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The inaugural panel discussion at the first SAP presents Mint Sustainability Action Summit 2022, titled ‘Paving the way to carbon neutrality: India’s energy transition’, offered insights into how new-age green power companies are redefining the country’s energy landscape and the roadmap for the next decade.

Coal-based thermal power makes up 33% of India’s GHG emissions. From a green energy transition standpoint, India like any other country in the world, was a non-player in the renewable energy segment till about 2010. However, over the past decade, the country has emerged as one of the fastest growing renewable energy markets in the w orld.

“Today, we are sitting at about 100 Giga Watts per year and with the Prime Minister’s ambition, we need to add about 400 Giga Watts over the next 8-10 years. The speed at which India has adapted to this change has gained the expertise of building large scale projects like Badla, which, I believe is the single largest solar power facility in the world," said Srivatsan Iyer, global chief executive officer, Hero Future Energies.

India has seen many startups in the renewable energy space. “When we talk to a lot of global players, for them India is one of the very, very attractive geographies to invest in when we talk about renewables," said Puja Jain, partner, McKinsey and Co., who was moderating the panel.

Even traditional companies like Tata Power which started as a clean energy company producing power from a hydro power plant, have expanded their portfolio over the years to include a lot of thermal power and stand at a 70-30 mix of thermal and renewables today.

“In India, a lot of the energy issues are arising from energy security and energy access at the last mile right and that is where also this whole transition has to focus on. At Tata Power, while we have made a conscious shift to adding only renewable capacities from here on, this whole decentralised distributed model of generation is something which is becoming a big focus area for us," said Jyoti Kumar Bansal, chief-sustainability, CSR, branding and communications, Tata Power.

Consumers also need to become active partners in this journey and there is rising consciousness of sustainable practices of consuming in a more responsible manner. “I think the way that the industry is headed is that there is space for the old transitioning to the new, there is space for a lot of new to come in. And there is lots of room and opportunity and need for collaboration amongst everyone to ensure that we get to where the planet needs to be there for us to survive," she added.

India has set a very high aspiration of reaching 500 gigawatts of renewable capacity by 2030, which experts feel is well in line with its ambitions as a nation.

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