Saturday, June 8, 2013

Government plans to boost renewable power in India

Bangalore, June 8: With the population of India currently standing at 1,241,491,160, the demand to tap the alternative sources of energy for power generation increases. Although India is presently positioned as the fifth largest producer of energy globally, power lags are not an unknown scenario in the country. A look at the World Bank Report (2010) on the percentage of population having access to electricity clearly states the above-mentioned fact. As per the report, approximately 33.7 percent of the Indian population is yet to receive electricity. Going by the statistics, provided by Corporate Catalyst India in its brief report on ‘Power and Energy Industry in India', almost 55 percent of the total energy generated in India is based on coal, 10 percent on gas, 26 percent on hydro, 3 percent on nuclear, 1 percent on Diesel and just 3 percent on renewable energy resources. Evidently, the country banks more upon non-renewable sources of energy rather than on renewable energy resources, which essentially means it would soon complain power problems once the non-renewable sources deplete in the next few years. However, having realized the impending situation, the Indian government is leaving no stones unturned to save the sector; add to it the increasing concerns over the adverse effects of Green House. Certain private organizations too have joined hands with the government to explore the possibility of using renewable resources as a source of energy generation. Off late, there has been an increasing thrust on research and development of the renewable sector, which has culminated into projects like The National Solar Mission, under the National Action Plan on Climate Change, envisaging an addition of 20,000 MW of solar capacity addition by 2022. This is a strategic move on the part of the Government, especially when the current installed capacity of renewable energy alone stands at 12,683 MW, of which wind energy contributes 11807 MW, Solar 10 MW, and Biomass Biofuel 866 MW. Similar projects include the allocation of 35,000 km2 area of the Thar desert, which is sufficient to generate 70 GW to 2,100 GW of energy per year; the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, which plans to generate 1,000 MW of power by 2013; the Matrimandir solar power project and many more. With these projects in the pipeline, India can hope to stand a chance to overcome the huge power lag that it is facing currently. Moreover, it can also contribute in the global efforts of making the environment green.