The 2015 global renewable energy development had a strong Indian flavour to it, with India being ranked among the top five nations in new investments, and in the top four as regards creating jobs in the green energy sector.

Emerging markets broke the record in 2015 by committing larger investments than developed nations.

China led with more than double the investment of the next largest investor, the US, followed by Japan, the UK, and India, according to a report by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (Ren21). While China, the US, Japan and the UK maintained their positions relative to 2014, India moved up to displace Germany, which saw a sharp drop in investment.

India’s investments in renewable energy sector increased to $10.2 billion in 2015, when compared to $8.3 billion in 2014. The new investments saw growth for the second consecutive year, aided by a jump in utility-scale solar power financing, which reached $4.6 billion, up 75 per cent over the previous year – a direct result of the Indian government’s increased focus on renewable energy, it pointed out.

Asset finance Also, $4.1 billion of asset finance was invested in wind power, an increase of 17 per cent from 2014. Record capacity-addition also led to strong growth in new jobs. Considering all renewable energy technologies, the leading employers in 2015 were China, Brazil, the US and India. Globally, the green energy sector has created about 8.1 million jobs. China created about 3.5 million, followed by Brazil at 9.18 lakh, the US at 7.69 lakh and India at 4.16 lakh.

The calendar year 2015 saw substantial activity in the Indian solar and wind power markets as the ambitious renewable energy targets are translated into concrete policy frameworks.

Central and State auctions for solar PV contributed to the installation of 2 GW in 2015, and to an impressive pipeline of 23 GW.

Employment in solar PV expanded by 23 per cent in 2015, and jobs in the wind sector also rose.

Major challenge However, congestion in the grid will be most immediate challenge for India’s solar sector, and for scaling up solar power capacity to achieve the target of 100 GW by 2022.

India installed about 2.6 GW, surpassing Spain’s capacity to rank fourth globally for total wind power capacity, with nearly 25.1 GW in 2015.

But, the sector added less capacity than expected, largely due to shortage of available transmission capacity.