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How India's Clean Energy Sector is Shining and Leading the World


India is now among the world's fastest-growing economies. The good news is that the growing economic development of the country is in-sync with its efforts in becoming a world leader in the clean energy sector as well.

For instance, India plans to achieve 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 as a part of its climate commitments. Out of this, 100 GW is to come from its solar projects. These projects will include about 60 GW from the ground-mounted and grid-connected projects as well as 40 GW from the solar rooftop projects. The wind power projects are going to deliver 60 GW. For now, the country has installed capacity of about 80 GW. Moreover, the country has a goal to set up 500 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2030. This has the potential to put the country in pole position among the nations of the world.

How is India Progressing on the Clean Energy Map?

With a sustained and planned increase in the investments in the sector and a growing number of clean energy installations, India is just behind Chile in the 2018 Climatescope report. Also, it ranked 4th on E and Y's Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index in the past year. Additionally, it became the single largest market for distributed standalone solar projects in the first half of 2018. It should be noted that these accounted for about 33% of global sales.

The nation also witnessed a record low solar tariffs of ₹2.44 per unit while the wind power tariff dropped to a record low of ₹2.64 per unit.

India becoming a key player of clean energy can be due to the promise of rural India, which offers tremendous opportunities in clean energy. Farmers, in particular, represent a $50 billion opportunity in clean energy. Of this, $40 billion is offered by agriculture. The non-rural sector, on the other hand, presents opportunities that are worth more than $13 billion.

These opportunities are driven by some rapid changes that are taking place, including companies taking interest and investing in the sector and support systems emerging.

Among the Government Initiatives for boosting clean energy is the National Solar Thermal Power testing, research and simulation facility. It includes a grid-connected Solar Thermal Power Plant of 1MW capacity. Moreover, the initiative will include a test set up for the interested firms and institutions, who want to test the performance of various solar materials, concentrators, components, and systems for a Solar Thermal Power Plant.

SoftBank's SB Energy is investing in India's renewable energy portfolio, with more than 3,000 Mw of renewable capacity. The CEO of the firm also went ahead and promised free power from its solar plants in India to the ISA member countries post the completion of the asset's initial 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) period. The firm also invested $250 million in Ola Electric, an electric mobility service company. Singapore-based Sembcorp plans to invest in its Indian subsidiary, SEIL (Sembcorp Energy India Limited). As of June 2019, the firm owns 1,700 Mw of capacity in India, including 550 Mw under development. But no country can steer ahead in any sector without innovation. Here are some inspirational innovations that represent the nationwide commitment that is propelling India's clean energy sector towards massive growth:

Atomberg Technologies created an energy-efficient ceiling fan. Based on BLDC (Brushless Direct Current) motor technology, it consumes about 65% less electrical energy as compared to conventional motor technologies. It is all about the reduction of energy usage without any compromise on air delivery.

Avant Garde is a Kerala-based cleantech startup, which claims to be the country's first and only startup that has a 100% renewable energy commitment. The firm aims to innovate and introduce affordable and sustainable solutions in renewable energy via a decentralized and distributed approach. The firm is creating wind turbine generators, which will be cost-effective but without compromising on the performance aspect.

Basil Energetics has come up with a renewable energy solution, which includes a smart micro-grid. This grid offers a completely decentralized energy solution that can be used in both rural and urban areas. Furthermore, it also provides a solution to manage green power as a package including solar panels and innovative hybrid household electrical appliances. The entire demand and supply of electricity is managed by the smart grid, which ultimately leads to the use of more solar power for running hybrid equipment. This makes the conversion from DC to AC redundant, and at the same time, makes the system energy efficient. India Go Solar is an eCommerce marketplace in India, which offers a platform to customers for purchasing various solar products. This includes solar rooftop kit, solar backpacks, solar mobile chargers, and other services and projects. This is a great initiative to make clean energy easily accessible in various households.

The Road Ahead

A robust support system along with thriving innovations and emerging solutions for energy storage is the key to scale up clean energy innovation deployment if India wants to remain at the top in the clean energy sector. This will not only pave the way for new technologies but keep yielding continuous returns from potential investors. In the long run, clean energy innovations will play a major role in offering reliable energy to rural as well as urban India. The sector is booming and the opportunities are many!