The report highlights of how private players are taking the lead in solar and wind energy projects
A report titled 'India's Clean Power Revolution' released by BloombergNEF (BNEF) revealed that India could save over $ 78 bn in power system costs and avoid 2,860 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, if it manages to achieve its clean power goal of 450GW by 2030. The report that was published in collaboration with Bloomberg Philantrophies, elaborated on how the country is poised to attain its clean power objective by 2030 on the back of supportive government policies, openness to investors and the volume of renewables auctioned in recent years. India’s competitive clean energy auction market and impressive clean energy progress can offer lessons learned for economies looking to achieve a green recovery that maximises economic, health, and environmental benefits, the report stated.
According to the BNEF report, the country's power demand grew by 50 % largely driven by ever-increasing population, increasing rural population being connected to the grid, rising use of air-conditioners in households & enterprises as well as strong manufacturing push among others. It may be noted that India is the world's third largest power consuming nation after US and China.
The report threw light on how amidst the growing power demand, the country's power supply deficit narrowed from 79TWh (terra-watt hour) to 6TWh in 2019. This power supply deficit was addressed through rapid expansion of generation capacity, faster rollout of transmission & distribution infrastructure, and the connection of millions of people to the grid, the report noted.
The report mentioned that India's net power generating capacity increased by 212GW over the last decade and around 42 % of this addition came from renewable sources. The BNEF report also elaborated on how private independent power producers are spearheading the wind and solar energy projects - a stark contrast to coal power plants that are largely owned by central government companies such as NTPC among others. An interesting finding of the report was that coal-powered energy that used to be the workhorse of India's electricity supply system witnessed a year-on-year decline in 2019 even as renewable energy sources (including largey hydro) supplied 21 % of India's electricity grid needs in 2019.
Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P. & Bloomberg Philanthropies, said governments around the world are working to strengthen national economies after the devastation of the coronavirus. He added that if everyone acts wisely, the response to this crisis can also be a turning point in the battle against the climate crisis. He stated that India with its ambitious goals for the years ahead and its policies have helped it emerge as the number one ranked emerging market for clean energy investment.
Jon Moore, CEO, BNEF, underlined the importance of India in the global scheme of things. “India is hugely important for the world’s economic growth and development, and equally important for global progress in the fight against climate change," he said. India’s unique innovations in decarbonisation, and the policies it is putting forward serve as good examples for other countries, he added.