Potential For The Growth Of Renewable Energy In India

Scientists unanimously agree that massive quantities of greenhouse gases released from combustion of fossil fuels are primarily responsible for global warming and have unleashed an internecine cycle of melting polar ice and thawing permafrost which greenhouse gases and further warm up the earth’s temperature. They warn that the present fossil fuel based economy is unsustainable and if efforts are not made to curb emissions the planet may witness a 4 degree rise in average temperatures by the end of the century. In fact, certain scientists warn that the planet is currently undergoing its sixth mass extinction which has been accelerated by climate change.

As one of the world’s major economies, India is ignominiously ranked as the fourth largest polluter and is responsible for nearly 7 %of total global carbon emissions. Given its vast size and population, India faces the threat of climate change on multiple fronts. Changing climate patterns have resulted in unrelenting heatwaves, erratic monsoons, extreme droughts, unseasonal rains, massive floods, and sudden flash floods. Similar scenes of damage and devastation with increased ferocity unfold each year. The effects on human health and habitation, agriculture and cropping patterns, desertification, wildlife, and sea levels are consequential and are likely to alter forever the country’s diverse eco-systems.

This is coupled with the additional responsibility of catering to the energy needs of a burgeoning population an estimated 600 million or 40 percent of which will live in cities by the year 2031. Furthermore, the country faces the daunting task of providing access to electricity to nearly 300 million people. Therefore, balancing heightened environmental concerns with developmental priorities poses an immense challenge for India.

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