Energy is a vital input for production and growth. Considering universal energy access and energy security as one of the fundamental development goals for the country, Government of India (GoI) has undertaken a two pronged approach to cater to the energy demand of its citizens while ensuring minimum growth in carbon emissions. On the generation side, the Government is promoting greater use of renewables in the energy mix mainly through solar and wind power and shifting towards supercritical technologies for coal based power plants. On the demand side, efforts are being made to efficiently use energy through various innovative policy measures under the overall ambit of Energy Conservation Act.


The energy intensity of the economy has decreased from 18.16 goe (grams of oil equivalent) per Rupee of GDP in 2005 to 15.02 goe per Rupee GDP in 2012, a decline of over 2.5% per annum.


Promotion of Clean Energy


India is running one of the largest renewable capacity expansion programs in the world. Between 2002 and 2015, the share of renewable grid capacity has increased over 6 times, from 2% (3.9 GW) to around 13% (36 GW). This momentum of a tenfold increase in the previous decade is to be significantly scaled up with the aim to achieve 175 GW renewable energy capacity in the next few years. India has also decided to anchor a global solar alliance, InSPA (International Agency for Solar Policy & Application), of all countries located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.


1) Wind energy has been the predominant contributor to the renewable energy growth in India accounting for 23.76 GW (65.2%) of the renewable installed capacity, making India the 5th largest wind power producer in the world. With a potential of more than 100 GW, the aim is to achieve a target of 60 GW of wind power installed capacity by 2022.


2) Solar power in India is poised to grow significantly with Solar Mission as a major initiative of the Government of India. Solar power installed capacity has increased from only 3.7 MW in 2005 to about 4060 MW in 2015, with a CAGR of more than 100% over the decade. The ambitious solar expansion programme seeks to enhance the capacity to 100 GW by 2022, which is expected to be scaled up further thereafter. A scheme for development of 25 Solar Parks, Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects, canal top solar projects and one hundred thousand solar pumps for farmers is at different stages of implementation. Government of India is also promoting solarization of all the 55,000 petrol pumps across the country out of which about 3,135 petrol pumps have already been solarized.


3) Biomass energy constitutes about 18% of total primary energy use in the country and more than 70% of the country’s population depends on it. However, it is currently used in an inefficient manner with high levels of indoor pollution. A number of programmes have been initiated for promotion of cleaner and more efficient use, including biomass based electricity generation. It is envisaged to increase biomass installed capacity to 10 GW by 2022 from current capacity of 4.4 GW.


4) Hydropower contributes about 46.1 GW to current portfolio of installed capacity, of which 4.1 GW is small hydro (upto 25 MW) and 41.99 GW is large hydro (more than 25 MW). Special programmes to promote small and mini hydel projects, new and efficient designs of water mills have been introduced for electrification of remote villages. With a vast potential of more than 100 GW, a number of policy initiatives and actions are being undertaken to aggressively pursue development of country’s vast hydro potential.


5) India is promoting Nuclear Power as a safe, environmentally benign and economically viable source to meet the increasing electricity needs of the country. With a 2.2% share in current installed capacity, total installed capacity of nuclear power in operation is 5780 MW. Additionally six reactors with an installed capacity of 4300 MW are at different stages of commissioning and construction. Efforts are being made to achieve 63 GW installed capacity by the year 2032, if supply of fuel is ensured.


6) Clean Coal policies: Coal based power as of now accounts for about 60.8% (167.2 GW) of India’s installed capacity. In order to secure reliable, adequate and affordable supply of electricity, coal will continue to dominate power generation in future. Government of India has already taken several initiatives to improve the efficiency of coal based power plants and to reduce its carbon footprint. All new, large coal-based generating stations have been mandated to use the highly efficient supercritical technology. Renovation and Modernisation (R&M) and Life Extension (LE) of existing old power stations is being undertaken in a phased manner. About 144 old thermal stations have been assigned mandatory targets for improving energy efficiency. Coal beneficiation has been made mandatory. Introduction of ultra-supercritical technology, as and when commercially available is part of future policy. Besides, stringent emission standards being contemplated for thermal plants would significantly reduce emissions.


7) National Smart Grid Mission has been launched to bring efficiency in power supply network and facilitate reduction in losses and outages. Green Energy Corridor projects worth INR (Indian National Rupee) 380 billion (USD 6 billion) are also being rolled out to ensure evacuation of renewable energy.

The Government’s goal of Electricity for All is sought to be achieved by the above programs that would require huge investments, infusion of new technology, availability of nuclear fuel and international support.


Enhancing Energy Efficiency


With the goal of reducing energy intensity of the Indian economy, Ministry of Power through Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has initiated a number of energy efficiency initiatives. The National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE) aims to strengthen the market for energy efficiency by creating a conducive regulatory and policy regime. It seeks to upscale the efforts to unlock the market for energy efficiency and help achieve total avoided capacity addition of 19,598 MW and fuel savings of around 23 million tonnes per year at its full implementation stage. The programmes under this mission have resulted in an avoided generation capacity addition of about 10,000 MW between 2005 and 2012 with government targeting to save 10% of current energy consumption by the year 2018-19. Demand Side Management programmes have been launched to replace existing low-efficiency appliances:


1) During the last decade, there has been rapid transformation of efficient lighting in India. The sales of Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) have risen to about 37% of the total lighting requirements in 2014 from 7.8% in 2005. India has also launched an ambitious plan to replace all incandescent lamps with Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs in the next few years leading to energy savings of upto 100 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) annually.


2) Standards and Labeling Programme launched by the Government of India enables consumers to make informed decision by providing information about the energy consumption of an appliance. Currently, 21 equipment and appliances are labeled. The programme has contributed to an increase of 25% to 30% in the energy efficiency of an average refrigerator or air-conditioner in 2014 compared to those sold in 2007. Super-Efficient Fan (that uses half as much energy as the average fan) programme has been launched. Further, two sets of Corporate Average Fuel Consumption standards for cars have been notified, with one coming into force in 2017 and the second set in 2022.


3) Partial Risk Guarantee Fund for Energy Efficiency (PRGFEE), a risk sharing mechanism to provide financial institutions with a partial coverage of risk involved in extending loans for energy efficiency projects, and Venture Capital Fund for Energy Efficiency (VCFEE), a trust fund to provide “last mile” equity capital to energy efficiency companies, have been established.


4) The Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) sets minimum energy standards for new commercial buildings. Eight states have already adopted and notified the ECBC, and over 300 new commercial buildings have become compliant. The Code would be made more stringent to promote construction of even more (Near-Zero) energy-efficient buildings. “Design Guidelines for Energy Efficient Multi-storey Residential buildings” have also been launched.


5) In order to both recognize energy-efficient buildings, as well as to stimulate their large scale replication, India has developed its own building- energy rating system GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment), based on 34 criteria like site planning, conservation and efficient utilization of resources etc. A number of buildings including Commonwealth Games Village have been rated using GRIHA system. Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, the headquarters of Central Government’s Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change is a model building of Government of India and has received LEED India Platinum and a 5 Star GRIHA rating. It is a ‘Net Zero Energy’ building with 100% onsite power generation.


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