India’s announcement about International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the target of achieving 100 GW of solar energy before the Paris Agreement surprised many, mainly due to its emphasis on solar. However, if one studies the way India has approached the Sun through history, one realizes that the Sun has always been revered as the primary source of energy.
We also call the Sun as the Suryaya, the one who triggers activities and the Pooshne, the giver of nourishment. I do see a lot of similarities in these names and how solar energy will shape our future.
The action and ambition of ISA member nations have triggered lots of activities in their economies. We are seeing scaling-up of the entire solar value chain. It is also one of the major source of investments and job creation in these economies. ISA’s engagement with various Multilaterals to raise and deploy funds to scale up manufacturing and R&D is expected to improve affordability and efficiency of solar technology for its member nations. Most of these are in the Asia-Pacific and African regions, and are grappling with the challenge to improve access of affordable and clean energy to their citizens.
The Government’s ‘Make in India’ program envisages India becoming a manufacturing hub. Electricity is the much needed resource or nourishment for manufacturing and to be the globally competitive, we need to ensure access to low cost energy as it is often one of the major costs in manufacturing. Companies also face the problem of unreliable supply and volatile cost of electricity in many parts of India. We believe the Sun – the Pooshne – the giver of nourishment – will play an important role in providing the type of nourishment (electricity) that is required for ‘Make in India’ to be successful.
Today, the cost of solar power is significantly lower than utility tariffs for industrial and commercial consumers in India. Solar projects, due to their negligible variable cost, can offer fixed tariffs for 20/25 years, thus providing low cost, fixed price and zero carbon electricity over the long term.
Thanks to the lower capital cost, easy-to-operate technology and good number of sunny days, increasing number of companies in ISA regions are rapidly adopting solar and reducing their dependence on utilities. This de-clutching from utilities is another case of empowerment that solar is germinating.
I believe that this low carbon and consumer empowerment transition will continue to accelerate. The world’s first and only 100% solar powered airport in Cochin, Kerala; a 100% solar powered railway station in Guwahati, Assam; the largest floating solar farms constructed at the Banasura Sagar reservoir in Wayanad, Kerala and various companies declaring voluntary target for renewable energy reconfirms this belief.
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Rajiv Ranjan Mishra
Managing Director, CLP India Pvt Ltd, India
Mr Rajiv Mishra is responsible for running the business of CLP in India. He joined the CLP Group in 2002 and has over 20 years’ of experience in the power industry, both in India and internationally, mostly involved in project financing, investment appraisal, finance and accounting, and general management. He transformed CLP India from a single-asset and project management company to a fully-grown organisation with presence across conventional and renewables sources of energy.
Before assuming the role of Managing Director of CLP India, Rajiv has held a variety of senior positions in the Power Industry viz Deputy Managing Director/Chief Financial Officer of BLCP Power in Thailand, Finance Director of PowerGen India and Finance Director of LG Energy in Seoul, South Korea.
Rajiv has also served as the Chairman of Association of Power Producers, a grouping of nearly 90% of India’s Private Power Generators and is the Co-Chairman of CII National Committee on Power, together with one of India’s largest Industry body representing both the Public and Private sectors.
Rajiv is also a member of a select group of Private sector Entrepreneurs and CEOs, formed by India’s NITI Aayog (the government think-tank) and the Prime Minister’s Office, to advise the Government of India on the policy changes required to create a World-Class Infrastructure in India by 2022.