India’s renewable energy capacity, excluding large hydroelectric projects, hit 100 GW (gigawatts) on Thursday, making it the world’s fourth-largest in terms of total installed green energy capacity.
The milestone is commendable for the world’s third-largest polluter as it has been achieved in a short span of five years of prime minister Narendra Modi announcing in 2015 his plan to build 175 GW renewable energy capacity by 2022.
But going by the pace of capacity addition this year, achieving that target within the stipulated time frame will be a herculean task. But a government statement said “India aims to touch 450 GW capacity by 2030, staying resolute in its commitment to sustainable development goals”.
Be that as it may, the milestone will help New Delhi resist pressure to declare a net-zero goal and call out the developed economies on their pitiful effort to reduce carbon emission. “Another landmark day in the history of the Indian power sector… Under the visionary leadership of PM Narendra Modi Ji, we shall continue to be global leaders in energy transition,” power and renewable energy minister Raj Kumar Singh tweeted.
“We would like to acknowledge the pivotal role played by the government in helping the sector reach this goal. Favorable policies and an enabling environment have helped Indian renewable energy companies grow exponentially,” ReNew Power CEO Sumant Sinha said. The 100 GW renewable capacity accounts for 26% of India’s total installed generation capacity of 383 GW.
If large hydroelectric projects are included, the total renewable capacity works out to 146 GW or 38% of the total installed capacity. The high trajectory of the renewable energy capacity building, despite per capita emission being one-third of the world average, shows India’s commitment to decarbonizing its economy and will meet its NDC (nationally determined contributions) targets for power generation from non-fossil fuel sources and emission reductions.
According to the government statement, India now has the world’s fifth-largest solar power and fourth-largest wind energy capacities. It said projects totaling 50 GW capacity are under installation and 27 GW is under tendering. India has also enhanced its ambition to install 450 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.