Energy is one of the most vital building blocks of human development and key factor influencing the sustainable development of any nation. The conventional sources of energy have become a major threat to our existing and future global safety, environmental values, health and society. Therefore there is an urgent need for promoting renewable energy in the present Indian power sector in sustainable and economical way.
What is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is an energy that comes from resources which are continually replenished such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat. Renewable energy is one of the cleanest sources of energy options with least carbon emissions or pollution.
Why is Renewable Energy Important?
It has the potential to significantly reduce reliance on coal and other fossil fuels. By expanding renewable energy, India can improve air quality, reduce global warming emissions, create new industries and jobs, and move world towards a cleaner, safer, and affordable energy.
Renewable Energy in India – Current Status & Potential
Over the years, renewable energy sector in India has emerged as a significant player in the grid connected power generation capacity. Renewable energy sector landscape in India has, during the last few years, witnessed tremendous changes in the policy framework with accelerated and ambitious plans to increase the contribution of solar energy.
The Government of India has taken several initiatives during the last two years such as introduction of the concept of solar parks, organizing RE-Invest 2015—a global investors’ meet, launching of a massive grid-connected rooftop solar programme, earmarking of Rs.38,000 crore for a Green Energy Corridor, eight-fold increase in clean environment cess from Rs.50 per tonne to Rs.400 per tonne, solar pump scheme with a target of installing 100,000 solar pumps and programme to train 50,000 people for solar installations under the Surya Mitra scheme, no inter-state transmission charges and losses to be levied for solar and wind power, compulsory procurement of 100 per cent power from waste to energy plants, and Renewable Generation Obligations on new thermal and lignite plants, etc. The other significant initiatives are launching of improved cook-stoves initiatives; initiating coordinated research and development activities in solar PV and thermal; second generation biofuels, hydrogen energy and fuel cells, etc.
The total installed capacity has reached to 310 GW with generation mix of Thermal (69.4%), Hydro (13.9%), Renewable (14.8%) and Nuclear (1.9%). It is evident that the renewable power has secured 2nd position after Thermal and is spreading its wings rapidly in India. The Government of India has upscaled the target of renewable power capacity to 175 GW which includes 100 GW from Solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power and 5 GW from small hydro power to be achieved by 2022. The Ministry is implementing a wide range of schemes with fiscal and financial support and conducive policies to achieve this target. Largest ever wind power capacity addition of 3423 MW, exceeding target by 43% and solar power capacity addition of 3,019 MW, exceeding target by 116% was made in 2015-16
India is increasingly adopting painstaking renewable energy techniques and taking positive steps for carbon emissions, cleaning the air and ensuring a more sustainable future.