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20% of India’s electricity will be renewable energy by 2020: Study

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New Delhi: Renewable energy sources could power around 20 percent of India’s total electricity by 2020 and this could rise to 30 percent by 2030, a study has said. The study has been co-authored by Arunabha Ghosh, Chief Executive Officer, Council of Energy, Environment and Water. It said that the government has taken several policy initiatives like feed-in tariffs, generation-based incentives, and low-cost financing and viability gap funding to subsidise capital costs.

The big push for renewable energy in India

“Several state governments have pushed for policy innovations, such as accelerated depreciation in Gujarat, exemptions from wheeling and transmission charges for electricity sold in Andhra Pradesh, and a renewable energy infrastructure development fund in Rajasthan,” said the report, titled ‘The Big Push for Renewable Energy in India: What will drive it?’ It has been published in the journal Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
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In the Union Budget announced earlier in February, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the expansion of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Utthan Mahabhiyan Scheme under which 20 lakh farmers would be provided funds to set-up standalone solar pumps.

Converting 15% irrigation pumps in India to solar would add 20 GW

The report said that converting 15 percent of irrigation pumps in India to solar pumps would add an additional capacity of 20 GW. India currently has about 27 million irrigation pumps. The government has set for itself a target of achieving 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, including 100 GW of solar power.

The report said that meeting the solar target alone would require a growth rate enough to double India’s installed solar capacity every 18 months. Commenting on the potential for job creation in the solar market, the report said that the market added nearly 24,000 full-time-equivalent jobs from 2011 to 2014 in areas of business development, design and construction, commissioning, and operations and maintenance.

The study also noted that in order to promote renewable energy, proper dissemination of information through a dedicated e-portal is required along with a push for policy innovations to encourage renewable energy deployment in India.

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