India’s solar power target not impossible, but difficult: Birol

Richa Mishra | | Updated on: Dec 06, 2021

BL15_14_FATIH_BIROL

Action to combat climate change must come from energy sector

As India gears up to reset the country’s solar mission target to 100,000 MW and 60,000 MW of wind power by 2022, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Chief Economist and Executive Director-elect, Fatih Birol, feels that the infrastructure and regulatory framework of the country will need to be in sync to make the target achievable.

“The current government has the intent. By putting energy at the top of the policy agenda, the (Narendra) Modi government is making commendable progress toward steering India’s energy system onto a more secure and sustainable path. For example, India has set ambitious renewable energy targets. Achieving the solar PV (photo voltaic) target would require investments of at least $17 billion annually. This is not impossible, but difficult and challenging,” he told BusinessLine from London prior to the release of Paris-based IEA’s World Energy Outlook Special Report on Energy and Climate Change. With the momentum building for the 21st UN Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris in December, India has proposed separate brainstorming sessions to sort out contentious issues such as pre-2020 action, finance, technology, legal nature of the agreement and differentiation. Financing of green energy will be a key component in helping countries, such as India, meet their green targets.

While acknowledging that India’s carbon emission is much lower than the Western countries, Birol said the country has to be prepared to face future climate change challenges.

India has been asking the developed world to ‘walk the talk’ and not impose conditions.

Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy, who is also part of the Prime Minister Modi’s Climate Change team has been quoted as saying “India’s development needs will have to be kept in mind by world powers when talking of climate change.”

Birol also said that India will need to further improve its energy efficiency labelling mechanism. For example, labelling for television sets, washing machines, and LPG stoves should be made mandatory, he said. Nuclear energy is another category that will help India meet the green challenges.

Four key areas IEA’s report spells out four key areas that would help the world meet the global energy-related emissions targets by 2020.

These include setting conditions that will help achieve an early peak in global energy-related emissions, review contributions by countries every five years, translate the established climate goal into a collective long-term commitments, and establish an effective process for tracking achievements in energy sector.

World greenhouse gas emissions from energy production and use are double the level of all other sources combined, meaning that action to combat climate change must come first and foremost from the energy sector, Birol said.

Published on June 15, 2015
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