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Sumant Sinha

Chairman & Managing Director, ReNew Power Ltd, India

India is where the action is

Being one of the fastest growing economies of the world, India’s energy demands are bound to grow year-on-year. Add to it the fact that India’s per capita power consumption is only one-third of the world’s average and one can easily foresee the hectic action that the country is going to witness in power generation, transmission, storage and distribution in the coming decades.

India has around 900 GW of renewable energy potential, most of which is still untapped. Being a tropical country, India has adequate sunshine and several coastal states are suited for putting up wind farms. As an added advantage, if we look at the results of the renewable auctions in India of the past year, both solar and wind power are established as being cheaper than coal based power. Going by economic logic alone, majority of the future capacity additions in India should be through renewables.

Our Prime Minister is fully committed to the cause of renewable energy and is taking a pole position in helping drive adoption of renewable energy across the globe. The target of 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022 and the formation of International Solar Alliance (ISA) with India in the lead are examples of our commitment towards clean energy. Currently, renewable energy contributes only 7% to the country’s total generation, however this contribution is only bound to increase.

In 2012, wind and solar installed capacity in India was only 17 GW and 1 GW respectively. Wind capacity has doubled to 34 GW by March 2018 whereas solar has grown even more rapidly at a CAGR of 67% to 22 GW. To continue growing at such rapid rates with an aim to achieve our target of 175 GW by 2022, India needs an investment of more than USD 100 billion, coming primarily from the private sector.

The Indian policy makers understand this and as a result we have seen favourable government policies and despite a few recent scares, the regulatory environment has also been stable. There is also significant amount of action to improve reliability of grid infrastructure and look at cost effective storage solutions.

With the advent of new and interesting technologies in wind turbines, solar panels and battery storage along with wider proliferation of new concepts such as offshore wind parks, floating solar, solar pumps etc. the growth of renewable energy is expected to be robust in the coming years.