The Deeper Meaning Behind Renewable Energy Efforts
India faces a major challenge of mounting demand for energy. As the latest Energy Outlook Report published by British Petroleum projects, the demand in India will be highest in the world by 2030–35.
And, as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) puts it, renewable energy is the way out.
India, which boasts of having one of world’s most diversified power sector, did make a fair amount of progress by including non-conventional sources such as wind, solar, and domestic waste.
There is a continuous rise in the number of renewable energy projects in India with a steady focus on reducing carbon emissions. The speciality of these ambitious projects is rooftop solar power systems, majorly covering rural areas, which constitute a large part of the country. Long term energy security that supports sustainable growth can be accomplished with solar power projects. Here are some remarkable facts about these projects.
- They have contributed nearly 12.96 per cent of India’s electricity installed capacity in the past 5 years.
- Millions of Indian villagers have been meeting their cooking, lighting and other energy needs with solar energy based applications.
- Brought social and economic benefits by relieving rural men and women of fuel wood collection, risks of lung and eye diseases due to smoky kitchens.
- Improved overall standard of living by creating employment in villages.
India being a country of 1.25 billion, its renewable energy market would naturally matter to the economy of the globe. And the work done by India in this field can be seen from the latest figures released by the Government of India.
- It succeeded in adding 4,089 MW of renewable energy capacity in 2014–15. This was 8.5 percent beyond the target of 3,770 MW.
- India’s total solar capacity by mid-2015 was 4GW.
As per the National Institute of Solar Energy, while India has a whopping 750GW solar power potential. Its wind power capacity, which is expected to rise to 2,800 MW during 2016, plus 4,000 MW per annum over the next few years, is sure to draw investments up to Rs 1,00,000crore by 2020.
Fully aware of this fact, the Indian Government has been aggressively planning renewable energy projects in India. The World Trade Organization, however, points out a basic flaw in the solar programme — it lacks consistency with global guidelines. Nevertheless, the country must continue building solar plants to balance the enormous climatic changes caused by its coal rush, which is a result of India’s attempts to provide for its 400 million people who are still untouched by electricity.
The Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DUGJY) announced by the Ministry of Power, for instance, aims to provide electricity to 3,500 villages through renewable energy solutions in three years. The government has set a huge target of producing 175,000 MW power through alternative sources by 2022. Of this, it intends to produce:
- 100,000 MW from solar power
- 60,000 MW from wind energy
- 10,000 MW from biomass
- 5,000 MW from small hydro power projects
The powerful efforts to run renewable energy projects in India have met with an equally zealous funding by various nations, including the US. Interestingly, nearly 290 companies from India and abroad too have shown readiness to generate 266 GW.
One of the top goals of the government is creating 24x7 power supply for the country with various renewable energy projects in India. To achieve this, it needs to produce 2 trillion units of energy in the next 4 years. An increase in renewable energy will then provide a boost to global GDP, which will result into a swell in the employment opportunities.
Energy transition, therefore, is not merely a measure to rein in climate change. It helps mankind by fuelling the economies and creates innumerable jobs.