Shri Raj Kumar Singh, Union Minister of State (I/C) Power, New and Renewable Energy, and Minister of State, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India said that in the last 6 years, India’s installed renewable energy capacity has increased by over two and a half times and stands at more than 141 Giga Watts (including large Hydro), which is about 37 per cent of the country’s total capacity (as on 16th June 2021). During the same period, the installed solar energy capacity has increased by over 15 times, and stands at 41.09 GW. India’s renewable energy capacity is the 4th largest in the world. In fact, our annual renewable energy addition has been exceeding that of coal based thermal power since 2017. The energy transition journey that we have already covered and the scale of the transition which we are set to achieve are both exemplary for the world, Shri Singh added.
Shri R. K. Singh was giving his giving key note address yesterday evening at the event on “Accelerating Citizen Centric Energy Transition”, organized by The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of India (PMI) to the United Nations and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW). The virtual event was organized on the side-lines of the Ministerial Thematic Forums week (21-25 June 2021) for the UN High Level Dialogue on Energy to be convened on 20th September 2021. India has been designated a Global Champion for “Energy Transition”, one of the five themes at the Dialogue.
Launching a booklet on “The India Story”, a compilation of Indian initiatives that are shaping India’s energy transition, the Minister said that “The India Story” booklet captures the essence of some of the flagship initiatives that have accelerated energy transition. These will continue to power our ambitious renewable energy programmes, with the end goal of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, while always keeping the citizen at the center of this transition. He also launched a website (www.energytransition.in), which will act as a repository of energy transition related knowledge resources from around the world.
Speaking at the event Shri R.K. Singh drew the attention towards investment opportunities in India’s RE sector. He said that during the last 7 years, over US$ 70 billion investment has been made in renewable energy in India. India has a very liberal foreign investment policy for renewables allowing 100% FDI through the automatic route in sector. Ensuring “Ease of doing business” is our utmost priority. Our continuous focus is on maintaining sanctity of contracts and safeguarding investments. We have established dedicated Project Development Cells (PDC) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cells in all Ministries for handholding and facilitating domestic and foreign investors. Adequate measures and safeguards have also been undertaken to address the concerns of businesses and investors arising out of the Covid pandemic, Shri Singh said.
He further informed that a Renewable Energy Investment Promotion and Facilitation Board (REIPFB) Portal has also been developed to provide one-stop assistance and facilitation to the Industry and Investors for development of projects and bringing new investment to the Renewable Energy sector in India.
Shri Singh lauded the commitment shown by the Indian Industry to India’s Energy Transition plans. Several members from the Industry have voluntarily declared RE goals and committed to Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), Renewable 100% (RE100) and Science based targets (SBTs). Many of them are also preparing substantive Energy Compacts for the September Dialogue. He was pleased to inform that JK Cement, Ultratech, Toyota, NTPC have already submitted their Energy Compacts.
While talking about the initiatives that will pave the way for future of energy transition in India, Shri R K Singh informed that rules are being framed for ‘green tariff’ policy that will help electricity distribution companies (Discoms) supply electricity generated from clean energy projects at a cheaper rate as compared to power from conventional fuel sources. In addition to that government is promoting Green Hydrogen with obligations for Fertilizers and Refining industries (Green Hydrogen Purchase obligations).
The Minister also mentioned about the recent initiatives in renewable energy sector such as Viability Gap Funding options for Offshore Wind Energy , launching of Green Term Ahead Market and Green Day Ahead Market. Rules for facilitating RE through Open Access and RE procurement through exchanges will also be notified to promote non – conventional resources of energy.
Other dignitaries addressing the event were Mr. T.S. Tirumurti, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, Mr. Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi, Secretary, MNRE , Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, International Solar Alliance and Ms Tracey Crowe, Chief of Staff and Senior Director of Internal Programmes, SEforall, Ms Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for SE4ALL and Co-Chair, UN-Energy. Mr Stéphane Crouzat, French Ambassador for Climate Change Negotiations, Renewable Energies and Climate Risk Prevention also shared a pre-recorded video message for the event.
The addresses were followed by a vibrant panel discussion on “Corporate commitments to accelerate citizen-centric energy transition”. The panel comprised of Mr Gurdeep Singh, Chairman & MD, NTPC Ltd, Ms Meher Pudumjee, Chairperson, Thermax Ltd, Mr Sumant Sinha, Founder, Chairman & MD, ReNew Power, Mr Chris Roe, Head of Global Sustainability Operations, Amazon, Mr Venu Nuguri, MD & CEO India and South Asia, Hitachi ABB Power Grids, and Mr A C K Nair, Director, Cochin International Airport Ltd. The discussions were moderated by Dr. Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, CEEW.