May 30, 2024

General Studies Paper -3

Context: According to the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), India has added 21% higher renewable energy capacity in 2023-24 than previous year.

About the Renewable Energy Capacity in India

  • India, a country with a rapidly growing economy and increasing energy demands, has made significant strides in its renewable energy sector.
    • It added 18.48 GW of renewable energy capacity in the fiscal year 2023-24, which is over 21% higher than the 15.27 GW added a year ago.
  • It was primarily driven by solar installations (12.78 GW) and wind energy (2.27 GW).
  • The total installed renewable energy capacity has increased from 76.37 GW in 2014 to 178.98 GW in October 2023, marking an increase of around 2.34 times.

Leading States in Renewable Energy

  • Gujarat and Rajasthan (27 GW each) have the largest renewable energy capacities, followed by Tamil Nadu (22 GW), Karnataka (21 GW) and Maharashtra (17 GW).
  • Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh (11 GW each) have installed renewable energy capacity.

Challenges Faced by the Renewable Energy Sector in India

  • Financial Health of Power Distribution Companies (DISCOMs): The poor financial condition of power distribution companies (discoms), which are mostly owned by state governments.
    • Almost all renewable energy is purchased by such discoms, resulting in very long and unsustainable payment cycles.
  • Land Utilisation and Availability: Issues such as lack of a proper Land Utilisation Policy, poorly maintained land records, land ceiling limits, and the task of obtaining permissions from local bodies act as roadblocks to the implementation of large-scale renewable energy projects.
  • Rapid Demand Growth and Chronic Supply Shortages: India currently experiences a significant increase in energy demand driven by rapid economic growth, which necessitates a shift away from fossil fuels.
    • However, fossil fuels still dominate global energy consumption, continuing to raise GHG emission levels.

Government Efforts in India’s Renewable Energy Sector

  • Permitting FDI: India has permitted FDI up to 100% under the automatic route to attract foreign investments.
  • Waiver of Inter State Transmission System (ISTS) charges: For inter-state sale of solar and wind power for projects, ISTS charges have been waived off.
  • Major Renewable Energy Schemes and Programmes:
    • Scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra-mega Solar Power Projects;
    • Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Scheme Phase-II;
    • Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme ‘National Programme on High Efficiency Solar PV Modules’;
    • PM-KUSUM Scheme;
    • Rooftop Solar Programme Phase II;
    • Green Energy Corridors (GEC), and;
    • Bio-Energy Programme.
  • Increasing Awareness: Efforts have been made by the Government to increase awareness about the use of renewable energy through introduction of various schemes and publicity through print and media.

Conclusion:

  • India’s record addition of renewable energy capacity in FY24 is a testament to the country’s commitment to a sustainable and green future.
  • As the world grapples with the challenges of climate change, India’s strides in renewable energy offer a beacon of hope and a model for other countries to follow.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

© 2024 Civilstap Himachal Design & Development