Renewable energy sources and technologies have potential to provide solutions to the long-standing energy problems being faced by the developing countries. The renewable energy sources like wind energy, solar energy, geothermal energy, ocean energy, biomass energy and fuel cell technology can be used to overcome energy shortage in India. To meet the energy requirement for such a fast growing economy, India will require an assured supply of 3–4 times more energy than the total energy consumed today. The renewable energy is one of the options to meet this requirement. Today, renewable account for about 33% of India’s primary energy consumptions. India is increasingly adopting responsible renewable energy techniques and taking positive steps towards carbon emissions, cleaning the air and ensuring a more sustainable future. In India, from the last two and half decades there has been a vigorous pursuit of activities relating to research, development, demonstration, production and application of a variety of renewable energy technologies for use in different sectors. In this paper, efforts have been made to summarize the availability, current status, major achievements and future potentials of renewable energy options in India. This paper also assesses specific policy interventions for overcoming the barriers and enhancing deployment of renewable for the future.
China may be the world’s renewable energy leader, but where the sector’s growth is concerned, India is leaving its neighbour behind.
Investments into clean energy in India rose 22% in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period last year, while investments by China fell 15% during the period, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (NEF). At this rate, India is expected to overtake China and become the largest growth market by the end of 2020.
Overall investment by China, though, remained vastly higher at $58.1 billion in the first half of 2018, compared to India’s $7.4 billion, the report says.
In the last couple of years, India has been looking to have at least 175,000 megawatts (MW) of installed renewable energy capacity by 2022. To this end, it has been rapidly ramping up investments in renewable energy. Last year, the country added more power generation capacity from renewable sources than conventional ones.
In May this year, India became home to the International Solar Alliance, a Gurugram-based non-profit treaty-based group of 121 countries promoting the use of solar energy. The country is also building multiple large solar power parks similar to, but bigger than, those in China. In fact, half of teh world’s largest 10 solar parks are under construction are in India.
On the other hand, China, the world’s largest renewable energy producer, with over 650,000 MW of installed capacity, is slamming the brakes on the sector. In 2017, Chinese investment across all clean energy technologies stood at 132.6 billion dollars, but it has dropped so far this year. This is because the country has been holding back subsidies to bring down a 100 billion yuan (around $15.6 billion) deficit in a state-run renewable energy fund.
A research by University of Technology (LUT) in Finland expounds that India has a huge potential to move into a fully renewable electricity system by 2050, owing to an abundance of renewable resources. If only we can optimally leverage sophisticated technologies to harness proactive collaboration with the industry, academia and energy innovation ecosystem, the region can move straight to affordable renewable systems. Such renewable energy systems can works mainly on clean energy, solar energy, wind energy and other new age storage solutions. Solar photovoltaics is the most economical electricity source and batteries satisfy the night-time electricity demand. In addition to covering India’s electricity demand for power, such system simulation can also cover for seawater desalination and synthetic natural gas beyond other measures.
According to Praveer Sinha, CEO Tata Power,with the right investments in such green technologies, India is well positioned to achieve all this. This is significant given India’s burgeoning electricity demand and the persistent supply demand gap along with the summer shortages and outages, the pursuit towards cleaner energy sources will have a crucial role in enabling the country’s transition to a fully sustainable energy system. Ensuring those projects secure the necessary financing to enable that development, however, remains a challenge, with a large proportion of Southeast Asian projects considered unbankable. The bankability of renewable energy projects has always been an issue owing to off takers’ inability to absorb power and pay for it.