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Know More About Your Country: India’s Renewable Energy Journey

India’s Renewable Energy Journey

We need to know and move more towards India’s Renewable Energy Journey

Bright sunshine for around 300 days in a year, swift winds over most of the geographical area, numerous powerful water streams in hilly regions, and abundant greenery all over, Mother Nature has bestowed a bounty of natural resources to India. The exponential growth in population followed by urbanization and industrialization are increasing the demand for power day by day. Hence, India developed a strategy and roadmap to explore and exploit renewable sources of energy to power its dream of sustainable growth. India’s Renewable Energy Journey is the amazing journey which will excite you to know each and every detail of India’s Renewable energy journey. A separate department of non-conventional energy sources was created in 1982 which was upgraded as an exclusive, dedicated, and federal ministry in 1992, was rechristened as the ministry of new and renewable energy in 2006.

India’s Renewable Energy Journey

The recent resource assessments indicate India has over 1,000 gigawatts potential of renewable power from wind, solar, biomass, and small hydropower. On the global platform of the UN climate change summit at Paris, India committed to reducing the emission intensity by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 and will produce 40 per cent of our power from nonfossil fuels. The target of renewable energy capacity has been upgraded by the government to 175 gigawatts by 2022 that includes solar, wind, biopower, and small hydropower. Ministry of new and renewable energy, MNRE, launched a National Solar Mission in 2010 with 20 gigawatts target which has now been enhanced to 100 gigawatts. Conducive policies, favourable and friendly regulations for the purchase of solar power, common acquisition of land and infrastructure development have facilitated the growth of solar power and the establishment of 34 solar parks in 21 states. With an aggregate capacity of 20 gigawatts government has recently launched the second phase with an additional 20-gigawatt capacity.

India’s Renewable Energy Journey

Today, India takes pride in commissioning the world’s largest solar park of 1,000 megawatts in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh. The solar power has attained a great parity in India. The levelled tariff of solar power which was once about 30 U.S. cents or over 17 Indian rupees per unit has come down to less than 4 U.S cents or 2.5 Indian rupees per unit. Under make in India, high-quality solar photovoltaic cells, module systems, and devices are being manufactured at competitive prices. In rural India, a special scheme for installation of over 100,000 solar water pumps is transforming the agricultural scenario and also easing accessibility to drinking water, off-grid solar plants, LED solar home lights, solar lanterns, LED solar street lights being installed in rural and urban areas are transforming the quality of life. Over 1 million solar lamps have been distributed to students of tribal and backward communities in over 100,000 villages.

Policy facilitations, easy and low-cost of financing have created a wave of solar rooftops across the country. Small and large urban dwelling units, institutions, airports, railway stations, defence establishments, industry and other government establishments are installing and enjoying the benefits of solar rooftops through the net metering mechanism. An innovative step has been taken to utilize the vast area of canal banks and canal tops for installing solar projects. No wonder, now India proudly hosts world’s largest solar rooftop installation of 12.5 megawatts on a single roof at Dera Bias in Punjab. MNRE supports and promotes emerging concentrated solar thermal technology for various thermal applications in urban India which includes industries, dairy, and other enterprises. In wind energy sector, latest estimates at hundred meter levels put PAN India potential at more than 300 gigawatts. Business potential and lucrative returns have made wind power a champion having a large share of the total installed capacity of renewable. India has reached a wind manufacturing capacity of 10,000megawatt per annum. The country has developed a manufacturing base of international quality at competitive prices with indigenization region to over 70%. Manufacturers are offering a wide range of turbines with over 55 models of capacities ranging from 225 kilowatts to 3 megawatts. Moving further, MNRE has taken steps to repowering of all turbines and exploration of offshore wind energy. The Unique intervention of e-reverse auction is proving its words by discovering the lowest tariff of rupees 3.46 per unit for 1,000-megawatt wind power projects.

India’s Renewable Energy Journey

Now, India is the fourth largest producer of wind power in the world. Ministry is promoting renovation of existing old water mills for grinding flour and also generates electricity for individual households and cluster of villages. Government is encouraging foreign investors to set up renewable power projects in India with 100 per cent foreign direct investment. In hilly and difficult terrains small hydropower units up to 25 megawatts are proving their worth by providing the clean power at affordable cost with quick capacity additions. Nearly, 4400-megawatt capacity has been installed so far. In rural areas, nearly fifty lakh improved biogas plants are providing clean fuel for cooking and power generation. Bagasse-based cogeneration in sugar mills are producing enough power to meet the electricity requirements of the mills besides surplus power is traded to other power grids. Improved biomass power plants producing power mainly from agricultural residues and waste have been installed by a large number of private enterprises. India has over 57-gigawatt renewable power which accounts for 18% of total installed capacity. Over the years, MNRE has built up a robust institutional infrastructure and network for providing policy development and R&D support to its schemes and programs. As an emerging leader of renewable energy on the global map, India has developed competencies to offer consultancy services for installation of renewable power projects.

India has also led to the creation and launch of international solar airlines with 121 solar resource-rich countries as members. No doubt India has the makings of becoming the world capital of green energy and is heading towards realizing the dream of clean, green, and affordable power to all.

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