India has pledged to generate more than 175 Giga Watt (GW) of installed renewable energy, of which 100 GW is to come from solar energy. This is being termed as the most ambitious renewable capacity expansion program in the world. Is it feasible? More importantly, are we even of the path to achieve that? I don’t think so. The numbers pouring in from the government don’t seem to indicate that it is taking its own pledge seriously.

It is really hard to imagine that the sector can achieve its 100 GW target of solar energy out of the 175 GW by 2022. The economies of scale have made solar energy tariff and wind tariffs competitive with any thermal power plant, but going from a small base to the heights that have been set, would be difficult for the country. India’s pledge to generate 100 GW of solar power by 2022 can fall short.

India goes big on solar energy and renewable energy sector

The Government of India (GoI) interventions as well as initiatives have made India a renewable energy hub. In any given bidding for solar and wind energy projects, investors from all over the world participate and win projects. An investment of $10.2 billion from across the globe was made in India in 2016 alone, ranking fifth in the world. This is the result of a stable government policy and commitment to renewable energy.

More than anything that the 175 Giga Watt (GW) ambitious targets have accomplished, they have given immense confidence to the Indian renewable energy sector. It has proven that the current Indian government is dedicated to pushing renewable energy and has made it a prime focus. The renewable energy sector has made strides in achievement.

The roadblock in the achievement of this ambition would not be why we could not reach the target; it would be by when we can reach it. India is capable of installing 175 GW of renewable energy, we might not be able to achieve it by 2022, may be in another 10 or 20 or 30 years from that, but we can certainly achieve it. What is more important is that we make sure that the rapid development that is happening in this sector is not at the cost of our environment.

The government aims to increase the share of clean energy through thrust on renewables. To achieve the target of 100 GW, programs and schemes such as Solar Park, Solar Defence Scheme, Solar Roof Top Scheme, Solar scheme for CPUs Solar PV power plants on Canal Bank and Canal Tops, Solar Rooftop, Solar Pump, etc. have been launched over the past few years.

With Aruna Kumarakandath, first published on greenubuntu.com and republished with permission.


Muqbil Ahmar | 

Exec Editor Grey Head Media (DynamicCIO)


 

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