India, a country with the world’s second largest population is looking to provide every one of its citizen’s with electricity, whilst also removing millions from the depths of poverty. However, to do this
in a way that will not kill the planet, India must turn their focus to renewable energies. Although the transition from fossil fuel reliance to that of renewable energies is no easy feat, India is a country
of huge diversity with regards to its weather, with an abundance of sunshine and wind.
The subcontinent of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh relies heavily on coal, oil and gas; with coal being the primary source of energy. Combined, these 3 sources provide 90% of the subcontinents demand
and coal alone constitutes for 70% of demand.
One of the leading solar producers in India, Tata Solar, predicts that India has the capacity to be producing 130 gigawatts of solar by 2025, which is enough to power over 100 million homes. “This would
generate more than 675,000 jobs in the Indian solar industry,” says Tata Power Solar’s former CEO, Ajay Goel, now president of solar and chief of new businesses at New Delhi-based ReNew Power.
“Especially for the 400 million Indians who have no access to electricity, solar power would mean access to clean and affordable energy.”
After years of lagging behind a number of the world’s biggest economic countries with regards to renewable energies, India is finally beginning to understand and act upon the potential provided by
renewables. The government recently updated the ‘National Solar Mission Target’, aiming to achieve 175GW of renewable energies by 2022, which includes 100GW of solar power.
The targets are highly ambitious considering their current position and the required transition, however, it is possible. The country will need a collective overhaul of the power infrastructure, as well as
new incentives to drive investment.
Uncertainty over the pace at which new large dams or nuclear plants can be built means there is a strong reliance on solar and wind power. The IEA says India has high potential and equally high ambition
in these areas to deliver on the pledge to build up a 40% share of non-fossil-fuel capacity in the power sector by 2030.
It believes that 340GW of new wind and solar projects, as well as manufacturing and installation capabilities, can be created by 2040 with strong policy support and declining costs.
They have set themselves a hard task, no doubting that, however, it’s commendable that the country is finally coming to the renewable energies party.
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