The Centre needs to provide a conducive policy environment to encourage the private sector’s participation in the alternate energy segment to support the sector’s growth, said Karanraj Chaudri, Advisor, Social Impact Investments at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for India and South-Asia.
“To achieve the government’s target of 450 GW of renewable resources and alternative energy by 2030, it must encourage private sector participation by creating a conducive policy environment and by offering incentives,” he said.
Currently, India’s installed renewable energy capacity stands at 87.26 Giga Watt (GW), which includes 34.81 GW of solar, 37.74 GW of wind, 9.86 GW of biomass and 4.68 GW of small hydro.
The Centre has estimated an investment of $100 billion over the next three years to achieve renewable energy capacity of 175 GW by 2022.
During the Covid-19 induced lockdown, India’s power sector witnessed a major drop in power demand. This had an adverse impact, particularly, on the distribution sector, which is already reeling under mounting debt and operational issues.
The year 2020, however, proved to be a decisive and progressive year for clean energy in India. Bids for new solar projects hit a record high last year, affirming that coal is no longer the cheapest source of electricity.
Chaudri also laid focus on access to reliable energy. The SDG Investor Map by UNDP India and Invest India also identified alternative and renewable energy as a key area for sustainable growth of the country.
The Advisor for Social Impact Investments also said that there is a need for India’s power distribution companies to improve the power quality in the country. The relationship between energy efficiency and electricity access has been under-explored in India, he added.