India is a land of tremendous opportunities, and the booming power industry has been a witness to it for decades now. Humongous energy needs, varied potentials and abundant reserves lays down a natural road map for investors and consumers alike.
Electricity consumption in the country has been growing at one of the fastest proportions globally due to its tremendous economic waves and blasting population growth. Consumption requirements have increased at an average CAGR of 7.2% from 2007-08 to 2011-12. Indian economy faces an increasing challenge as the country is struggling to bridge the gap (6.7% on an average, annually) between the supply and demand. Such lingering lack of energy and unreliable supplies threaten India’s economic growth.
The prevailing chronic energy deficit situation hampers the industrial growth, forcing industries to look for an expensive alternate source of power generation – Diesel. So, what can India do to meet its future energy demands and help eliminate wide-ranging power outages in the future? Renewables presents an opportunity to bucket in the opportunity with added advantages of –
- Minimal operational costs
- Environmental Friendliness | Green adavantage
Renewable energy also has the advantage of allowing decentralized distribution of energy — particularly for meeting rural energy needs, and thereby empowering people at the grass roots level. For quite a long time (over 3 decades), the utility-scale renewable based (Solar/Wind) electricity has been termed as too pricey. But with the advent of technology, costs of electricity generated through these resources have shown a consistent drop, while the costs of conventional electricity have
Factors driving renewable energy growth in India
India ranks fourth and sixth globally, as the largest importer of oil, and of petroleum products and LNG, respectively. Intense competition for the procurement of fossil fuels has been sharply driving the prices with considerable volatility.
Government is encouraging the use of renewable energy resources by extending support to private players and mandating the use of renewables. It offers incentives like GBIs and tax holidays and other import duty exemptions
India is most vulnerable country to the impact of climate change and government is responding sharply to it by releasing NAPCC which comprises of actions aimed at mitigating climate change.
Increasing cost competitiveness of renewable energy technology
Prices of renewable energy technologies especially solar and wind are plummeting because of technological innovation, increasing manufacturing scale and experience curve gains.
Favorable foreign investment policy
The government has allowed 100% FDI in renewable energy sector and encourages investors to set up renewable energy plants under BOO basis in the country.
Vast untapped potential & Government regulations
India possess abundant untapped potential of renewables being one of those few countries receiving highest solar radiations, having high wind potential and abundant biomass resources. The government regulations like setting up RPOs etc. play a very effective role in attracting investors into renewable energy
Credits- Chandramouli | MNRE
Renewable forms of energy (especially solar and wind) could enhance India’s energy security and represent a bright spot in its economic and environmental future. If India switched from coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power plants, it is possible that 70% of the electricity and 35% of its total energy could be derived from renewable resources by 2030.
India can ramp up its efforts to develop and implement large utility-scale solar energy farms to meet the country’s economic development goals, while creating energy independence and bringing potentially enormous environmental benefits. Both issues have a direct influence on national security and the health of the Indian economy.
A future powered by renewable energy is already here, not decades away. Comparisons of costs per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced show that newly built solar and wind plants are already considerably cheaper than new nuclear plants. In coming years solar and wind energy will compete more and more favorably with conventional energy generation and, in places such as California and Italy, have already reached so-called “grid parity.”
Renewable Energy (especially solar and wind) is a game-changer for India: It has the potential to re-energize India’s economy by creating millions of new jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce the trade deficit and propel India forward as a “Green Nation.” Providing 100% renewable energy is not a fantasy for someday, but a reality today. India has a golden opportunity to solve three huge problems – reducing poverty, ensuring energy security and combating climate change. But it must act soon! India can no longer afford to delay renewable energy deployment to meet its future energy needs.
P&G, GE, Tata & Infosys are some of the few pioneer players who have realized the potential and are vigorously trying to tap this for the greater good.
For all others the clock is ticking! Tic-Toc! Tic-Toc!