SOLAR Solar Powers India’s Clean Energy Revolution
Clean Energy Revolution: Hyderabad in India is lighting up as the sky begins to darken at the foot of the Charminar, the city’s most iconic landmark. Another evening of commerce is underway. Household incomes in this country are on the rise and more and more Indians are getting connected to the electric grid, illuminating their lives and livelihoods. This South Asian country is the world’s third-largest consumer of power according to the World Bank group and Indians are using eight times the amount of electricity that they did in the 1970s. But they are taxing an already over-burdened system as the International Energy Agency says that India’s power infrastructure needs to be quadrupled in size by 2040, to keep up the surging demand.
India is a rapidly developing country. Our GDP is going to be growing at maybe 8-10 percent every year and along with comes the growth in power and consumption by almost the same 8-10 percent a year, as quoted by the Chairman and CEO, ReNew Power, Sumit Sinha. He agrees upon that the Solar and Wind energy is a vital part of meeting India’s need for electricity. According to him the solar energy potential in India is really very vast. We are the tropical country with a very high degree of radiation in different parts of India. There’s a large amount of land that is also available and unutilized at this point where we can set up large amounts of solar projects.
India basks in more than 300 days of Sun every year and Telangana state in the South is one of the country’s biggest solar power producers. 100 kilometers outside Hyderabad, Mehboob Nagar is one of ReNew powers biggest projects. The solar farm has a capacity of 120 megawatts. In Telangana, the ReNew project is setting a very large utility-scale solar farms, which are then supplying power directly into the grid and the grid isn’t carrying away the power to faraway areas. As part of the fight against the climate change, the Indian government wants to boost its solar power capacity to 100 gigawatts by 2022.
According to Arunabha Ghosh from the Council on Energy Environment and Water, the number now stands just 13 and a half of gigawatts. The government of India’s attempts to push the renewables targets is an extremely important step because it sets in motion a direction of travel for India’s energy transition, setting an example for the rest of the developing world that you can take this leap of faith. For a new technology that delivers benefits to the poorest of the poor in a poor economy like India. It is a leap of faith that requires significant investment by the ReNew Power that operates a capacity of 2300 megawatts across the country with a thousand more in the pipeline to finance that expansion. The company looked to investors like Goldman Sachs, The Asian Development Bank and Japan’s Energy for a new era. Foreign investment in renewables is important not just for India but for much of the developing world because the rich countries that sit in the less sunny places of the planet are the capital exporting countries. We are the solar-rich countries so it makes sense for capital to flow where the Sun shines the most. Our clean energy transition is something that no other country has attempted, at its level of income that India is. The potential benefit from solar energy can be transformative for the Indian economy but there’s still a long way to go especially for the estimated 240 million Indians or 18% of the population who still have no access to electricity. Waiting, as a deployment of the renewable energy ramps up, across the Bay of Bengal another natural resource gathering steam and that means more clean energy.