Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron during the inauguration of a solar power plant in Uttar Pradesh state, India, on March 12, 2018. Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

In 2014, well before the Paris Agreement, India’s newly elected central government dramatically raised its Renewable Energy (RE) targets to quadruple RE capacity by 2022, with almost all the gains to come from solar and wind. India aims to simultaneously green its energy supply, meet rising demand and tap into global capital for emerging technology.

Where it stands: A midway status update on the targets and achievements indicates India is behind schedule. Lack of finance is often cited as a bottleneck, but there are other structural challenges India will have to confront in scaling up its RE.

The first major challenge is that while the targets are set top-down, the real action happens at the state level, and the state utilities that buy RE are taking losses, which represents an enormous counter-party risk for RE developers.

The second challenge is the inherently intermittent nature of RE, whose nominal costs are relatively inexpensive. But when system-level costs (e.g., those of transmission and other generators that have to balance the grid) are considered, RE costs increase. Today, these hidden or system-level costs are more than 50% higher than figures typically circulated in the press. This is before accounting for the eventual need to add storage technologies — since RE’s output is not just variable but often doesn’t coincide with grid demand, which peaks in the evening — and the stress higher RE will place on the rest of the coal-heavy system.

With better grid management, higher transmission (important, as most RE is concentrated in a handful of states) and demand shifting to match supply, RE’s system-level costs should come down.

The bottom line: India may take longer to reach its targets, and expectations should be realistic. However, growth still remains impressive, and even with a delay, India is on track to meeting its Paris commitments.

Dr. Rahul Tongia is a Fellow with Brookings India, where he leads the energy and sustainability group.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
47 mins ago - Economy & Business

Coinbase files to go public

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase on Thursday filed to go public via a $1 billion direct listing.

Why it matters: This comes in the midst of a crypto boom, and the listing may further legitimize the industry.

Trump’s blunt weapon: State GOP leaders

Trump supporters rally near Mar-a-Lago on Feb. 15. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Trump didn't have to punish his critics in Congress — his allies back in the states instantly and eagerly did the dirty work.

Why it matters: Virtually every Republican who supported impeachment was censured back home, or threatened with a primary challenge.

The modern way to hire a big-city police chief

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

When it comes to picking a city's top cop, closed-door selection processes have been replaced by highly public exercises where everyone gets to vet the candidates — who must have better community-relations skills than ever.

Why it matters: In the post-George-Floyd era, with policing under utmost scrutiny, the choosing of a police chief has become something akin to an election, with the need to build consensus around a candidate. And the candidate pool has gotten smaller.