India has emerged as a leader in the global renewable energy market, propelled by India’s Energy Policy, technological advancements, and substantial foreign investments. This sector has attracted significant foreign investments, particularly in solar and wind power projects.
The decreasing cost of solar and wind power has been instrumental in India’s renewable energy growth. Over the past decade, the cost of solar power has dropped by 84%, making it more affordable than coal-based power in many regions.
India’s Energy Landscape from the Past to the Future
India, a nation home to 18% of the global population, presently utilises only 6% of the world’s primary energy resources. Nevertheless, this dynamic is undergoing a swift transformation, with India’s energy landscape evolving like never before. In today’s context, energy assumes a critical role in the realisation of India’s developmental aspirations, the support of its expanding economy, the electrification of rural areas, meeting the escalating mobility demands, and constructing the necessary infrastructure to cater to the future status of the world’s most populous country. Notably, India’s energy consumption has nearly doubled since 2000, and the potential for further rapid growth is nothing short of enormous. With this remarkable growth potential, there’s a substantial opportunity for a total investment of close to $750 billion over the next decade. There is no doubt that this paradigm shift within India’s energy sector is going to have a significant impact on and shape the global energy economy in the coming years.
Assessing the Crucial Role of Renewable Energy in India’s Energy Security
India is attaining substantial growth in renewable energy, meeting its environmental responsibilities, and enhancing its energy security. With India’s GDP consistently showing year-on-year growth in the range of 6–7%, the nation’s potential for enduring economic expansion is indisputable. Yet, this expansion goes hand in hand with a sustainable upswing in energy requirements, underscoring the critical importance of energy security. Additionally, India has made a distinct commitment to bolstering the renewable energy sector and reaching net-zero emissions by 2070, signifying its unwavering commitment to combat climate change.
India has the option to view these situations either as obstacles or as motivations to accelerate its path towards achieving net-zero emissions while concurrently securing its energy needs. Currently, India occupies a noteworthy position on the global energy stage, both in terms of production and consumption. How India manages the delicate balance between energy security and its net-zero aspirations and formulates its energy policies will have consequences that extend beyond its borders, exerting a significant influence not only in India but also on the global stage.
India can bolster its energy security, diminish carbon emissions, and enhance resilience by embracing a broad spectrum of energy sources, encompassing renewables. A pivotal catalyst for this transformation is the diversification of the energy portfolio, a fundamental component of our energy security strategy. To effectively achieve both security energy and net-zero objectives, it is imperative to adopt a long-term perspective that emphasises the diversification of energy sources, with a particular emphasis on renewable energy resources.
Solar energy is a renewable energy source that consistently does not produce energy at all times of the day. It is dependent on nature and its workings. This necessitates energy storage solutions for renewable energy. The adoption of storage solutions serves a dual purpose: it addresses energy security concerns while fostering the expansion of renewable energy production and consumption. It is possible to store excess renewable energy generated during peak production and tap into it during periods of high energy demand or low renewable generation by implementing storage systems. This not only fortifies grid stability but also reduces the need for fossil fuel-based backup power, ultimately enhancing overall energy security and propelling India closer to its net-zero objectives. While the initial investment in storage solutions may appear significant, they hold the promise of substantial long-term returns. There may be a decline in the cost of these storage solutions shortly with further realisation of economies of scale.
The evolving dynamics within India’s energy sector emphasise the growing significance of renewable energy. India’s strategic geographic location presents abundant prospects for renewable energy generation. With nearly 300 sun-drenched days and consistently clear skies each year, the nation enjoys ample tropical sunlight, rendering it an ideal environment for harnessing solar energy. The National Electricity Plan aligns India with the objectives outlined in the National Electricity Plan, especially with private sector contributions of substantial amounts. These converging factors pave the way for India to attain substantial growth in renewable power, meet its environmental commitments, and reinforce its energy security. In a nutshell, by harnessing its abundant renewable energy potential, India is not only lighting up a brighter, cleaner future but is also bringing about a solar power revolution as a global leader in sustainable energy solutions.