In the upcoming G20 forum, India is planning to propose a multiple energy pathways approach to accommodate the diverse contexts and development trajectories of countries, for which States of India, plays a very important role.
As India’s climate and energy targets are both at a confluence, it is important to look at the trajectory of growth and development.
States are critical actors in India’s energy transition as there is a multi-tier governance of energy production and usage.
An effective transition will require bridging the ambitions and implementation gaps between the Centre and the States.
Simultaneously, national ambitions need to factor the varying incentive structures, processes, and institutional capacities at the State level.
As of today only Gujarat, Karnataka, and Rajasthan met their individual targets in terms of achieving sustainable energy.
Moreover, about 80% of the current renewable energy capacity is confined to six states in the west and south of India.
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), a quarter of India’s energy demand can be met with renewable energy.
The country could potentially increase its share of renewable power generation to over one-third by 2030.
Estimated energy potential in India:
For 2006, the renewable potential was estimated as 85,000 MW with wind 4500 MW, solar 35 MW, biomass/bioenergy 25,000 MW, and small hydropower of 15,000 MW.
For Solar energy: India is a tropical country and receives significant radiation, and hence the solar potential is very high.
According to the annual report of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) for 2017–2018, the estimated potential of wind power was 302.251 GW (at 100-m mast height), of small hydropower 19.749 GW, biomass power 17.536 GW, bagasse cogeneration 5 GW, waste to energy (WTE) 2.554 GW, and solar 748.990 GW.
Why do states matter?
States are important entry points to engage with policy visions, plans and actions.
States as spheres of implementation are critical to the realisation of national targets.
The legacy issues in the electricity sector, such as high losses, unreliable supply and service quality, if left addressed, could be exacerbated by the transition.
States as laboratories of policy innovations have been instrumental to India’s energy transition.
States could also be roadblocks to national goals, particularly when the goals are perceived to be misaligned with State priorities.
For example: PM KUSUM is an adoption of successful State experiments on the solarisation of agriculture at a national scale.
Centre must mandate to update the State Action Plans on Climate Change, recommendations to set up State-level steering committees for energy transitions, and regular meetings of the Central and state energy ministers reinforce the importance of States.
Central agencies have also developed multiple indexes that rank States on different aspects of energy transition.
There is a need to complement analysis of State-level preparedness for energy transition.