India's Renewable Energy Picture

Rajnikant Jain, CEO, HimatsinghkaFounded in 1985, the Himatsingka Group focuses on design and product development, best-in-class manufacturing processes and efficient supply chain capabilities.

India, faced with multiple challenges on energy and environmental front, has no option but to work towards increasing the role of renewable in the future energy systems .Renewable energy sources and technologies have potential to provide solutions to the long-standing energy problems being faced by the developing countries. In this article, the availability, current status, major achievements and future potentials of renewable energy options in India are summarized.

The renewable energy sources like wind energy, solar energy, geothermal energy, Tidal/Ocean energy, biomass energy and fuel cell technology can be used to overcome energy shortages.

Renewable energy technologies vary widely in their technological maturity and commercial status. In India, renewable energy is at the take-off stage and businesses, industry, government and customers have a large number of issues to address before these technologies could make a real penetration. India with large renewable energy resources (solar PV, wind, solar heating, small hydro and biomass) is to set to have large-scale development and deployment of renewable energy projects.

Different Renewable Energy Sources (RES):
1. Wind Power: Wind energy is very promising alternative energy source of the future. Over the years, there has been considerable increase amount of energy produced by wind-driven turbines due to recent advancement in the turbine technologies. As of June 2018, the installed capacity of wind power in India was 34,293 MW. India has set an ambitious target to generate 60,000 MW of electricity from wind power by 2022. MNRE announced a new wind-solar hybrid policy in May 2018 which means that the same piece of land will be used to house both wind farms and solar panels.

2. Solar Power: Solar energy is a clean energy as it produces no harmful solid, liquid or gas wastes and does not create pollution. Solar power can be produced through PV cell which is made of semiconductor. With 300 clear sunny days, India receives around 4950 trillion KWh/year, which is far more than the total energy consumption of the country today.

3. Bio Energy: Biomass is a resource of renewable energy that is derived from carbonaceous waste of various human and natural activities. Given its tropical location and abundant sunshine and rains, India is an ideal environment for Biomass production. It is estimated that the potential for biomass energy in India includes 16,000 MW from biomass energy and a further 3,500 MW from bagasse cogeneration. Bio energy encompasses biomass power,
bagasse cogeneration, waste to energy, biomass gasifier, bio ethanol, bio diesel etc.

4. Small Hydro Power (SHP): India is the 7th largest producer of hydroelectric power in the world. Hydro projects in India under 25MW capacity are classified as `Small Hydro Power' and is considered as a `renewable energy'. SHP units with a total capacity of 4,380 MW have been installed up till now.

Future Prospects of Renewable Energy in India
With right investments in green technologies, it can be derived that India is well positioned to achieve the ambitious renewable energy targets. The pursuit towards cleaner energy will play vital role in supporting country's transition to a full sustainable energy system. It is not a hidden fact that India is the world's fourth-largest carbon emitter with its total population of 1.3 billion people with power sector contributing majorly to the same. However, in the recent years, India has made significant progress in field of renewable energy. Global climate change concerns have pushed the Government to develop a detailed plan for clean and sustainable power for all.

The pursuit towards cleaner energy will play vital role in supporting country's transition to a full sustainable energy system

The 2022 electrical power targets include achieving 227GW (earlier 175 GW) of energy from renewable sources, nearly 113 GW through solar power, 66 GW from wind power, 10 GW from biomass power, 5GW from small hydro and 31GW from floating solar and offshore wind power. The bidding process for the further additional 115 GW or thereabouts to meet these targets of installed capacity from January 2018 levels will be completed by the end of 2019-2020. The government has announced that no new coal-based capacity addition is required beyond the 50 GW under different stages of construction likely to come online between 2017 and 2022.

Owning to an abundance of renewable resources, there is a great potential for India to move into a fully renewable electricity system by 2050. This is possible largely if we can deploy sophisticated technologies on ground. Renewable energy's development in India looks bright as around 300 global and domestic companies have committed to generate around 266 GW of solar, wind, mini hydel and biomass-based power in India over the next decade. This would entail an investment of around USD 310 billion. The International Finance Corporation, the investment arm of the World Bank Group, is planning to invest about USD 6 billion by 2022 in several sustainable and renewable energy programs in India. With the investment potential of INR 15 trillion (Euros 187 billion) over the next four to five years in Indian power sector indicates immense opportunities in power generation, distribution, transmission and equipment. Further, renewable energy storage market in India is also expected to witness robust growth, over the next decade, once the cost of storage declines, which is likely to happen because of sheer volume growth through the electric vehicle route.

The aim of meeting 10 percent of the country power supply through renewable by 2022 and also ambitious plans for the distribution of biogas plants, solar PV applications and solar city appears to be within reach. Moreover, introduction of tradable Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) could overcome the existing gap that is hindering the application of quota for renewables and thereby creates a vibrant market.

India would also have to look for international cooperation in renewable energy through well defined R&D projects with proper division of labour and responsibilities for specific tasks with equitable financial burden and credit sharing arrangements. Several initiatives have already begun such as formation of ISA (International Solar Alliance), of which India is a co-founder along with France.

Renewable energy development is considered in India to be of great importance from the point of view of long term energy supply security, environmental benefits and climate change mitigation. The Integrated Energy Policy report has recognized the need to maximally develop domestic supply options as well as the need to diversify energy sources.

To conclude, we can say that India has plenty of renewable energy to bridge the gap between demand and supply so we must persistently put in efforts to harness various forms of renewable energy sources with the use of newer technologies to form a clean and safe place for our coming generations.