‘We have ambitious goals for renewable energy’


India is one of the nations that is most impacted by climate change; it has been previously identified as one of the most vulnerable countries to global warming due to the expected impacts of changes in rainfall, wind frequency and intensity of cyclones and sea level rise. It is precisely for this reason that the Government of India has undertaken multiple strategies to tackle climate change, and proactively set targets for itself, in its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.


India’s climate action plan focuses on adopting cleaner technologies for fossil fuels, as well as a vast expansion of renewable sources of energy. In its INDC, India has committed to ensuring that at least 40% of the installed electricity capacity in 2030 is based on non-fossil fuel sources. This builds on an aggressive growth path: between 2002 and 2015, the share of renewable grid capacity has increased by over 6 times- from 2% to around 13%, owing to the introduction of a mix of sources including wind power, small hydro power, biomass power, and solar power.  At this moment in time India is the fifth largest producer of wind power in the world.


Our targets have been referred to as ambitious by many parties, both within the nation and in the global community. In the path to the 2030 goal we are already committed to put into place 175 GW of renewable energy capacity on the grid by 2022.  However, this is also a challenge – in as much as solar and wind electricity is still more expensive than coal electricity, and the Indian consumer has limited ability to pay for electricity. Consequently, sharp price reductions are essential – and international climate financing that enables low interest loan would help in achieving these reductions and associated quicker deployment of renewable energy.


In addition, as we add more and more renewable energy, we are also challenged as to how we can keep supplying electricity when the sun goes down and the wind stops blowing. This means that we need to have affordable “balancing” technologies that can come on and go off immediately as renewables go off and come on. A global partnership to develop, adapt and deploy affordable storage technologies is, for us and the rest of the world, a key input for enlarging the share of renewables.


Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, Bureau of Energy Efficiency & Spokesperson for India at COP21






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