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India to cross 200 GW renewable energy capacity mark by 2022, Says MNRE Minister

R K Singh: “We have decided that by 2022 we will establish 175 GW of renewable energy capacity and we are close to achieving the target,”.

Ahead of the BRICS Energy Ministers meet in Brasilia, Brazil on Nov 12, Minister of State (IC) Power and New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) Minister Mr ‘R K Singh’ exuded confidence that the country will have over 200 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022. Thus, India has set an ambitious target of having 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022. The ‘MNRE’ Minister, “The renewable energy capacity which has been installed is 83 GW and under installation is 31 GW and 35 GW capacity is underbidding”.

So this becomes around 140-145 GW. “In hydro, we have installed capacity of around 45 GW and under installation capacity is about 13 GW, which makes it (hydro) around 60 GW. Thus, we will cross 200 GW capacity of renewable energy by 2022,”. Further, He argued that more than 55% of installed power generation in India will be from renewable sources by 2030. “India has decided that by 2030, about 40% of its installed capacity will come from renewables. But we will be crossing that,” he asserted.

Following the statement, he also mentioned that, “Indian Prime Minister at the United Nations General Assembly Climate Summit announced that we will install 450 GW or 450 thousand MW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.. So we have followed a quick approach towards reducing carbon footprints,”. While talking about Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme, He argued India saved 8.63 million tonnes of oil equivalent in the first round of the scheme. In the second round, the country achieved a further reduction in energy consumption of about 3 million tonnes of oil per year.

Under the PAT scheme, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency had set a target of power savings by designated consumers. The first round of the scheme was from 2012-13 to 2014-15, while the second round was from 2016-17 to 2018-19. The designated consumers get energy savings certificate under the scheme, which can be traded at energy exchanges, PTI news agency remarked.

In September 2019, the ministry also informed that, India has installed more than 82,580 MW of renewable energy capacity with around 31,150 MW of capacity under various stages of installation. Thus, by the first quarter of 2021, India would have installed more than 1,13,000 MW of renewable power capacity. This would constitute nearly 65% of the targeted capacity, the ministry asserted in a statement, ET reported.

Besides this, around 39,000 MW of renewable power capacity is at various stages of bidding which would be installed by September 2021, taking the percentage of installed capacity to over 87% of the targeted capacity, it attributed. The CRISIL report had also remarked that, “Renewable energy capacity may increase by just 40 GW to 104 GW in 2022 from 64.4 GW in 2019, and thanks to the lingering policy uncertainty and tariff glitches. That would be a good 42% short of the government target of 175 GW.” The report remarked.

Significantly, The Indian renewable energy sector is the fourth most attractive renewable energy market in the Globe. As of October 2018, India ranked 5th in installed renewable energy capacity. According to 2018 Climatescope report, India ranked second among the emerging economies to lead to transition to clean energy.

Government initiatives

Several initiatives by the Government to boost the Indian renewable energy sector are as follows:

  • A new Hydropower policy for 2018-28 has been drafted for the growth of hydro projects in the country;
  • The Government of India has announced plans to implement a US$ 238 million National Mission on advanced ultra-supercritical technologies for cleaner coal utilisation;
  • The MNRE has decided to provide custom and excise duty benefits to the solar rooftop sector, which in turn will lower the cost of setting up as well as generate power, thus boosting growth.
  • The Indian Railways is taking increased efforts through sustained energy efficient measures and maximum use of clean fuel to cut down emission level by 33% by 2030 etc., The data attributed.

Following this, The Government and top decision makers is committed to boost use of ‘clean energy’ sources and is already undertaking several large-scale sustainable power projects and promoting ‘green energy’ heavily. In addition, renewable energy has the potential to generate many employment opportunities at all levels, especially in rural sphere.

India’s energy situation had changed significantly. “We have transitioned a country which had a deficit, so far as energy production capacity was concerned, to a country which is now a surplus and we are able to produce more energy than we consume and we are exporting energy to our neighbouring countries,”. The Country has aggressively expanded its wind and solar energy capacity in the past five years, helped by aggressive bidding by companies, MNRE Minister R K Singh asserted.

For experts, It is expected that by the year 2040, around 49% of the total electricity will be generated by the renewable energy, as more efficient batteries will be used to store electricity which will further cut the solar energy cost by 66% as compared to the current cost. Hence, Use of renewables in place of coal will save India Rs 54,000 crore (US$ 8.43 billion) annually.

Thus, India looks to meet its energy demand on its own, which is expected to reach 15,820 TWh by 2040, renewable energy is set to play an significant role. By 2030, renewable sources are expected to help meet 40% of India’s power needs. New investments in ‘Clean energy’ in the country reached US$ 11 billion in 2017. In the first half of 2018, investments in clean energy in India reached US$ 7.4 billion. The non-conventional energy sector received a total FDI equity inflow of US$ 7.83 billion in FY19, The recent analysis by India Brand Equity Foundation attributed.

In a global arena, According to the EU Covenant of Mayors, cities could be ready for creative actions when it comes to reducing their CO2 emissions – if they have the will. As per the research, Computed action plans show that over 49% of actions would be covering the buildings sector, while 20% would be devoted to increase local energy production and 23% for transport to develop cleaner transports. This all plays into the hands of solar. According to the Environmental Agency Bureau, E-mobility could also increase global electricity demand by 10% by 2050.

In effect, Several European cities such as Paris, London Oslo or Rome have decided to ban diesel by 2040, The study assumed. According to Greenpeace, Interest in renewable energy in China is growing, and most of the leading Chinese companies are riding on the opportunities to go with renewable energy. The environmental campaign group is set to bring out a new release of the Chinese edition of its Clicking Clean report, which investigate the use of renewables within the IT sector.

However, The ‘MNRE’ has set an ambitious target to set up renewable energy capacities to the tune of 175 GW by 2022 of which about 100 GW is planned for solar, 60 for wind and other for hydro, bio among other. As of June 2018, Government of India is aiming to achieve 225 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, much ahead of its target of 175 GW as per the Paris Agreement. As of 2019, India is building a solar power plant in Rajasthan, which will be world’s largest, with a capacity of 2,255 MW.

Consequently, India’s renewable energy sector is expected to attract investments of up to US$ 80 billion in the next four years. Meanwhile, PM Narendra Modi on Nov 12 asserted that, The visit to Brazil will give me an opportunity to hold talks with President Jair M. Bolsonaro on ways to deepen the India-Brazil strategic partnership. There is great potential in sectors like trade, defence, agriculture and “energy”. The PM would be taking part in this year’s BRICS Summit being held in Brazil on 13th and 14th November, in the recent year.

Author: Trilok Singh, Currently Studies Masters in Mass Communication & Journalism at International School of Media and Entertainment Studies, News 24 Campus. MA in Political Science, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi.

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