India ranked third in the world in renewable energy production in 2021. The country aims to achieve a renewable energy capacity of 175 GW by the end of 2022, which it hopes will expand to 500 GW by 2030. This expansion plan is the world’s largest plan for renewable energy. The renewable energy industry in India is changing the country for the better.
In the last 7.5 years, India’s renewable energy capacity increased 286% and today stands at 151.4 GW. It increased by 98% from March 2014 to December 2021. The installed solar energy capacity today stands at 49.5 GW. Renewable energy accounts for 40.2% of the country’s total installed electricity capacity.
The Government of India has set targets for the country to achieve 1 billion tonnes of carbon emissions reductions by 2030. The Government also aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070.
In the last few years, India witnessed the fastest growth rate in renewable energy capacity among all the major economies in the world. A rise in foreign investments in India’s renewable sector was one of the reasons for the astounding growth rate. Experts predict that this will promote further investments in the country. This year, the Indian Government allocated 19,500 crores for a scheme aimed at boosting the manufacture of high-efficiency solar modules.
India launched the Mission Innovation CleanTech Exchange in June 2021. The mission is a global initiative that will accelerate the transition and innovation for clean energy among countries.
The Central Electricity Authority of India estimates that the country’s power requirements will grow to 817 GW by 2030. Most of the country’s power demand will come from the transport and real estate sectors.
In February this year, Nepal and India formed a Joint Hydro Development Committee for the countries to explore the possibility of viable hydropower projects jointly.
At the COP-26 Summit at Glasgow in November 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised that India would meet 50% of her energy needs through renewable energy by 2030. The Ministry of Power also announced rules that would reduce stakeholders’ risks and financial stress. The rules also safeguard and allow timely cost recovery in renewable electricity generation. The Indian Government declared new regulations governing the purchase and consumption of green energy. These measures aim to encourage large-scale consumers, such as industries, to use renewable energy sources for their regular operations.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy permitted NTPC Renewable Energy Limited to build a 4,750 MW renewable energy park at the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. When completed, the park will be India’s largest solar park. Last year, the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. Invited bids from solar module manufacturers. The bids were to encourage the development of solar manufacturing units under the Central Government’s Production Linked Incentive (PIL) scheme of 4,500 crores.
The Indian Railways is increasing their efforts to use sustainable and efficient energy sources. They are currently using clean fuel to their maximum capacity. The Railway sector hopes to reduce its emissions by 33% by 2030.
Between April 2000 and December 2021, the flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Indian renewable energy sector stood at 11.21 billion dollars. Since 2014, the renewable energy industry in India has recorded investments of more than 5.2 lakh (70 billion dollars). Globally, India came in the third rank in terms of its 2020 renewable energy investments and plans.
Here are some major developments and investments in the renewable energy industry in India:
1. In February this year, Creduce Technologies-HCPL JV won the bid for India’s largest hydropower carbon credits project. The project will create around 80 million carbon credits.
2. Husk Power Systems is a green energy company striving to achieve rural electrification. In February this year, the company secured a loan of 4.2 million dollars from the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency to work towards its mission.
3. The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited awarded a contract to Tata Power. Tata Power is India’s largest energy provider. The contract allows Tata Power to set up a 300 MW wind-solar hybrid power plant.
4. In October last year, Adani Green Energy Ltd. acquired SB Energy India for 3.5 billion dollars. This acquisition strengthens the company’s position in the renewable energy industry in India.
5. In July 2021, the National Thermal Power Corporation Renewable Energy Ltd. sent tender encouraging domestic manufacturers to build India’s first green hydrogen fueling station at Leh, Ladakh.
6. In August 2021, Amp Energy India Private Limited signed an investment agreement with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners to facilitate joint equity investments of 200 million dollars. The money will be invested in renewable energy projects across India.
7. Tata Power Solar acquired a contract worth 686 crores from NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation). The contract permits Tata Power Solar to build renewable energy projects with a capacity of 210 MW in Gujarat.
The Road Ahead for India
The Indian Government is committed to using clean energy sources. It has already undertaken several large-scale sustainable power projects and is heavily promoting green energy. In addition to this, the renewable energy industry in India will create many employment opportunities for the country’s citizens at all levels, especially in rural areas. Experts predict that in the next four years, the renewable energy industry in India will attract investments worth 80 billion dollars. By 2023, there will be around 5,000 compressed biogas plants all over the country.
Industry experts expect a boom this year in the renewable energy industry in India, with likely investments of up to 15 billion dollars. This growth is partly because of the Government’s focus on green hydrogen, electric vehicles, and solar equipment manufacturing.
By 2040, 49% of the total electricity generated in India will come from renewable sources. The efficiency of batteries in storing electricity will increase. The increase in efficiency will reduce the cost of solar energy by 66% as compared to present-day costs. Replacing coal with renewable sources of energy will save India 54,000 crores annually.
The India Government hopes to create a ‘green city in every state of the country. These cities will be models for the rest of the country, championing renewable power through solar systems on the rooftops of all homes, solar parks on the outskirts of the cities, waste-to-energy plants, and transport systems driven by electric energy.
Dr. Emily Greenfield is a highly accomplished environmentalist with over 30 years of experience in writing, reviewing, and publishing content on various environmental topics. Hailing from the United States, she has dedicated her career to raising awareness about environmental issues and promoting sustainable practices.