Renewable Energy: A rising Source
- Wind energy is the largest source of renewable energy in India; it accounts for an estimated 64.77 per cent of total installed capacity (24.7 GW). There are plans to double wind power generation capacity to 20 GW by 2022.
- Biomass is the 2nd largest source of renewable energy, accounting for ~12 per cent of total installed capacity in renewable energy. There is a strong upside potential in biomass in the coming years.
- In May 2017, India’s solar power tariffs fell to a new low of US$ 0.038 per unit during the auction of a 250-megawatt capacity at Bhadla in Rajasthan. This bid was placed by South Africa’s Phelan Energy Group and Avaada Power to win contracts to build capacities of 50MW and 100MW, respectively, at Adani Renewable Energy Park Rajasthan Ltd.
- In February 2017, low solar tariffs tendered in India at auction, is expected to catalyse green investments and help in reducing the dependency on fossils fuels.
- On account of anticipated decline in solar panel prices, due to supply glut in international market, solar power prices in India are estimated to fall by 2018.
- In March 2017, the Power Ministry has launched an application named – GARV-II, to provide real time data related to rural electrification regarding all un-electrified villages in India.
- Declining solar power prices as compared to thermal power has prompted the government to switch to the renewable energy resources. Three coal power projects have been shelved in Odisha, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh due to low rate of renewable solar energy at US$0.038 / kWh.
Nuclear Energy in India: Recent Trends
- Currently, the country has net installed capacity of 5.8 GW, using nuclear fuels, across 20 reactors. Of the 20 reactors, 18 are Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR) and 2 are Boiling Water Reactors (BWR)
- The government aims to quadruple India’s nuclear power generation capacity to 20 GW by 2020;
- Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) plans to construct 5 nuclear energy parks with a capacity of 10,000 Mwe
- The Kudankulam Atomic power project, Tamil Nadu, by NPCIL is expected to start operating by 2016-17 with an installed capacity of 1000 MW.
- Unit II of Kudankulam plant has started functioning in May 2016 with an installed capacity of 1000 MW. The Kudankulam nuclear power plant’s 2nd unit attained criticality on 10th July, 2016.
Doctoral Scholar in Economics & Senior Research Fellow, CDS, Jawaharlal Nehru University