by Akhilesh K. Prasad,
With the electrification of Leisang village in Manipur in April this year, the government announced that India is now 100% electrified. Experts have however, opined that the task is far from complete. The definition of ‘electrified’ herein, according to the government, is that wires from plants have reached to every village. It does not necessarily mean that electricity is being supplied through those wires. Also, only 8% of rural households were said to be actually consuming electricity as per government data. In other words, 30 million households were still off the grid.
Irrespective of the aforesaid, it is only a matter of time before the demand for electricity in rural areas increase manifold. Therefore, steps will need to be taken to increase the production of electricity to cater to this demand. While environmentalists have raised concerns about the implications of fulfilling this demand using coal-fired plants, the government has upped its investment in renewable resources.
As of now, India is one of the world’s largest producers of electricity from renewable sources. Renewable energy inclusive of large hydro, accounted for 116.25 GW of power capacity, which is 33% of the total. 45.29 GW out of this was attributed to large hydro.
India’s wind power capacity currently stands at 34,046 MW, making it the fourth largest wind energy producer in the world. We have a strong manufacturer base with at least 20 manufacturers who produce 53 different models of international quality, with capacity up to 3 MW.
The government of India is undeniably focussed on increasing renewable energy infrastructure. The target of installing 20 GW of solar energy in India by 2022 was achieved four years ahead of schedule in January 2018, through solar parks and roof-top panels. India now has set a new target of achieving 100 MW of solar power by 2022. Incidentally, four of the world’s top seven solar parks are in India as of now.
Compared to the same period last year, investment in renewable energy in India increased 22% in the first half of 2018. Though overall investment by China is a whopping $58.1 billion in comparison with India’s $7.4 billion, India is expected to overtake China and become the world’s largest growth market in renewable energy by the late 2020s.In fact India’s plans for renewable energy is targeting an installed capacity of 175,000 megawatts (MW) by 2022. The shift in energy resource can be gauged from the fact that last year, India added more power-generation from renewable sources than conventional ones. As stated in its intended Nationally Determined Contributions statement as part of the Paris Agreement, India has set a target of achieving 40% of its total electricity generation from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.
An MBA by qualification, Akhilesh has dabbled into various businesses. He is a keen debater, data miner and analytically inclined. His blogs tend to present a fresh perspective on any given matter.