Harnessing India’s Clean Energy Potential

Posted By: Zhooben Bhiwandiwala|Dated: November 15, 2011

The energy crisis in this country is an urgent and growing concern. Our oil imports have doubled in the last decade; we now import around 80% of our crude oil requirements. Roughly 70% of the energy generated in India is through coal – an undependable resource now in shortage.

Harnessing India’s Clean Energy Potential

Consider these facts: due to an increase in demand and the fast-paced growth of the Indian economy, we will face a peak power shortage of 12.9% and an energy shortage of 10.3% this year. About 400 million people in India have limited or no access to electricity. Furthermore, India is among the top 5 emitters of Green House Gas (GHG).

This does not bode well for our country, and severely limits our ability to grow.

What to do?

We need to find innovative, sustainable solutions to meet this growing demand for energy.

Promoting Renewable Energy (RE) is one such way. Derived from natural resources and generated even in places without grid connectivity, harnessing RE could provide a way to increase energy security and combat climate change – all while promoting India’s development. The government has implemented a very strong framework and focus on renewable energy through the NAPCC (National Action Plan on Climate Change), which aims to drive sustainable growth while addressing India’s energy security challenges. The NAPCC plans to add 72 GW of renewable energy by 2017.

Fortunately, India is blessed with an abundant supply of wind, solar, hydro and biomass resources with a known capacity of over 700+ GW. To harness this potential, the Indian government has created policies and incentives to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy projects by Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and to attract much needed capital to execute the projects. These are reflected in the various National Missions such as the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), whose target is 20 GW of solar power by 2022. Through this Mission and others, the government has made India the fourth largest base for renewable energy (RE) projects in the world.

The future for RE is promising. India has a base of about 18 GW of RE, constituting approximately 10.5% of the power generated in the country. As costs continue to decrease, we can expect to see this number grow by 15-20% over the next few years.

And Solar Energy, by far the most abundant source of RE, is increasingly affordable: costs have dropped significantly (75% over the last three years) and the adoption of solar as a replacement for diesel displacement is beginning to accelerate.

The Way Forward

RE sources are free, non-polluting, and can help us meet our exponentially growing demands for energy. But we’re only getting started. To further accelerate the deployment of RE, continued improvement in upfront costs is required – this can be achieved through improvements in scale, an increase in the availability of a local market, and advancements in technology, efficiency and manufacturing.

We have a vibrant local market – especially in rural areas – for RE, thanks to availability in financing and to the decentralisation of RE production and distribution. The need and aspirations of these various energy users is, in turn, driving large-scale investments in technology improvements and manufacturing effectiveness with an aim to continually reduce the cost of electricity (LCOE) from RE sources.  As availability of skilled RE resources continues to improve, India is poised to become a global hub for the manufacturing of energy equipment

With over Rs. 13,000 million being spent in the 12th five-year plan to accelerate the deployment and sustainability of RE, there’s nothing to stop India from harnessing its clean energy potential.

 

Jaye Ho…

About the author

Zhooben Bhiwandiwala

Zhooben Bhiwandiwala began his career with Mahindra in 1985. He has dedicated a remarkable 26 years to the Mahindra Group, acquiring wide cross-functional experience across several sectors and playing an active part in finance, legal, HR, marketing, strategy, and other commercial functions.

Zhooben currently manages Mahindra Partners, a diversified division that oversees new businesses within the Group. Before taking up his role with Mahindra Partners, Zhooben served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Mahindra & Mahindra.

 

The views expressed above are those of the author, and not necessarily representative of the views of the Mahindra Group.

 

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  • Vishal

    Good article

    I would like to add a little more….
    A CSIR research centre has to be dedicated for solar energy research to develop low cost, higher efficiency solar cells (or any other effective media). Let us not look towards west for it. They are not facing energy crisis, and dont need to put serious efforts on this.

    Another promising fuel is ethanol. It can be easily made from a variety of materials, including wastes.

  • Vishnu

    As exactly mentioned in the Article RE is the future of our Power Sector and Biomass and Solar will be the prominent among them. We should start focusing on villages first with RE’s, where huge potential is available and slowly into cities. Excellent Article..!!

