The Energy Solution

The Challenge:

As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India is set to contribute 1/4th of the projected rise in global energy demand by 2040. It is already the third largest greenhouse gas emitter after China and USA. As it creates more and better opportunities for its people leading to improved living standards, emissions will continue to rise surpassing USA by 2030 and contributing 13% of the world total [1] (IEA Database). Between 2000 and 2015, CO2 emissions from India had increased by 132% compared to a global average of 40%. The emissions intensity of the power sector in India is one of the highest in the world at approximately 50% higher than the world average, this stems from the heavy dependence on coal for power generation (IEA database).

Three key drivers, population growth and urbanization along with economic development have laid down the path for a multi-fold energy demand growth over the coming decades. By 2040, the population of India is projected to increase to 1.6 billion from the current 1.3 billion and urbanization rate changes from 33% to 43% (United Nations 2017).

To combat these challenges, India has set an ambitious target of 175 GW of renewable power by 2022 as part of the National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC), which includes; 100 GW of Solar power, 60 GW from Wind power, 10 GW from Biomass power, 5 GW from Small Hydro power. This is the world’s largest expansion plan in renewable energy and is an aggressive target considering the fact that as of November 2019 the installed renewable energy capacity is only 84 GW [2]. India’s commitment has been to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 33 to 35 percent by 2030 in comparison to the 2005 emission levels. The Indian government in 2010 initiated a National Solar Mission with a target to achieve 20 GW of Solar Power by 2022 [9]. Subsequently the government revised its target in 2015 to achieve 100 GW of Solar Power by 2022. In addition, India is targeting to achieve 40 percent of its installed electricity capacity through non-fossil fuel by the year 2030 (UNFCC Database). The county of 1.3 Billion people has increased its renewable installed capacity by 137% between 2013/14 to 2018/19. Consumption of coal is estimated to decline from 56% in 2017 to 48% in 2040 (BP Energy outlook 2019).

Of the total installed capacity of 365 GW within India, 23% amounts to the renewable energy sources as on 30 November 2019. Solar Power Sources accounts to 38.5% and Wind Power accounts to 44% out the of renewables sources installed capacity.

The figure below shows the physical progress of the additional installed capacity from April – November 2019 and the cumulative achievements as on November 2019.

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