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India's Renewable Energy Plan (28 November 2020)

India's Renewable Energy Plan (28 November 2020)

Why in News:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced that there are huge renewable energy deployment plans for India for the next decade which are likely to generate business prospects of around $20 billion per year.

Context:

In his address after inaugurating the 3rd Global Renewable Energy Investment Meeting and Expo (RE-Invest 2020), through video conferencing, he invited investors, developers and businesses to join India's renewable energy journey. He said that after the success of Performance Linked Incentives (PLI) in electronics manufacturing, the government has decided to give similar incentives to high efficiency solar modules. Stressing that ensuring 'ease of doing business' is their utmost priority and dedicated Project Development Cells have been established to facilitate investors, he said that in the last 6 years, India has travelled on an "unparalleled journey".

Background:

The summit is organised by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

The theme for RE-Invest 2020 is ‘Innovations for Sustainable Energy Transition’.

The first two editions of RE-Invest were held in 2015 and 2018.

Summary of the Debate

State of Renewable energy sector in India:

  • India's renewable power capacity is the fourth largest in the world and is growing at the fastest speed among all major countries.
  • The renewable energy capacity in India is currently 136 Giga Watts, which is about 36 per cent of its total capacity.
  • India agreed that it will add capacity of 175 gigawatts by 2022.
  • Indian Prime Minister has given a target of 450 gigawatts by 2030.
  • Last couple of years almost every household has been provided connection.
  • India’s per capita consumption looking at the global average is quite low.
  • India’s annual renewable energy capacity addition has been exceeding that of coal based thermal power since 2017.
  • India’s renewable energy deployment plans for the coming decade are likely to generate business opportunities worth $20 billion a year.
  • In terms of investment, numbers of global funds are attracted to this sector.

Challenges:

  • India is poor in implementation of policy and plans.
  • India has higher transmission and distribution losses of approximately 18 percent and to integrate renewable India need storage.
  • The biggest challenge would ne integrating the renewable with the main grid. So, integration is one of the biggest areas that India needs to work on.
  • The twin challenge of providing more energy as well as cleaner energy to the masses in India.
  • There is a huge amount of challenge in evacuation of power and especially the last mile connectivity to the last house in the country.

Way Forward:

  • To get into the manufacturing of solar panels under the Aatm Nirbhar Bharat.
  • One angle which could be the next big thing in technology is the hydrogen, which is coming up very fast and if India become successful in that technology, the landscape of renewable is likely to change quite dramatically.
  • A combination of Identification of the areas, integration with the grid and distributed energy will take us forward.
  • There is a need to identify the demands which are in tune with the characteristics of the renewable.
  • India is the fourth largest renewable country in the world, so there is need to create jobs as well as decentralized energy to assist the population.
  • The key priority area of the government should be to develop the entire supply chain of all the components.
  • Geographical diversity is another area where government can take care of variability of supply of renewable energy, for example: Wind power in some state may offer a different pattern than wind power in different state. 

Important points made by the Guests

B. P. Yadav, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy

  • There is a good amount of interest politically and from the financial perspective also.
  • We have a fairly large biomass availability in terms of agricultural waste or the city waste, etc and the conversion of energy from biomass will not only increase energy independence, but will also clean up cities.
  • In terms of calorific value, the fuels which are produced from the biomass are better and cleaner than the traditional biomass.

Sunil Jain, CEO, Hero Future Energies

  • PM is given us a vision of 450 gigawatt over the next decade, which effectively means that we will be adding a minimum of 25 gigawatts year on year from here onwards, requiring an investment of $ 20 billion.
  • After first investment, Renewable works like an annuity business. Once, you have put up the project, your revenues are assured, your market is assured.
  • This is a sector which is not only about investment, but it can create a million jobs year on year.
  • Today renewable is the cheapest form of energy anywhere around the world.

Prachi Gupta, Consultant (Energy), Niti Aayog

  • Performance Linked Incentives (PLI) scheme in electronics manufacturing that the government and Niti Aayog have come up with is an excellent move with respect to enhancing manufacturing in the sector.
  • To integrate grids, the battery manufacturing target that the government has set up to set up giga scale manufacturing facilities in the country.
  • To vanish the peak load, battery and other storage solutions need to be explored.
  • The R and D of cleaner technologies like different PV technologies and across the value chain wherever we can bring digital transformation across the supply chain.
  • India has a lot of potential in biomass, basically in transportation sector, looking at bio CNG vehicles.

 

 

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