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Can India Produce All Its Power From Renewable Resources
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India is finding it increasingly difficult to cater to its rapidly growing energy needs using conventional fossil-fuel-based sources for generating power. An estimated 40% of rural Indian households still don't have access to electricity, while the country's inability to generate sufficient renewable energy has been an impediment in its efforts to achieve energy security.
According to experts, India needs to encourage a decentralized business model to take advantage of abundantly available renewable resources like solar, wind, hydro-power, biomass, biogas, geothermal and hydrogen energy, and fuel cells more readily.
All of India's future energy demand could be met by utility-scale and rooftop PV, concentrated solar power generation, onshore and offshore wind, geothermal, and conventional hydro-power.
To achieve this, India needs to change the way it produces, distributes and consumes energy to reduce its dependence on costly fuel imports, generate employment, enhance global competitiveness and decrease carbon emissions.
Some experts have also advocated the need for JNNSM to take bolder steps, with the help of central and state governments, in helping India realize its solar energy potential. One such step would be establishment of a nationwide solar initiative to enable the installation of approx 100 mn solar roof top units and utility-scale generation installations within the next 20 years.
In addition, developing off-grid powered micro-grids will further allow us to change the way communities generate and consume energy, in addition to reducing costs and enhancing reliability, thereby improving the overall environmental performance.
Micro-grids can also be utilised to substantially reduce the power load from the existing power grid which has given rise to the pressing need or expand the existing energy distribution and transmission methodologies.
In the present context, energy from renewable sources is the only viable option that has the inherent potential to cater to the country's long-term energy needs. For example, taking advantage of 300 to 330 sunny days a year, India could easily produce an estimated 5000 tn kwh of solar power ' which is a lot more than India's annual energy consumption.
Harnessing wind energy can be another potential ally that can assist India's endeavour to enhance its clean energy portfolio. As per an estimate prepared by the environmental group - World Wide Fund for Nature - upto 170 GW of offshore wind energy projects could be installed by 2050 along the 4660 miles of India's coastline, with hydro-power chipping in with an additional 148 GW, geothermal 107 GW and tidal power accounting for approx 15GW.
There can be no doubting the fact that if these abundantly available sustainable sources of energy were to be efficiently developed and leveraged, they could cater to India's growing need for energy by 2030.
Welspun Renewables a leading player in the renewable energy domain also holds one of the largest renewable energy portfolios in India.
India needs to fundamentally transform its production, distribution and consumption of energy to aid its complete transition to renewable resources.
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