50% Clean Energy Share and 500 GW Renewable Energy Capacity before 2030: The new Targets (GS 3, Economics, The Hindu, Indian Express) 

News/Context: India has set the new target of achieving 50% share of energy from non fossil fuels and 500 GW of renewable energy capacity before the deadline of 2030. These targets are set by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which could be easily achievable as per the Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh.

PM Narendra Modi has pledged that India will achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2070. The above said new targets with the deadline of 2030 is a step forward towards this pledge.

The nationally determined contribution/ intended nationally determined contribution target of non-fossil energy capacity was also raised to 500 GW by 2030 from 450 GW earlier by PM Modi.

As per the Minister the government is working hard to achieve the Prime Minister’s target of 500 GW from renewable energy by 2030. India has already reached 39% share of energy from non-fossil (clean energy), so it will be easily possible to achieve 50% share by 2030.

India at present has renewable energy capacity of 149 GW including large hydro projects and 63 GW renewable energy capacity are under construction. Hence it comes at 212 GW. So getting a further of 300 GW by 2030 or in this decade will not be that much difficult as per the Minister.

When we check out the combination of varied resources in Renewable Energy target, India which have around 450 GW from wind and solar at 70-100 GW are going to be coming from hydro power plant.

At present we have Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) till 2022. This Renewable Purchase Obligation will be extended till 2030 in view of the 500 GW renewable energy target as per the Minister.

What is Clean Energy: Clean energy, often mentioned as Renewable energy comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly replenished. For example,wind and sunlight keep blowing and shining, albeit their availability depends on weather and time. Geothermal, Bioenergy, Hydropower, Nuclear Energy are also considered as clean energy.

What is Nationally Determined Contribution: The Paris Agreement requests each country to convey and describe their post-2020 climate actions, referred to as their NDCs. Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are at the centre of the Paris Agreement and therefore the achievement of those long-term goals.

NDCs embody efforts by each country to scale back national emissions and adapt to the impacts of global climate change . The Paris Agreement requires each Party to organize , communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that it intends to realize . Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.

What is Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO): According to Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) all electricity distribution licensees (Distribution companies – Discoms) are required to purchase or produce a minimum specified quantity of their requirements from Renewable Energy Sources. This is as per the Indian Electricity Act, 2003. The minimum RPO for the State is fixed by The State Electricity Regulatory Commissions. For example The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) had fixed a complete RPO of three percente in 2010. Of this, 2.75% was to be met from non-solar sources and 0.25% from solar energy. The RPO increases by 10% of three per annum , up to a maximum of 10% just in case of Kerala.

Md Layeeque Azam, Economics Faculty