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India Plans to Invest $330 Billion to Power Renewable Energy by 2030 Without Hurting Coal

India wants to have 175 GW of renewable-based installed power capacity by 2022

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renewable energy
FILE - Workers clean photovoltaic panels at a solar power plant in Gujarat, India, July 2, 2015. VOA

India said on Thursday it needs $330 billion in investments over the next decade to power its renewable energy dream, but coal would remain central to its electricity generation.

The energy guzzling country wants to raise its renewable energy capacity to 500 Gigawatts (GW), or 40% of total capacity, by 2030. Renewables currently account for 22% of India’s total installed capacity of about 357 GW.

“Additional investments in renewable plants up to year 2022 would be about $80 billion at today’s prices and an investment of around $250 billion would be required for the period 2023-2030,” according to the government’s economic survey presented to parliament on Thursday. India wants to have 175 GW of renewable-based installed power capacity by 2022.

renewable energy
Solar-powered smart windows can help you save energy costs. Pixabay

The investment estimate reflects the magnitude of financial challenges facing one of the world’s most important growth markets for renewable energy, with government data indicating a growth slowdown in private and capital investments in the year ended March 2019.

India, which receives twice as much sunshine as European countries, wants to make solar a cornerstone of its renewable expansion, but also wants to make use of its cheap and abundant coal reserves, the fifth-largest in the world.

The annual economic survey warned India against abruptly halting coal-based utilities, citing risks to its banking sector and the stability of the electricity grid.

“It may not be advisable to effect a sudden abandonment of coal based power plants without complete utilization of their useful lifetimes as it would lead to stranding of assets that can have further adverse impact on the banking sector,” the survey said.

renewable energy
India wants to have 175 GW of renewable-based installed power capacity by 2022. VOA

Thermal power plants account for 80% of all industrial emissions of particulate matter, sulfur and nitrous oxides in India. India, one of the world’s largest coal producers and greenhouse gas emitters, estimates coal to be its energy mainstay for at least the next three decades. The country’s coal use rose 9.1% to nearly a billion tons in 2018-19.

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The survey said it would be difficult for a growing economy like India to migrate to renewable power supply unless “sufficient technological breakthrough in energy storage happens in the near future”.

Environmentalists worry that India’s rising use of coal at a time when many Western nations are rejecting the dirty fossil fuel will hamper the global fight against climate change, despite the country’s commitment to renewable energy. (VOA)

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Asia Poised to Become a Dominant Market for Wind Energy: IRENA Report

According to the "Future of Wind" published at China Wind Power in Beijing, global wind power could rise ten-fold reaching over 6,000 GW by 2050

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Wind Energy
Low-cost renewable energy technologies like Wind Energy are readily-available today, representing the most effective and immediate solution for reducing carbon emissions. Pixabay

Asia could grow its share of installed capacity for onshore wind energy from 230 Gigawatt (GW) in 2018 to over 2,600 GW by 2050, a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said on Monday.

By that time, the region would become a global leader in wind, accounting for more than 50 per cent of all onshore and over 60 per cent of all offshore wind capacity installed globally.

China would take the lead with 2,525 GW of installed onshore and offshore wind capacity by 2050 within Asia, followed by India (443 GW), Korea (78 GW) and South-East Asia (16 GW).

According to the “Future of Wind” published at China Wind Power in Beijing, global wind power could rise ten-fold reaching over 6,000 GW by 2050.

By mid-century, wind could cover one-third of global power needs and — combined with electrification — deliver a quarter of the energy-related carbon emission reductions needed to meet the Paris climate targets.

To reach this objective, onshore and offshore wind capacity will need to increase four-fold and ten-fold respectively every year compared to today.

“With renewables, it’s possible to achieve a climate-safe future,” said IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera.

“Low-cost renewable energy technologies like wind power are readily-available today, representing the most effective and immediate solution for reducing carbon emissions.

Wind Energy
With renewable Wind Energy, its possible to achieve a climate-safe future. Pixabay

“Our roadmap for a global energy transformation to 2050 shows that it is technically and economically feasible to ensure a climate-safe, sustainable energy future. Unlocking global wind energy potential will be particularly important. In fact, wind energy could be the largest single source of power generation by mid-century under this path. This would not only enable us to meet climate goals, but it would also boost economic growth and create jobs, thereby accelerating sustainable development,” added Camera.

The global wind industry could become a veritable job motor, employing over 3.7 million people by 2030 and more than six million people by 2050, IRENA’s report finds.

These figures are respectively nearly three times higher and five times higher than the slightly over one million jobs in 2018.

Sound industrial and labour policies that build upon and strengthen domestic supply chains can enable income and employment growth by leveraging existing economic activities in support of wind industry development.

But to accelerate the growth of global wind power over the coming decades, scaling up investments will be key.

On average, global annual investment in onshore wind must increase from today $67 billion to $211 billion in 2050.

Wind Energy
To accelerate the growth of global Wind Energy over the coming decades, scaling up investments will be key. Pixabay

For offshore wind, global average annual investments would need to increase from $19 billion to $100 billion in 2050.

Asia would account for more than 50 per cent of global onshore wind power installations by 2050, followed by North America (23 per cent) and Europe (10 per cent).

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For offshore, Asia would cover more than 60 per cent of global installations, followed by Europe (22 per cent) and North America (16 per cent). (IANS)