The rapid growth of India in clean energy

As of now, India is leading to global carbon emissions. India’s population is 1.4 billion people, with 65% of this population depending on coal for energy. The country is undergoing a green-energy revolution that exceeds targets, break records, and making clean power a reality to many. Since India heavily relies on the coal industry, few ever thought that the country would exceed two critical adherences to the Paris Agreement.

One of these commitments is that India pledges to increase its clean power generation to 40% by 2030. Today, 38% of total India’s production capacity comes from hydroelectric, renewable, and nuclear sources, allowing the country to be on track to surpass its goals. The second dedication is reducing carbon emissions by 33-35%by 2030. There is the likelihood that by 2030, India would be reducing carbon emissions by 45%, exceeding the Paris target.

India’s fossil-fuel energy production capacity is 230GW, and 205GW comes from coal. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced plans to build a new renewable-energy plant in 2015 with a capacity of 175GW by 2022, though many received the announcement with skepticism. Today, the country has installed a renewable power capacity of 89GW and is planning to attain the 175GW target. In 2015, India was producing renewables with a capacity of 35GW.

During the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit, Modi announced a new plan to build renewable energy with a capacity of 450GW by 2030. The motivating factors are the devastating effects of climate change, the deadly pollution in Indian cities, and the high energy imports bill.  There is a great contrast between India and the United States as far as clean energy is concerned, as clean energy initiatives in India are highly politicized. President-Elect Joe Biden has an incredible $2 trillion plan to generate 100% energy from clean sources by 2050.

India has advanced green technology, with wind power, solar power, and energy storage been at the forefront. The progress of these technologies is exponential and has already entered the virtuous cycle. The panel cost was $1000 per watt when Bell Labs built the first solar photovoltaic panel in1954. Since then, the cost per watt has dropped down. For instance, in 2008, the cost per watt was $3.65, and in 2018, the amount had gone down to 40 cents. In 2018, India passed an essential chapter where the cost of solar power becomes cheaper than coal. Many companies are ready to produce renewable power. For example, Greenko will produce 900MW of clean energy from hydroelectric storage and solar panels. Another is ReNew that will supply 300MW of reliable power from battery storage and solar panels.

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