Marrakech: India’s growth story in renewable energy sector is being monitored globally and organisations are confident that India will exceed its National Determined Contribution (NDC) targets.
International bodies feel that the rapid growth in renewable energy, combined with sustained reduction in coal imports and increasing challenges to the viability of new coal-fire power plant construction – with ultra mega coal projects cancelled, gives an indication of the transformation that is beginning in India.
“With every sign that China is now beginning to reduce its coal and carbon dioxide emission, developments in India are amongst the most important underway globally”, said Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics and senior scientist.
Climate Analytics is a non-profit organisation based in Berlin, Germany, with offices in Lome, Togo and New York, USA, that brings together inter-disciplinary expertise in the scientific and policy aspects of climate change.
International organisations at COP22 says that one year after the adoption of the Paris Agreement, national climate policies have made little progress, and the road ahead looks even less clear after the results of the US presidents elections.
Climate Action Tracker (CAT) estimates that if governments were to fully implement their NDC global warming in 2100 of 2.8 degree Celsius above pre-industrial would result i.e there is a likely chance of holding warming below 3.1 degree Celsius.
CAT analysis found that developments in India were among the most important underway globally.
“India could have been expected to increase its coal fired power use for decades. However, there appears to be a transition underway with an extremely rapid growth in renewable energy installations, which has begun to displace planned coal at a scale that has surprised many analysts”, said Prof Niklas Hohne, of New Climate Institute.
India’s ambitious targets of increasing renewable energy capacity to 175 GW by 2022, with nearly 58% expected to be generated from solar energy.
By 2022, India is expected to generate 175 GW of power via renewable sources, out of which 100 GW will be from solar energy, 60 GW from wind energy, 10 GW from bio energy and 5 GW from small hydro power projects. And out of the 100 GW of solar energy, it is anticipated that 40 GW will be generated via rooftop solar installations, 30 GW from Solar Parks and the rest 30 GW from other government/state and private schemes.
As of December 2015, India’s total installed capacity based on renewable energy was 37,415 MW. This is about 13% of the total installed capacity for power generation in the country.
India has been heavily dependent on coal – 61% of the total installed capacity for energy needs. In June this year, the total installed capacity of renewable energy in India was 48,850 MW (out of which wind power contributed to about 50%), surpassing that of hydel power, making it the second largest contributor to power generation in India.
“India is already set to overachieve its emissions intensity target. The likely continued expansion of renewables after 2022, for which no targets have yet been set, would result in India overshooting its 2030 non-fossil capacity target”, Hohne added.
Analysts feel that India’s Paris Agreement NDC commitment is weaker than actions resulting from current policies. Neither the NDC nor current policies are ambitious enough to limit warming to below 2 degree Celsius, let alone the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5 degree Celsius limit, unless other countries make much deeper reduction and comparably greater effort.