Renewable Energy sharing the load


Electrifying Nation

Power/Energy is among the most critical component of infrastructure, crucial for the economic growth and welfare of the nation. The energy sector in India is one of the most diverse in the world. The sources of power generation range from conventional sources like coal, lignite, natural gas, oil, hydropower and nuclear power to unconventionally unsustainable sources like wind, solar, agriculture & household waste (also termed as wet waste). The demand for electricity in the country is growing rapidly and is expected to continue to rise in the coming years. In order to meet the country’s growing demand for electricity, production capacity must be increased.

Generation Performance

The total electricity generation including generation from renewable sources in the country during the year 2020-21 (Up to December 2020) was 1017.8 BU as against the generation of 1055.8 BU during the same period last year, showing a reduction of 3.6%, mainly due to COVID pandemic. The target of electricity generation from conventional sources for the year 2020-21 was fixed as 1330 Billion Unit (BU). The actual generation during the year 2020-21 (up to December 2020) was 905.9 BU as compared to prorata generation target of 1005.642 BU for the period and actual generation of 950.733 BU during the same period last year, representing an achievement of 90.1% and showing a reduction of 4.71% in growth, mainly due to COVID pandemic.

Power Supply Position

During the year 2020-21 (up to December 2020), peak shortage was 0.4% and the energy shortage was 0.3% as compared to 0.7% and 0.5% respectively last year.

In May 2018, India ranked fourth in Asia Pacific out of 25 countries based on an index that measures its overall strength. India ranks 4th in wind energy, 5th in solar energy and 5th in installed renewable energy capacity in 2018. India ranks sixth on the list of countries that have made significant investments in clean energy worth $ 90 billion. India is the only G20 country that is on the track to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Rise of Renewable Energy Sources

After signing the Paris Agreement, Indian government took all the necessary steps to meet its goals. Currently India is ranked as one of the top nation in the world heading towards immense development in renewable energy sectors to fight climate change and global warming. Data provided by the certain authorities, states that, “as of July 2021, India had 96.96 GW of renewable energy capacity, and represents 25.2% of the overall installed power capacity, providing a great opportunity for the expansion of green data centres”.

By 2022, solar energy is estimated to contribute 114 GW, followed by 67 GW from wind power and 15 GW from biomass and hydropower. The target for renewable energy has been increased to 227 GW by 2022.

In FY22 (until June 2021), the total thermal installed capacity in the country stood at 234.05 GW. Installed capacity of renewable, hydro and nuclear energy totaled 96.95 GW, 46.32 GW and 6.78 GW, respectively.

Energy SourceGW in %
Solar Power43.74
Wind Power40.80
Bio Power10.51
Small Hydro4.95

Installed Capacity for different RES (as of June 2021)

Category wise Installed Generation Capacity (As on 21-10-2021)

Energy SourceMega Watt (MW)% Share
Large Hydro46,512.2211.97
Small Hydro4,809.811.24
Wind Energy39,870.4510.26
Bio Energy10,577.452.72
Solar Energy46,275.1411.91
Total Capacity:3, 88,608.78 MW

Road Ahead

The cabinet is committed to increasing the use of clean energy sources and is currently running various large sustainable energy projects that strongly promote green energy. In addition, renewable energies have the potential to create many jobs at all levels, especially in rural areas. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has set itself the ambitious goal of building 227 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2022, including around 114 gigawatts for solar energy and 67 gigawatts for wind and other hydropower and bioenergy. Among other things India’s renewable energy sector is expected to attract $ 80 billion in investment over the next four years. Around 5,000 compact biogas plants will be built across India by 2023.

The Government of India wants to develop a ‘green city’ in every state of the country, powered by renewable energy. The ‘green city’ will mainstream environment-friendly power through solar rooftop systems on all its houses, solar parks on the city’s outskirts, waste to energy plants and electric mobility-enabled public transport systems.

It is not just government’s responsibility, we as an individual need to contribute and use electricity wisely; wasting the energy could possibly deplete our resources early and could possibly cause more heating our planet without any need.

References: National Power Portal, Central Electricity Authority, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

– By Parag Ahire

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