Renewable Energy – Wind, Tidal, Geothermal, etc.

[op-ed snap] Raise the bar

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing Much

Mains level : Renewable Energy - Challenges

CONTEXT

At the Global Climate Action Summit, Prime Minister made several announcements about the government’s plans to curb plastic use and invited countries to join the Coalition For Disaster Resilient Infrastructure. He announced the plan to cross the target of 175GW by 2022 and later to 450 GW. 

Progress so far

  • The country has made big strides in renewable energy (RE) in the last five years. 
  • Increasing the share of non-fossil fuels in the energy mix is one of India’s commitments under the Paris Climate Pact
  • India pledged an installed electricity capacity of 175 GW by 2022 — a more than 5-fold capacity increase in seven years
  • In the last four years, India has more than doubled its RE capacity.

Challenges

  • To meet its Paris Pact target, India will need to add more than 20 GW of RE installation a year.
  • This is more than double the rate achieved in the past four years. 
  • According to the clean energy research outfit, Mercom, India added 8.3 GW of solar capacity last year. This is a 13% dip from 2017.
  • The fall in the pace of adding solar installations has continued this year.
  • As per the report, land acquisitions are a major worry for large-scale solar projects. 
  • The loss in momentum shouldn’t be ignored as solar installations constitute nearly 60% of the country’s RE energy mix under Paris commitments.
  • When it comes to RE, the gap between installed capacity and actual electricity generation can be large, especially when weather conditions are not congenial.

Conclusion

The conversation about REs in the country have largely been about installed capacity. The discourse on needs to go one notch higher.

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