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New Delhi According to a top official from The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri), India is on track to increase its renewable energy capacity by increasing it from its current 100 GW to 500 GW by 2030. This is within the timeframe that India has set.

The milestone of installing 100 gigawatts of renewable energy is significant. We now have 107GW and if you add other non-fossil energies such as nuclear, hydro, etc., we get 157GW. To achieve our climate goal, an additional 340 GW will be needed by 2030. This translates into 40 GW per calendar year, according to AK Saxena at Teri, senior director of electricity & fuels.

He said that India has been adding approximately 12 GW of renewable electricity per year for the past few years.

Ground-mounted solar tariffs declined to very low levels. We saw tariffs of the order of 1.40 per kWh (kilowatt-hour) from solar parks. Tarifes for the 24/7 supply of solar energy (storage plus solar energy) were also established. 2 per kWh. This makes renewables highly competitive to integrate with the grid. This competitiveness of renewable energy will challenge many conventional power plants. Saxena stated that the goal is possible because of the strong policy direction and renewed ambition at Glasgow.

He noted that the Covid pandemic had impacted economic growth, but that the demand for electricity is expected to rebound.

Prime Minister NarendraModi said that India’s energy requirements are expected to double within the next 20-years. He made this statement in his inaugural address to the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS), on Wednesday. He added that denying people energy would be equivalent to denying millions of lives.

Nirmala Sitharaman (finance minister) announced a allocation of $1.2 billion in the Union Budget 2022. 19.500 crore to boost solar module manufacturing under the government’s flagship production linked incentive (PLI).

Saxena stated that the PLI scheme is crucial to help India reach its renewable energy goals. He pointed out that the biggest challenge in translating existing renewable energy capacity into actual energy generation is the translation of it.

The biggest challenge is storage. While solar energy can be used whenever the sun shines, wind can only work when the wind blows. In India, a country with a growing population, urbanisation and middle-class incomes there is a greater demand for solar energy in the evening peak hours, when the sun is not shining. Wind is available depending on the season for 4-5 month in a year. We need to find a balance between energy efficiency, demand-side management and shifting load from the evening hours to the sun hours in order to meet this challenge. He said that while it is encouraging that battery storage costs are falling, it has not fallen to a point where it is attractive.

These challenges aside, India’s energy supply could be improved by improving battery storage for solar and wind energy and nuclear, water, and hydro energy.

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He stated that India should improve its power-generation efficiency and upgrade its thermal power plants from subcritical to supercritical, and advanced supercritical technology.

These and other interventions will help India reach its net-zero emission goal by 2070, Saxena stated.

At the Glasgow climate conference (COP 26, November), PM Modi announced that India’s non-fossil fuel power capacity would reach 500 GW by 2030. This will allow India to meet half of its energy needs by then. India will also reduce its projected carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes by 2030. It will also reduce the intensity of its economy by 45 percent by 2030. This is an improvement on 2005 levels. The country will achieve net-zero emissions in 2070.

In the past ten years, companies had less investment in ESG (environmental, social, and governance) than they did ten years ago. Bloomberg Intelligence says there is an increase in the importance of sustainable growth, as well as an increase in ESG investments globally. These assets will exceed $35 trillion by 2020. The world has changed, as COP26 and its months preceding it was a strong signal. Climate action, which was always viewed as a worthwhile activity, suddenly became the center-stage, with the largest companies in the world pledging their net zero commitments, Priya Algarwal Hebbar (non-executive director at Vedanta), said.

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