Renewable energy is the only way for a country like India with the population as large as 1.25 billion that has finite fossil fuels to cater to the needs of all, said Anand Kumar, Secretary Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). However, asserting the fact that India is determed to achieve the target of installing 175 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2022, Kumar said that advancements in technology and dropping prices of solar and wind, the country can even surpass the target. “Under Prime Minister Modi, we up-scaled our total renewable energy target to 175 GW by 2022. With advancements in technology, and with price of solar and wind reducing, we are not only sure but confident that we will not only achieve the target, but exceed it,” he said.
While speaking at the 11th edition of Renewable Energy India Expo in Greater Noida on Wednesday, Kumar also said that in recent consultations, the MNRE has begun to take more seriously the potential of India’s offshore wind and hydropower capacities, and hinted that these technologies will be brought under the renewable energy target.
Meanwhile telling about India’s ‘silent revolution’ which will see the country rapidly scale up its electricity generation capacity and consumption, he underlined the key challenge of how to enable higher energy consumption in India, at a cost people are willing to pay, and not only willing to pay, but able to pay as well. He affirmed the path of least resistance is the one with the lowest carbon intensity. “India has limited fossil fuels. We depend on imports for petroleum. If we have to support and meet the demand of 1.25 billion people, then renewables are the only way.”
Kumar also turned his attention to manufacturing, particularly solar manufacturing where, he said India’s capabilities are “modest” at best. He concluded. “We should set up manufacturing bases for batteries in India. Once we overcome the obstacle of storage, then the ideal of 24-hour free energy for the people can be realized.”