  • Green Initative

    It is not only an  extremely well informed post but one that is a pleasure to read. Too often, pople think that renewable energy is something that people have just not thought about before like stick a turbine fan on the roof of the car and recharge your car batteries or even run the car itself!  The truth, unfortunately, is far from being so simple.  The guiding motto of any would be inventor should be the golden rule of physics “Nothing for Nothing’ !  While renewable energy such as PV or solar thermal or wind are fantastic concepts absolutely dazzling in their ability to give FREE power, they are unfortunately intermittent. The wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine. So, inspite of having in theory that amazing figure of 700+ GW available, the truth is that until renewable energy sources are sustainable they can NEVER replace conventional sources like oil or coal fired power plants. For instance my state Tamil Nadu has fantastic wind energy resources and in 2011 it was decided to capitalise on this resource by bringing it online, unfortunately because of the seasonal and diurnal changes in wind speeds, the attempt proved to be unsuccessful.  We at ‘Green Initiative’ have found a sustainable renewable energy source that will produce a  minimum of about 2.8 Kw of power and produce that 2.8 Kw of power 24 x 7, day after day, week after week and year after year. If you think that is incredible, just check out our 2 submission entries at the is challenge. (1) A Micro Hydroelectric Project and (2) The Rotary Pulse Jet Engine’ . We have included a wealth of statistics, facts and figures and historical precedent. We are confident that out project will work as stipulated. Every phase and facet of the working of the concept has been gone into in depth and in detail. If you are interested, kindly go through the same and let us know what you think in the comments section. Please do not think that we are boasting or being arrogant about this invention, the fact is that we are just enthusiastic, perhaps overly enthusiastic at times. If so please forgive us and know that the only intention is to make progress.

  • Green Initative

    I have received a few comments to the effect that putting a small wind turbine on the roof of a car and charging the batteries with it  IS a good idea.. Here is why not: A wind turbine works by the force of the wind, so putting one up on the car increases wind resistance. As the car increases speed the power needed is equal to  wind resistance x velocity. So in effect the power needed to double the speed will be qudrupled. i.e., if you are travelling at 30 kmh using 10 Kw of power  and want to increase speed to 60 kmh you will need 40Kw. That is why it is not a good idea to put a wind turbine on the car!

  • http://www.linkedin.com/andyappan ANDY APPAN

    NO BOILER, NO TURBINE  CSP  SOLAR  TECHNOLOGY
    ANDY ENGINE SPIN GENCOST 4 MN$/MW

  • Amit Darak

    There is need of some sustainable financial model to justify the investments in RE power generation.

  • Dilip

    Hi Zhooben Bhiwandiwala,
    Please have a look at my spark ‘Home Grid’, I would love to have your feedback, be it positive or negative. Meanwhile encomiums on being so thoughtful. 

  • SREEDHAR REDDY SAPIIDI

    HELLO SIR, MR ZHOOBEN BHIWANDIWALA,
    FOR THE MAJOR PROBLEM OF OUR GLOBE I.E GLOBAL WARMING CAUSING THROUGH THE EMISSIONS OF THE CARBON GASES BY THE BURNING OF COAL ETC. I HOPE WE COULD DEVELOP TECHNOLOGY THAT COULD TRANSMIT GREEN ELECTRIC ENERGY TROUGH A WIRELESS MEDIA. FOR AN EXAMPLE WHEN CLOUDS WRAP EACH OTHER THE ENERGY PRODUCED IS TRANSMITTED TO THE GROUND THROUGH MOLECULES OF THE ATMOSPHERE. BY DEVELOPING THIS TYPE OF TECHNOLOGY WE CAN PRODUCE & TRANSMIT GREEN ENERGY/ELECTRICITY ON THE MOON OR EVEN IN THE SPACE. HOW EVER, OUR OWN EARTH HAS MORE POTENTIAL RESOURCES TO PRODUCE THESE ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY GREEN ENERGY LIKE WE CAN PRODUCE POWER THROUGH SOLAR IN LARGE DESERTS AND CAN TRANSMIT IT TO ANY ENERGY DEFICIENT COUNTRIES USING THIS TYPE OF TECNHOLOGY. AND FOR THOSE CONTINENTS WHO HAS EXCESS POWER PRODUCTION IT CAN ALSO BE EXPORTED/IMPORTED EASILY. USING THIS WE CAN PRODUCE & TRANSMIT WIND POWER FROM THE OCEANS. THERE WILL BE MANY USES FOR THIS TYPE OF TECHNOLOGY IN SAVING THE PLANET BY MINIMISING THE CARBON EMISSIONS CAUSED BY THE BURNING OF COAL ETC, WHICH IS MAJORLY USED FOR PRODUCING ENERGY. SO PLEASE CONSIDER MY VIEW ON SAVING THE PLANET FROM GLOBAL WARMING & REPLY FOR THE POSSIBLITY OF DEVELOPPING THESE TYPE OF TECHNOLOGY.
    WITH REGARDS
    SREEDHAR REDDY SAPPIDI.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/16334470928548984957 ANDY APPAN

    LIGHTNING ENERGY CAN NEVER BE STORED- ATOM BOMB
    APP PP CAN BE BURNING 1/3 FUEL /MW, CO2e 33 % CER 66 %
    COMBINING TRANSPORT, FUEL PP, CER = 15 BnT/Yr.
    INV 3330 Bn$. RETURN 16,650 Bn$/Yr

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