Plugging into renewables: the need for a long-term, renewables-based energy plan for India
Prices for renewables-based electricity have been dropping globally and more so here in India.
The Paris Agreement reached at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) in December 2015 was a major milestone that capped more than two decades of global negotiations aimed at averting dangerous climate change. The outcome was reflective of wider acceptance that a low-carbon transformation of the world’s energy systems is indeed possible, even inevitable, in the context of rapidly falling renewables costs and an unprecedented degree of action by nations, civil society, businesses, industry, cities, and other stakeholders.
In this context, India has endorsed renewables as the future source to fuel the rapid growth engine. According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the country’s total renewable energy capacity including solar, wind, biomass, and small hydro grew by around 11,200 megawatts (MW) in FY 2016-17, which is at par with conventional thermal power capacity addition that registered a decline of 50 percent in comparison to the previous year. Across the country about 5,526 MW of new solar capacity (an increase of 83 percent over FY 2015-16) and roughly 5,400 MW of new wind capacity (up by 63 percent) was added in the year.