India is undertaking one of the world’s largest renewable energy expansion programs, which will require additional investments of around $80 billion till 2022, growing more than threefold to $250 billion during 2023-30.
According to the Economic Survey 2019, the investment estimates, which have been made at current prices, come at a time when India has become one of the top renewable producers globally with ambitious capacity expansion plans.
The Survey presented in the Indian Parliament by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that globally India stands 4th in wind power, 5th in solar power and 5th in overall renewable power installed capacity The share of renewables in total electricity generation increased from 6 per cent in 2014-15 to 10 per cent in 2018-19.
India has an installed renewable energy capacity of about 80 gigawatts (GW) and is running the world’s largest renewable energy program with plans to achieve 175GW by 2022 and 500GW by 2030, as part of its climate commitments.
The Survey states that renewable energy sources are a strategic national resource and adds, “Harnessing these resources is part of India’s vision to achieve social equity and energy transition with energy security, a stronger economy and climate change mitigation”.
While increasing access to energy is important, it is also imperative that this comes at much lower costs to the environment than it has happened historically in advanced economies, the Survey states.
While renewable energy capacity has been expanded manifold, fossil fuel based energy is likely to continue to be an important source of power, the Survey adds.
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