India leads UK, Spain in wind energy generation
Renewable energy is an area that is expected to take off in India, thanks to the ambitious mission stated by the Ministry of New and Renewable energy. It states, “24×7 affordable environment friendly power for all by 2019.” The government also plans to generate around 40 percent of its power from non-fossil fuels by 2030.
With the electronics market projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 24.4 percent between 2012-2020 and expected to reach $400bn by 2022, it is only natural that we started looking at fossil-free sources of energy. India’s per capita energy consumption has seen sustained increase over the years (from 734kWh in 2008-09 to 1075 kWh in 2015-16), but it is still the lowest among the BRICS nations. With the whole push towards putting India on the digital highway, our energy infrastructure backbone has to grow proportionately. Investing and accelerating the dependence of renewable energy source is definitely deemed to play a major role in this.
Thanks to the hot weather in majority of the Indian landscape, we are in a position of advantage as far as generating solar energy is concerned. That a relatively cooler country such as Germany can generate over 35GW of solar energy, should give us enough confidence to achieve the numbers the government is looking at. Just last month, news emerged that India has the largest solar power plant at a single location (Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu) with a capacity of 648MW – which has the capacity to power 150,000 homes.
In order to achieve these targets, solar panels installed capacity has to see a boost in numbers. We will need many Kamuthi-like examples across the country. A new report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) could certainly push the investments in solar energy. According to the report, solar and wind energy generation has reached the same price point or is cheaper than new fossil fuel capacity in over 30 countries.
Michael Drexler, leading infrastructure and development investing at WEF has said in a statement that investing in solar and wind is not only commercially viable, but a compelling investment with long term returns.
According to the WEF report, there are more political barriers rather than economic ones. “Contracts are not standardized, regulatory uncertainty remains, and financial institutions have not created an asset class with a public, standardized track record that will reassure mainstream investors,” says the report.