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Home » CLEAN AND RENEWABLE ENERGY INITIATIVES

CLEAN AND RENEWABLE ENERGY INITIATIVES

GS 3, MAINS: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

 

  • Renewable energy is bound to play an increasingly important role in future energy systems. India has a huge potential for generating green electricity from the renewable energy sources.
  • To promote green energy, Government of India is launching many schemes for the renewable energy resources. India's renewable energy capacity has crossed the 80GW mark, which includes 29.55 GW of solar energy and 36.37 GW wind power.
  • The Government has set an ambitious target of having 175 GW of clean energy capacity by 2022, including 100 GW solar and 60 GW of wind energy.
  • A total of 80.46 GW of renewable energy capacity has been installed in the country as on June 30, 2019 which includes 29.55 GW from solar and 36.37 GW from wind power.

 INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE:

  • The vision and mission of the International Solar Alliance is to provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource-rich countries that lie completely or partially between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer, the global stakeholders, including bilateral and multilateral organisations, corporates, and industries to make a positive contribution to assist and help achieve the common goals of increasing the use of solar energy in meeting energy needs of prospective ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner.
  • The Alliance has three main programmes: promoting the use of solar water pumps instead of diesel pumps for irrigation; affordable financing for solar technology; and promoting solar mini-grids in the least-developed countries and small island nations. 

NATIONAL SOLAR MISSION (NSM):

  • India's ambitious mission on solar energy, the National Solar Mission (NSM) was launched in 2010 with active collaboration from states to promote ecologically sustainable growth while addressing India's energy security challenges.
  • The first phase of the mission was completed in 2013, which was focused on promoting scale-up in grid-connected solar capacity addition of 300 MW through a scheme of bundling with thermal power.

SOLAR PARKS:

  • Under the scheme for development of solar parks which was launched in December 2014, a total of 42 solar power parks with an aggregate capacity of around 23.40 GW have been approved by the Government so far to facilitate achievement of 100 GW target by March 2022.
  • Out of approved capacity of 23.40 GW, power purchase agreements (PPAS) have been signed for around 9.20 GW and out of this, around 6.40 GW of capacity has been commissioned in various solar parks as on 30 June 2019.
  • The total capacity of solar parks will generate more than 64 billion units of electricity per year which will lead to abatement of around 55 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year over its life cycle.
  • It would also contribute towards the long-term energy security of the country and promote ecologically sustainable growth by a reduction in carbon emissions and carbon footprint, as well as generate large direct and indirect employment opportunities in solar and allied industries, such as glass, metals, heavy industrial equipment, etc. 

KUSUM:

  • KUSUM: Recently, the Government of India has launched Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan-KUSUM with the objective of providing financial and water security to farmers.
  • This scheme has three components which include 10,000 MW of decentralized ground-mounted, grid-connected renewable power plants; installation of 17.50 lakh standalone solar-powered agriculture pumps and solarisation of 10 lakh grid-connected solar powered agriculture pumps.
  • The scheme aims to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022. The total central financial support provided under the scheme would be Rs. 34,422 crore.

  • This is a unique scheme in terms of direct employment potential. Besides increasing self- employment, this scheme is likely to generate employment opportunity equivalent to 6.31 lakh jobs for skilled and unskilled workers.
  • Renewable power plants of capacity 500 KW to 2 MW will be set up by individual farmers, cooperatives, panchayats or Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO) barren or cultivable lands. The power generated will be purchased by the distribution company at feed in tariffs determined by respective State Electricity Regulatory Commission.
  • The scheme will have substantial environmental impact in terms of savings of carbon dioxide emissions. All three components of the scheme combined together are likely to result in saving of about 27 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emission per annum.

SRISTI:

  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has introduced a new scheme Sustainable Rooftop Implementation for Solar Transfiguration of India SRISTI, to incentivize the installation of rooftop solar projects in India.
  • SRISTI scheme aims to achieve a national solar rooftop target of 40 GW till 2021-2022. Central financial assistance will be provided only for installation of rooftop solar plants in residential sectors.
  • The residential users may install the plant of capacity as per their requirement and the- respective State Electricity Regulatory Commission regulation.

NATIONAL WIND-SOLAR HYBRID POLICY:

  • In another initiative of clean energy, a National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy has been launched recently to provide a framework for promotion of large grid connected wind-solar PV hybrid system for efficient utilization of transmission infrastructure and land.
  • It also aims at reducing the variability in renewable power generation and achieving better grid stability. On technology front, the Policy provides for integration of both the energy sources i.e. wind and solar at AC as well as DC level.
  • The Policy also provides for flexibility in share of wind and solar components in hybrid project, subject to the condition that, rated power capacity of one resource be at least 25 per cent of the rated power capacity of other resource for it to be recognised hybrid project.
  • The Policy seeks to promote new hybrid projects as well as hybridisation of existing wind/ solar projects. The existing wind/solar projects can be hybridised with higher transmission capacity than the sanctioned one, subject to availability of margin in the existing transmission capacity. The Policy  

GREEN ENERGY CORRIDOR:

  • Green Energy Corridor is another initiative of Government of India for evacuation of large scale renewable energy for which Intra State Transmission System (iSTS) was proposed.
  • ISTS is being implemented by eight renewable rich states of Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The project is being implemented in these states by the respective State Transmission Utilities (STUs).

 

CONCLUSION:

  • The Government of India is implementing variety of schemes so that maximum clean energy can be tapped in the country and uninterrupted power supply can be ensured in remote areas.
  • Today, in this direction, more and more research and technological developments need to be done in the research institutes to conserve the clean and renewable energy for the interests of the country and a safe future.

PREVIOUS YEARS UPSC MAINS QUESTIONS:

  • “Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is a sine qua non to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs).” Comment on the progress made in India in this regard. (2018)
  • To what factors can be the recent dramatic fall in equipment cost and tariff of solar energy be attributed? What implications does the trend have for thermal power producers and related industry? (2015)
  • Should the pursuit of carbon credits and clean development mechanisms set up under UNFCCC be maintained even though there has been a massive slide in the value of a carbon credit? Discuss with respect to India’s energy needs for economic growth. (2014)
  • Write a note on India’s green energy corridor to alleviate the problem of conventional energy.  (2013)