funding Sources for Green Energy Corridor Projects

Developing Green Energy Corridors requires substantial financial resources, which can be obtained through various channels such as private equity, government grants, and international organizations like the World Bank.

Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs)

These partnerships involve governments collaborating with private entities to split the financial burden and pool the skills needed for large-scale infrastructure development. 

Importance of Involving Local Communities

GEC projects often traverse rural and remote areas. Engaging with local communities is essential to address their concerns, ensure social acceptance, and share the benefits of renewable energy development.

Public Awareness and Acceptance

Public awareness campaigns can educate communities about the benefits of Green Energy Corridors. Open dialogues and transparent communication foster trust and support for renewable energy projects.

Collaborative Approaches with NGOs and Advocacy Groups

Collaboration with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and advocacy groups can help align Green Energy Corridor projects with broader sustainability and conservation goals. Expertise in community engagement and environmental protection can also be provided by NGOs.

Conclusion And Recommendations

To harness their full potential, policymakers and stakeholders should:

  • Prioritize inter-state coordination and harmonization of policies.
  • Leverage federal and state incentives to attract private sector investments.
  • Embrace technological development to enhance the efficiency and reliability of energy transmission.
  • Mitigate environmental impacts through sustainable practices and community engagement.
  • Learn from both successful projects and past failures to inform future developments.
  • Anticipate and address emerging legal and policy challenges.
  • Promote international cooperation for cross-border energy transmission.

As the world strives to combat climate change and secure a brighter future, Green Energy Corridors stand as a testament to human innovation and determination.


What is the primary objective of Green Energy Corridors?

GECs focus on making the seamless flow of renewable energy from resource-rich areas to areas with high energy demand, thereby reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions.

What is the legal framework governing renewable energy in India?

The Electricity Act, 2003, provides the framework for developing, transmitting, and distributing renewable energy in India. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) looks after the growth of the sector.

What is the importance of the National Green Corridor Programme (NGCP) in India’s renewable energy sector?

This program was introduced in 2013 and involves investment in the transmission infrastructure required for the smooth integration of renewable energy into the national grid network.









King Stubb & Kasiva,
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