By Maitreyee Mukherjee and Asit Biswas
May 19, 2015
Acknowledging that the energy sector plays a critical role in his country’s development, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently commented: “We want to increase speed and at the same time, scale new heights of development and one of the sectors is energy.” Coal has been a key source for the nation’s expanding energy requirements. The new policy on renewable energy and objective of generating 175GW of electricity generation by 2022 (from solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy) by 2022, is a bold step. Focusing on clean energy and energy efficiency, Modi called for a global shift from a “carbon credit” to a “green credit” for clean production, and described it as an immediate need.
India’s renewable energy generation capacity in 2014 was 31.7GW. To meet its objectives, government has proposed to add additional capacity of 4.46GW by 2015-2016. As of March 2015, only 44 percent of the target has been achieved. The 2015 budget allocated $400 million for grid connections and distribution networks for renewable energy projects. In addition, the government has doubled the tax on every metric ton of coal brought in or produced within the nation. Cumulatively, these steps are expected to enable additional generation of renewable energy.