India's Journey Towards Renewable Energy and Green Hydrogen - A Blueprint for Sustainable Development
So far, a total of 179.2 GW renewable energy capacity (RES+Hydro+Nuclear) has been installed in the country as on 30th April 2023. This includes 67 GW of Solar Power, 52 GW of Hydro Power, 42 GW of Wind Power and 10 GW of BioPower. Unprecedented growth in Renewable Energy has been witnessed in India in the last decade.
India's Transition to Renewable Energy
As a developing nation, India initially relied heavily on coal for energy production. However, the country has made significant strides in adopting renewable energy sources. Hydropower projects were the first alternative energy source, followed by wind power and solar energy. India is now the 5th largest country in terms of usable hydropower potential and possesses the 4th largest wind power capacity globally. Abundant solar energy resources, with approximately 300 sunny days per year, have also benefited millions of Indians. Biomass, a renewable and widely available energy source, has provided significant employment opportunities in rural areas while reducing CO2 emissions.
Promoting Renewable Energy through Policy Interventions
The Indian government has implemented several measures to promote renewable energy in the country. These include allowing 100% foreign direct investment in the sector, establishing Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Parks, expanding transmission infrastructure through the Green Energy Corridor Scheme, and setting up the Project Development Cell to facilitate investments. Furthermore, the launch of the Green Term Ahead Market (GTAM) enables the sale of renewable energy power through exchanges. The government's approval of the National Green Hydrogen Mission underscores its commitment to making India a global hub for green hydrogen production and utilization.
Green Hydrogen Mission
Recognizing the potential of green hydrogen, India has embarked on the National Green Hydrogen Mission. This mission aims to establish India as a global leader in green hydrogen production and export. By 2030, the goal is to set up at least 5 million metric tonnes per annum of green hydrogen capacity, coupled with 125 GW of renewable energy capacity. This ambitious plan will attract substantial investments, create over 600,000 clean jobs, and contribute to the reduction of approximately 50 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
Achieving Net Zero and Decarbonization
India's transition to renewable energy and the promotion of green hydrogen is pivotal in achieving its net zero emissions target. By replacing grey hydrogen with green hydrogen in refineries and the fertilizer sector, India could create a demand of 5 million tonnes, resulting in the abatement of 28 million tonnes of CO2. As the green hydrogen economy grows, this proportion will increase, potentially leading to the abatement of 400 million tonnes of CO2 by 2050. India's approach to sustainable development not only focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions but also prioritizes affordability, security, and the well-being of its citizens.