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India’s renewable energy supply on the rise: Report

ByJayashree Nandi, New Delhi
Jan 25, 2024 02:46 AM IST

The share of renewable energy (wind, solar and other RE) increased to 30.1% in 2023 compared to 27.5% in 2022

India’s renewable energy supply is increasing, rapidly raising the share of clean energy sources in the energy mix even as the country battles a severe air pollution crisis, the 38th edition of TERI Energy & Environment Data Diary and Yearbook (TEDDY), the flagship publication of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) released on Tuesday, said.

The top Indian states in terms of renewable energy capacities are Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnnataka and Maharashtra (AP)
The top Indian states in terms of renewable energy capacities are Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnnataka and Maharashtra (AP)

The share of renewable energy (wind, solar and other RE) increased to 30.1% in 2023 compared to 27.5% in 2022 with the share of coal-based power plants decreasing from 51.1% to 49.3% , marking a change in the energy supply mix, according to the TERI data book which sources information from various government and non-government sources. The book tracks various energy sectors, including coal and lignite, petroleum and natural gas, and renewables.

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In its updated nationally determined contribution (NDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change submitted in 2022, India put forth its goal of 50% installed power capacity from non-fossil sources. Already India’s non-fossil (including hydro and nuclear) installed capacity is around 43% of total installed capacity according to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Read Here: PM Modi's Pradhan Mantri Suryoday Yojana impact? Renewable energy stocks soar

While the report is sanguine about renewables, the chapter on air pollution makes for grim reading. It cites worrying statistics: the Global Burden of Disease study which found 1.7 million deaths attributable to air pollution in India in 2019; and a World Bank study which estimated that the annual cost of health damages from PM 2.5 exposure in India was 10.6% of the country’s GDP.

Renewable gains

Owing to falling equipment prices and competitive bidding by foreign and domestic firms, solar tariffs in India have shown an overall downward trend in the past few years. It decreased by an average of 26% between October 2022 and March 2023, and is between 2.51/ kwh and 2.91/kwh, TERI said. The top Indian states in terms of renewable energy capacities are Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnnataka and Maharashtra. Gujarat has the country’s highest cumulative rooftop capacity (approx 2.2 GW). TERI, referring to the Centre’s data, said that in 2022-23, 7.6 GW capacity of rooftop system were installed in India.

India ranks fourth in renewable energy installed capacity after China, the US and Brazil and third in renewable energy attractiveness after China and the US. The National Institute of Solar Energy has estimated that India’s potential for solar power is over 750 GW. HT reported on April 13, 2022 that as of December 2021, India’s cumulative installed solar capacity was 55 GW, with grid-connected utility-scale projects contributing 77%, and the rest coming from grid-connected rooftop solar (20%) and mini or micro off-grid projects (3%).

Read Here: PM Modi's big decision after Ram Mandir event; 1 cr homes to have solar panels

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has projected that primary energy consumption in India is likely to double to 1123 MTOE, as the gross domestic product expands to USD 8.6 trillion by 2040. India’s primary energy consumption in 2021 was 846.5 million tonnes of oil equivalent (MTOE) with coal, oil, and natural gas contributing to about 90% of total consumption. The projected primary energy consumption by 2030 is 1440 MTOE. MTOE stands for megatonne of oil equivalent and is a widely used measure of energy consumption.

Industry accounted for the largest share of energy consumption (41.16%).

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