Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE) 2018: India’s Perspective

  • Category
    Economy
  • Published
    20th Dec, 2018
  • The World Bank has recently praised India's success in renewable energy auctions that delivered record-setting low prices for solar power.
  • According to the World Bank's report -- Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE) 2018 -- charting global progress on sustainable energy policies, many of the world's largest energy-consuming countries significantly improved their renewable energy regulations since 2010.

Issue

Context

  • The World Bank has recently praised India's success in renewable energy auctions that delivered record-setting low prices for solar power.
  • According to the World Bank's report -- Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE) 2018 -- charting global progress on sustainable energy policies, many of the world's largest energy-consuming countries significantly improved their renewable energy regulations since 2010.
  • The report was released on the side-lines of the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24).

About

Key takeaways from RISE 2018 are as follows:

  • Between 2010-2017, the number of countries with strong policy frameworks for sustainable energy more than tripled – from 17 to 59.
  • Many of the world’s largest energy-consuming countries have significantly improved their renewable energy regulations while adopting clear targets for both renewable energy and energy efficiency in the run-up to the 2015 Paris Agreement.
  • Progress is no longer contained to developed countries, there are strong performers in every region of the developing world.

Energy Access:

  • The countries that have increased their electricity access rates the most since 2010 have also shown a concurrent improvement in electricity access policies.
  • In countries with an electricity access deficit, policymakers are increasingly turning their attention to off-grid solutions to close the gap. This is illustrated by the soaring share of low-access countries adopting measures to support mini-grids and solar home systems from around 15% in 2010 to 70% in 2017.

Renewable Energy:

  • In 2017, 50 countries – almost double from 2010 – had developed significant policy frameworks to enable the uptake of renewable energy.
  • About 93% of countries covered by RISE had adopted an official renewable energy target and 84% of countries had regulations in place to support renewable energy deployment, while 95% allowed the private sector to own and operate renewable energy projects.
  • Still, clean energy policies continue to focus on electricity, while heating and transportation – which account for 80% of global energy use – continue to be overlooked.

Energy Efficiency:

  • The percentage of countries with advanced policy frameworks on energy efficiency grew more than ten-fold from 2% in 2010 to 25% in 2017. Today, these countries account for 66% of the world’s energy consumption.
  • But the global average score on energy efficiency remains low, suggesting significant room for improvement.

Clean Cooking:

  • Among the four SDG7 target areas, clean cooking continues to be the most overlooked and underfunded by policymakers.
  • Despite some evolution in policy frameworks since 2010, there has been little progress on standard-setting for cook stoves or on consumer and producer incentives to stimulate adoption of clean technologies.

Analysis

Renewable Energy Sector in India

  • Renewable energy sources and technologies have potential to provide solutions to the long-standing energy problems being faced by the developing countries.
  • To meet the energy requirement for such a fast growing economy, India will require an assured supply of 3–4 times more energy than the total energy consumed The renewable energy is one of the options to meet this requirement.
  • Today, renewable account for about 33% of India's primary energy consumptions. India is increasingly adopting responsible renewable energy techniques and taking positive steps towards carbon emissions, cleaning the air and ensuring a more sustainable future.
  • In India, from the last two and half decades there has been a vigorous pursuit of activities relating to research, development, demonstration, production and application of a variety of renewable energy technologies for use in different sectors.
  • The Indian renewable energy sector is the fourth most attractive renewable energy market in the world. The country ranks fourth in the world in terms of total installed wind power capacity.
  • Installed renewable power generation capacity has increased steadily over the years, posting a CAGR of 9.29 per cent over FY08–18. India added record 11,788 MW of renewable energy capacity in 2017-18 and 1,832.26 MW (grid interactive and off-grid) in April-July 2018.
  • As of July 2018, total renewable power generation installed capacity (grid interactive) in the country stood at 116.82 GW, which is 33.81 per cent of the total installed capacity of 345.49 GW.
  • The focus of Government of India has shifted to clean energy after it ratified the Paris Agreement. With the increased support of government and improved economics, the sector has become attractive from investors perspective. As India looks to meet its energy demand on its own, which is expected to reach 15,820 TWh by 2040, renewable energy is set to play an important role.

Government Initiatives

Some initiatives by the Government of India to boost the Indian renewable energy sector are as follows:

  • A new Hydropower policy for 2018-28 has been drafted for the growth of hydro projects in the country.
  • The Government of India has announced plans to implement a US$ 238 million National Mission on advanced ultra-supercritical technologies for cleaner coal utilisation.
  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has decided to provide custom andexcise duty benefits to the solar rooftop sector, which in turn will lower the cost of setting up as well as generate power, thus boosting growth.
  • Around 4.96 million household size biogas plants were installed in the country under the National Biogas and Manure Management Programme (NBMMP) in 2017.
  • The Indian Railways is taking increased efforts through sustained energy efficient measures and maximum use of clean fuel to cut down emission level by 33 per cent by 2030.

Way Forward

  • According to the World Bank report, among countries with large populations living without electricity, 75 per cent had by 2017 put in place the policies and regulations needed to expand energy access. But there were still significant barriers to global progress on sustainable energy.
  • The world is only about half way towards the adoption of advanced policy frameworks for sustainable energy. This puts at risk the achievement of SDG7 by 2030 and hinders progress towards the goal of keeping the rise in global temperatures to well below 2 degrees.
  • Policy enforcement is a key challenge. While strong policy frameworks are critical, they must be backed by effective institutions and enforcement.
  • The Government of India is committed to increased use of clean energy sources and is already undertaking various large-scale sustainable power projects and promoting green energy heavily. In addition, renewable energy has the potential to create many employment opportunities at all levels, especially in rural areas.
  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has set an ambitious target to set up renewable energy capacities to the tune of 175 GW by 2022 of which about 100 GW is planned for solar, 60 for wind and other for hydro, bio among other.
  • India will need investments of around US$ 125 billion to reach this target. As of June 2018, Government of India is aiming to achieve 225 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, much ahead of its target of 175 GW as per the Paris Agreement.
  • It is expected that by the year 2040, around 49 per cent of the total electricity will be generated by the renewable energy, as more efficient batteries will be used to store electricity which will further cut the solar energy cost by 66 per cent as compared to the current cost.
  • Use of renewables in place of coal will save India Rs 54,000 crore (US$ 8.43 billion) annually.
  • With a potential capacity of 363 Giga-watts (GW) and with policies focused on the renewable energy sector, Northern India is expected to become the hub for renewable energy in India.

Learning Aid

Practice Question:

The World Bank, in its RISE 2018 report, has praised India's success in renewable energy. In this light, examine the renewable energy sector in India. Discuss the steps taken by the government in this direction.

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