Future of Renewable Energy in India

renewable energy india

Renewable Energy

As India sets out for an economic transformation, the issue of energy sources takes centre stage. With climate change posing significant challenges worldwide, the urgent need to transition to renewable energy becomes increasingly apparent. India has set ambitious targets for renewable energy adoption, recognising its potential not only to drive economic growth but also to address pressing environmental concerns.

Commitment to Renewable Energy

Reducing emissions goes hand in hand with transitioning energy systems. India has clearly stated its commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2070 and generating 50% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), renewable energy has the potential to account for about 90% of the world’s electricity by 2050, underscoring its significance.

A report prepared during India's G20 Presidency suggests an annual investment of over $4 trillion globally, with a significant portion allocated to renewable energy in the primary energy mix.

India is actively working to achieve its renewable energy goals. Embracing renewable energy sources not only lessens our reliance on energy imports but also separates emissions from economic growth.

Several notable initiatives, be it, the National Green Hydrogen Mission, the Green Energy Corridor-Inter-State Transmission System for 13 GW renewable energy Projects in Ladakh, or the PLI Scheme for High-Efficiency Solar PV Modules, all are a testament to the country’s commitment to sustainability.

While our objectives are defined and our paths forward evident, we must remain cognizant of potential challenges ahead.

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Regional Variations and Tailored Strategies

Considering India's diverse landscape, it's crucial to examine regional perspectives, especially regarding the renewable energy sector. Renewable energy adoption varies widely among states, emphasising the importance of accounting for regional differences in the country's energy strategies.

According to estimates from the IEA, states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Punjab, and Kerala, known for their abundance of renewables, notably exceed the national average of 8.2% in solar and wind energy utilisation.

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Regional Variations in India

The differences between regions highlight the need to customise renewable energy strategies to fit each state's unique characteristics and potential. Some states may excel in solar energy thanks to ample sunlight, while others may find wind energy more advantageous.

By acknowledging and utilising these regional disparities, India can enhance its renewable energy deployment, speed up its shift to cleaner energy, and meet its ambitious renewable energy goals more efficiently. Additionally, a regional approach can stimulate local economic growth and job opportunities.

Addressing Intermittency with Energy Storage

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Energy Storage

Another aspect of increasing reliance on renewable energy is the fluctuating nature of energy supply due to renewables' inherent intermittence. This underscores the importance of having sufficient energy storage infrastructure in place.

According to the National Electricity Plan (NEP 2023), India needs an energy storage capacity of 16.13 GW by 2026-27. A report from India’s Ministry of Power, "The National Framework for Promoting Energy Storage Systems," emphasises the necessity of energy storage, projecting a requirement of 336 gigawatt-hours by 2030. These developments indicate significant transformations ahead for the Indian power sector.

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Meeting Renewable Energy Targets

India's current objective is to achieve 500 GW of electricity capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. However, to reach this goal, the country requires USD 293 billion between 2023 and 2030 for solar and wind power projects.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Financial Implications and Investment Needs</p></div>

Financial Implications and Investment Needs

Financial Implications and Investment Needs

Ember's analysis indicates that India requires an extra investment of USD 101 billion (one billion=Rs 100 crores) to expand its renewable energy capacity and align with the IEA's net-zero scenario by 2050.

The IEA's plan aims to achieve global net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, with advanced economies leading the way. In simpler terms, reaching net zero means balancing the greenhouse gases emitted with those removed from the atmosphere.

According to Ember, India is already planning a significant increase in renewable energy, which could allow it to triple its renewable energy capacity. However, to meet the IEA's goal and achieve net-zero status, India must set even higher targets. This would involve generating around 32% of its energy from solar and 12% from wind by 2030.

To achieve this, India would need to add 115 GW of solar and 9 GW of wind capacity by 2030, on top of the targets set in its NEP14 plan. This would bring India's total renewable capacity to 448 GW of solar and 122 GW of wind by 2030.

Overcoming Financial Hurdles

A think tank report identifies obstacles such as payment delays and unfavourable regulations, deterring potential investors from funding renewable energy projects. The current investment and funding capacities in India fall short of meeting the financial demands for both the NEP14 target and the IEA net-zero scenario.

Impacts on Employment and Skills

Beyond infrastructure expansion, the transformation to renewable energy presents employment opportunities and challenges. A report by CEEW-NRDC and Skill Council for Green Jobs reveals a substantial increase in workers employed in project development roles within the solar and wind energy sectors. With further expansion of renewable energy capacity, an even larger surge in job opportunities is expected.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Employment</p></div>

Employment and Skills

The IEA World Employment Report 2023 highlights a global rise in clean energy jobs, particularly in China. However, it also underscores concerns about shortages of skilled labour, as reported by energy firms surveyed worldwide.

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Socio-Economic Opportunities and Human Capital Development

Understanding the workforce needs of India's renewable energy sector can bring significant socio-economic advantages through a transition to clean energy and foster a skilled workforce for the future. Inadequate training for clean energy roles could lead to a shortage of skilled workers and missed economic prospects for individuals.

Therefore, investing in vocational training programs and education focused on renewable energy will not only address the shortage of skilled workers but also provide individuals with opportunities to engage in the green economy.

The ongoing efforts to boost India’s renewable energy capacity show promise. However, to make them successful, it’s crucial to grasp the practical impacts of integrating renewable energy in the future. By enhancing grid infrastructure, and storage capacity, and crafting customised energy policies for states, India can expedite the shift towards a clean, affordable, and accessible energy future.

Summary

The ongoing efforts to boost India’s renewable energy capacity show promise. However, to make them successful, it’s crucial to grasp the practical impacts of integrating renewable energy in the future. By enhancing grid infrastructure, and storage capacity, and crafting customised energy policies for states, India can expedite the shift towards a clean, affordable, and accessible energy future.

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