New Delhi: There has been a global pivot towards clean energy sources with the energy dynamics been fundamentally altered. According to International Renewables Energy Agency (IRENA), a third of global power generation capacity or 2,351 giga watt (GW) is now being fuelled by renewable energy sources.
A 2 April IRENA report said that 171 GW of renewable energy was added in 2018, resulting in 2,351 GW or a third of global power generation capacity being fuelled by renewable sources. Interestingly, Asia accounted for 61% of new capacity in 2018.
“Asia continued to dominate the global solar capacity expansion with a 64 GW increase (about 70% of the global expansion in 2018). In a repeat of last year, China, India, Japan and Republic of Korea accounted for most of this," the report said.
India has been working on the largest global green energy programme and has an installed renewable energy capacity of 74.79GW. Of this solar and wind power accounts for 25.21GW and 35.14GW respectively.
This capacity and more in the offing is expected to play an important role given India’s expected growth in energy demand. According to the government’s policy think-tank Niti Aayog, the country’s energy demand is likely to go up by 2.7-3.2 times between 2012 and 2040.
This domestic power demand growth is expected to come from schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana or Saubhagya scheme under which 99.93% or 26.02 million households of 26.04 million targeted households have got electricity connections as on 31 March.
Also, enthused by India’s track record in leveraging economies of scale for ushering in competitive tariffs, neighbouring countries such as power-starved Bangladesh wants to buy electricity from large solar parks being set up in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
India is also working on a new frontier in the form of tidal energy to help meet the country’s energy demand. According to a study conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, along with credit rating firm Crisil Ltd, India has an estimated tidal energy potential of around 8000 megawatt (MW). According to the study, while the Gulf of Kambhat and Gulf of Kutch near Gujarat have an estimated potential of 7000 MW and 1200 MW, respectively, even the Gangetic delta in Sunderbans in West Bengal has a potential of 100 MW. With a 7,517 km coastline, there is growing interest in India’s tidal energy space.