At the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) climate talks here, India is walking with its chin held high. The reason: India will easily achieve more than the energy commitments it made at the 2015 Paris conference.
The commitment — one of the three — was that by the year 2030, about 40 per cent of India’s installed energy capacity would be ‘non-fossil fuel’.
Anand Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), who was here as part of the Indian delegation, said that the country today has 73 GW of renewable energy capacity, with another 22 GW under construction. Another 25 GW will be auctioned out soon.
That leaves 55 GW to be achieved by 2022 to meet the 175 GW target, which will be awarded to developers through auctions by March 2020. Talking to Indian journalists here, Kumar observed that it takes roughly 18 months for a wind or solar project to be set up, leaving “a cushion of six months” for the 175 GW to be achieved by the target year 2022.
Additionally, India has 45 GW of large hydro projects — and 5GW more of such projects under construction — making it comfortable on a trajectory to meet its Paris commitments.
More to come
However, that is only for starters. By 2030, India will have installed a capacity of 850 GW, of which 350 GW will be solar, 150 GW non-solar. This means, India’s non-fossil fuels capacity in 2030 will be about 60 per cent of the total installed capacity, even without taking into account hydro power – against the Paris commitment of 40 per cent.
After 2022, India will tender 30 GW of solar and 10 GW of wind capacity each year, said Kumar.
For instance, this was the message given to a team of foreign journalists by R R Rashmi, a former Indian climate negotiator who is a distinguished fellow at the research institute, TERI, and Anirban Ghosh, Chief Sustainability Officer at the Mahindra group. At that briefing, a journalist asked if India had made a low commitment in order to meet it, to which Anirban Ghosh replied that the commitments were made after a lot of discussions and modelling in the run-up to the Paris talks of December 2015.
Since then, the march of technology had helped India move forward with its commitments. Furthermore, India would not meet its commitments and remain inactive thereafter, but will do more for fighting climate change, Ghosh said.
He pointed out that India’s corporate sector was fully onboard. Indian cement plants, he said, were the most energy efficient in the world.
Ghosh also spoke of Mahindra group’s commitment to climate action — in terms of producing electric vehicles— of utilising 100 per cent renewable energy and planting trees.