With a population of 1.3 billion people, India is the world’s fourth largest consumer of electricity. With the current Government’s commitment towards clean energy, innovative solutions and energy efficiency initiatives, India is leading the global fight against climate change. Currently, 1/6th of India’s electricity comes from renewables. The nation is specifically experiencing a major push in solar power. With 300 days of sun every year, India could become a global leader in solar power. According to a recent report by the World Bank the cost of electricity from solar photovoltaic (PV) is at present a quarter of what it was in 2009. It is expected to fall another 66 per cent by 2040. This implies that a dollar will buy 2.3 times as much solar energy in 2040 that it does today. India achieved a record low tariff of INR 2.44/unit for a project in the state of Rajasthan, in its latest solar auction.
By 2020 as many of the markets reach inflection point, renewables will be the cheapest form of new power generation across the globe. This journey of Renewables from a clean source that needs to be promoted by incentivising to a source that is the cheapest has been achieved mainly due to visionaries like the Prime Minister of India Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi and others. Way back in 2010 as the then CM of the state, he saw the potential and impact of solar and hence encouraged players to come to Gujarat to commission the projects. Though at that time, this was just a clean and expensive source, today with its rapid adoption, solar is clean and cheapest source form of energy generation. While people were looking toward Germany, the US and other countries as the heroes who spearheaded the sector, it was nice and refreshing to note that India is counted amongst the leading players in Renewable sector globally.
India’s serious commitment to mitigate climate change is being supported by the active participation of private players in the sector. Hindustan Power, one of the independent power producers is leading the solarisation drive, globally. With an installed capacity of 2,000 MW and upcoming solar power projects in Japan (150 MW), Indian players are dominating the sector across the world and have successfully established the ‘Made by India’ tag.
In addition to solar parks, India is also installing solar panels on rooftops and floating solar platforms on rivers and other water bodies. The country also has plans to sell electric cars by 2030.
Indian Government’s incentives and participation of private players such as Hindustan Power will provide the required push to achieve the ambitious target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022. While people were not sure of achieving the original target of 20 GW 2022, Shri Piyush Goyal, the Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines upward scaled the solar five times to 100 GW and proceeded to remove the risks from the sector.
While, there is a perception that Chinese have taken the solar world by storm it is in fact India which is implementing the largest renewable energy programme world over and it is the Indian players who have been installing world class solar projects in the country and outside. The solar buck starts here in India – not in China, with players like Hindustan Power contributing to the sector.
If the world expects to meet its Paris Climate Agreement objective of containing global warming to under 2 degree Celsius increase, it is imperative for India – third largest emitter of carbon dioxide – to be a global leader on clean energy.