India advancing towards meeting its 500 GW non-fossil capacity goal: IEA | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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India advancing towards meeting its 500 GW non-fossil capacity goal: IEA

ByJayashree Nandi, New Delhi
Jan 12, 2024 05:20 AM IST

There is a real chance that countries that signed off on tripling global renewable energy capacity by 2030 at the COP28 climate conference last month will actually do so, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday.

There is a real chance that countries that signed off on tripling global renewable energy capacity by 2030 at the COP28 climate conference last month will actually do so, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday, specifically pointing out that India, for its part, is expected to meet its goal of installing 500 GW of non-fossil based capacity by 2030 through a set of actions that will bolster renewable energy generation further,

FILE - Activists protest against fossil fuels at the COP28 U.N. Climate Summit, Dec. 5, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Earth last year shattered global annual heat records, the European climate agency said Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Joshua A. Bickel, File) (AP)
FILE - Activists protest against fossil fuels at the COP28 U.N. Climate Summit, Dec. 5, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Earth last year shattered global annual heat records, the European climate agency said Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Joshua A. Bickel, File) (AP)

India is forecast to add 205 GW over 2023-2028, doubling 2022’s cumulative installed capacity, making it the world’s third-largest market for renewables, IEA said in its report “Renewables 2023.”

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Along the way, in early 2025, renewable energy will overtake coal to become the largest energy source for electricity generation globally. In 2024, variable renewable generation is likely to surpass hydropower.

An increase in the capacity of auctions through which renewable projects are alloted, the introduction of a closed-envelope bidding process for wind, improvements in grid-access rules for commercially distributed solar power, and the settlement of majority of overdue payments to the generators has led to the 3% upward forecast revision in India’s installed renewable capacity, the IEA report explained.

Solar PV and onshore wind additions through 2028 is expected to more than double in the US, the European Union, India and Brazil compared with the previous five years, but China is still leading the way, IEA said. China will account for almost 60% of new renewable capacity expected to become operational globally by 2028. In 2023, China commissioned as much solar PV as the entire world did in 2022. Despite the phasing out of national subsidies in 2020 and 2021, deployment of onshore wind and solar PV in China is accelerating, driven by the technologies’ economic attractiveness as well as supportive policy environments providing long-term contracts. IEA’s forecast shows that China is expected to reach its national 2030 target for wind and solar PV installations this year, six years ahead of schedule.

“In the European Union and Brazil, growth in rooftop solar PV is expected to outpace large-scale plants as residential and commercial consumers seek to reduce their electricity bills amid higher prices. In the US, the Inflation Reduction Act has acted as a catalyst for accelerated additions despite supply chain issues and trade concerns in the near term. In India, an expedited auction schedule for utility-scale onshore wind and solar PV along with improved financial health of distribution companies is expected to deliver accelerated growth,” the report said.

Several of the IEA priorities were reflected in the Global Stocktake text agreed by the 198 governments at COP28, including the goals of tripling renewables and doubling the annual rate of energy efficiency improvements every year to 2030. Tripling global renewable capacity in the power sector from 2022 levels by 2030 would take it above 11000 GW, in line with IEA’s Net Zero Emissions by 2050 (NZE) Scenario.

Under existing policies and market conditions, global renewable capacity is forecast to reach 7300 GW by 2028. This growth trajectory would see global capacity increase to 2.5 times its current level by 2030, falling short of the tripling goal. But, governments can close the gap by overcoming policy uncertainties and delayed policy responses to the new macroeconomic environment; address insufficient investment in grid infrastructure; cumbersome administrative barriers and permitting procedures and insufficient financing in emerging economies.

“Onshore wind and solar PV are cheaper today than new fossil fuel plants almost everywhere and cheaper than existing fossil fuel plants in most countries. There are still some big hurdles to overcome, including the difficult global macroeconomic environment. For me, the most important challenge for the international community is rapidly scaling up financing and deployment of renewables in most emerging and developing economies, many of which are being left behind in the new energy economy. Success in meeting the tripling goal will hinge on this,” said Fatih Birol, IEA’s executive director.

India has been clear that the share of coal in its energy mix will continue to be significant in the forseeable future, but this “ doesn’t imply that India is oblivious to climate change mitigation goals”. The pace of addition of renewable energy will far outpace that of coal. Meeting electricity needs of a fast growing economy necessitates a policy where variable renewable energy is complemented by stable base load coal in the near future, to ensure that the government delivers on its development agenda,” Vaibhav Chaturvedi, Fellow at the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) said WHEN.

History was made in Dubai last month when 196 countries agreed to transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade, so as to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Fossil fuels which have been a topic of taboo for years in climate negotiations was finally addressed in a very carefully calibrated decision text titled the UAE Consensus through consensus building and various trade-offs.There was also consensus on tripling renewable energy capacity globally by 2030.

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