India’s dependence on coal for its energy needs is not sustainable. Focus on renewable energy will enable its long term energy requirements
Nishaan chuk maaf nahi neechu nishan(missing the target can be forgiven setting a low target cannot) said by a Gujarati poet. A line above exactly fits to Narendra Modi’s style of setting up target and moving ahead on it. India had launched a new initiative to double the renewable energy capacity of 55,000 MW by 2017. There by exploiting the non conventional energy sources such as wind power and energy from the biomass.
The beautiful Sunderbans was dark at night before the renewable energy reached there. It was like a dream for the people residing there to light their house with a little bulb. Now with this renewable source of energy people here has got their dream come true. This small change has touched the life here in many ways. In the bright light of solar bulb Pushpa and women and other women are cooking more delicious food. Instead of kerosene lanterns now kids are studying in solar lanterns. Doctors are treating their patients in bright solar light and new born are opening their eyes even at night safely in a lighted room.
These solar lights are changing house wives in to an entrepreneur. Laxmi use to be a house wife before, now she owns a small shop, here she rent out solar lantern to villagers. In her shop she has solar charging station also; people come and charge their lantern here. Laxmi is very happy as she has become economically independent. Just like Laxmi many other ladies are also making their life brighter doing the same business. Young cadre of solar technicians is getting trained in the villages, to empower and create a cleaner planet.
According to Union Minister of Coal, Power and Renewable Energy Piyush Goel, India may increase its solar energy capacity four-fold during by the next fiscal year ending March 2017. He further explained, today our solar capacity is 4,500 MW and the capacity addition target of this year is 12000 MW. During 2016-17, 12000 MW would be added in solar sector alone. Significantly, during next fiscal year, we are going to get addition 15,000 MW Renewable energy.
India is witnessing a huge paradigm shift in context of solar power. Airports (Kochi went fully solar in 2015), Delhi Metro, solar powered toll plazas, farmers, cooperatives, canal top solar generation in Gujarat, a solar powered blood bank in Arunachal Pradesh and the list goes on. Prominently, the focus is on speed, skill and scale to accelerate reforms and progress in energy sector rather than subsidies.
SURYA MITRA SCHEME
The government is promoting its Surya Mitra skill development scheme in a prominent way and has completed training for a large number of youth.
Apparently, with increasing number of developers lining up their mega solar power project, India’s solar power generation capacity is expected to get almost double by March 2017. National Solar Energy Federation of India estimates, the power generation from solar energy will rise to 10,000 MW. Currently India’s solar power production is 5129.81 MW and it is going to increase to 10 GW (10,000) by March 2017. Several big projects are lined up in states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and Tamilnadu.
In 2014, when Prime Minister announced 100 GW as target for solar energy, India was producing just 3 GW of solar energy and our total renewable energy capacity was 33.8 GW. We are very near to achieve this target. In January 2015, government set a new target to be ramped up by the year 2022. This was beyond solar energy including set for wind and biomass energy. “Renewable energy plants that we are setting up today will provide affordable power for our children in future,” said Piyush Goel at an Energy Conclave.
As per government records till 31 September 2016, India has total installed power capacity of 3,06,358 MW. Out of which thermal energy (coal, gas, and diesel) accounts for 213228 MW, while nuclear energy accounts for 5,780 MW, hydropower energy is 43,112 MW and the renewable power (solar, wind, biomass and small hydro plant) accounts for 44,236 MW. India has 237 million people without access to electricity. According to International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2015 report, to fill the lacuna, government is providing electricity to all by trying to boost production of both coal and renewable energy. By 2030 India plans to have around 850 GW of power by using both coal and renewable energy, While, government is planning to achieve 40 per cent of cumulative electric power using the renewable energy. But even then coal will remain an important component in India’s energy basket.
BIO MASS POWER PLANT
The bio mass power plant has regained interest. As it can not only generate electricity but also help dispose agriculture waste burning in a carbon neutral manner. The government already provides assistance of Rs 20 lakh per MW for setting up biomass power plant and Rs 15 lakh per MW for co generation projects like sugar mill. Such plants cost around Rs 4.5-6 crore per MW. while generation expense is around Rs 3.25-4.00 per KwH.
Renewable is still in infancy and it need to grow in future with the growing demand. The Gandhian philosophy of self contained villages will become a reality with the use of renewable energy, thereby harnessing science and technology for a better nation.
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