Renewable Energy: Civil Services Mentor Magazine: February - 2017

Renewable Energy

The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that world primary energy demand between now and 2030 will increase by 1.5% per year from just over 12,000 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) to 16,800 Mtoe- an overall increase of 40%. Developing Asian countries are the main drivers of this growth, followed by Middle East. growth in per capita energy consumption over the last two decades world-wide has taken place primarily on account of increased share of the transport sector followed by the manufacturing sector. The exceptions to this trend are China and India where the growth has taken place primarily in the manufacturing sector followed by the household sector. Going forward, some of the trends in global energy consumption are highlighted below:

A. Fossil fuels, especially coal, are expected to continue to provide the majority of the increase in marketed energy use worldwide. Oil and other petroleum products are also expected to continue to account for the largest share of world energy consumption, but their share is likely to fall over the next couple of years mainly due to increasing world oil prices.

B. Petroleum and other liquid fuels will remain the most important fuels for transportation in the coming years as there are few alternatives that can be expected to compete widely with petroleum-based liquids.

C. The share of biofuels is also expected to increase in the coming years. However there is a significant resource issue that will need to be addressed.

D. The rising price of oil is expected to have an impact on usage and demand for natural gas and non fossil fuel resources as well. Natural gas consumption is likely to go up in 2012 as it will be used to displace the use of liquid fuels in the industrial and electric power sectors in many parts of the world.

E. Global coal consumption is expected to rise sharply because with oil and natural gas prices expected to continue rising, coal will become appealing for nations with access to sufficient coal resources. This is especially going to be true for China, India, and the United States.

F. Natural gas and coal will continue to provide the massive shares of the total energy used for electricity generation worldwide.

G. Higher fossil fuel prices, energy security concerns, and environmental considerations are expected to improve the prospects for new nuclear power capacity and other grid-connected renewable energy sources in many parts of the world which is expected to continue to expand over 2012.

H. Rising fossil fuel costs, particularly for natural gas in the electric power sector, along with government policies and programs to support renewable energy, will allow renewable fuels to compete economically over time.
India's substantial and sustained economic growth is placing enormous demand on its energy resources. The demand and supply imbalance in energy sources is pervasive requiring serious efforts by GoI to augment energy supplies. India imports about 80% of its oil. There is a threat of these increasing further, creating serious problems for India's future energy security. There is also a significant risk of lesser thermal capacity being installed on account of lack of indigenous coal in the coming years because of both production and logistic constraints, and increased dependence on imported coal. Significant accretion of gas reserves and production in recent years is likely to mitigate power needs only to a limited extent. Difficulties of large hydro are increasing and nuclear power is also beset with problems. The country thus faces possible severe energy supply constraints.

Economic growth, increasing prosperity and urbanization, rise in per capita consumption, and spread of energy access are the factors likely to substantially increase the total demand for electricity. Thus there is an emerging energy supply-demand imbalance. Already, in the electricity sector, official peak deficits are of the order of 12.7%, which could increase over the long term. Renewable energy can make a substantial contribution in each of the above mentioned areas. It is in this context that the role of renewable energy needs to be seen. It is no longer "alternate energy", but will increasingly become a key part of the solution to the nation's energy needs.

Renewable energy has been an important component of India's energy planning process since quite some time. The importance of renewable energy sources in the transition to a sustainable energy base was recognized in the early 1970s. At the Government level, political commitment to renewable energy manifested itself in the establishment of the first Department of Non-Conventional Energy Sources in 1982, which was then upgraded to a full-fledged Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources (MNES) in 1992 subsequently renamed as Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). This is the only such Ministry in the world. MNRE is the nodal Ministry of the Government of India at the Federal level for all matters relating to new and renewable energy. The Ministry has been facilitating the implementation of broad spectrum programmes including harnessing renewable power, renewable energy to rural areas for lighting, cooking and motive power, use of renewable energy in urban, industrial and commercial applications and development of alternate fuels and applications. In addition, it supports research, design and development of new and renewable energy technologies, products and services.

The government is playing an active role in promoting the adoption of renewable energy resources by offering various incentives, such as generation-based incentives (GBIs), capital and interest subsidies, viability gap funding, concessional finance, fiscal incentives etc. The National Solar Mission aims to promote the development and use of solar energy for power generation and other uses, with the ultimate objective of making solar energy compete with fossil-based energy options. The objective of the National Solar Mission is to reduce the cost of solar power generation in the country through long-term policy, large scale deployment goals, aggressive R&D and the domestic production of critical raw materials, components and products. Renewable energy is becoming increasingly cost-competitive as compared to fossil fuel-based generation.

In order to achieve the renewable energy target of 175 GW by the year 2022, the major programmes/ schemes on implementation of Solar Park, Solar Defence Scheme, Solar scheme for CPUs Solar PV power plants on Canal Bank and Canal Tops, Solar Pump, Solar Rooftop etc have been launched during the last two years.

Various policy measures have been initiated and special steps taken in addition to providing financial support to various schemes being implemented by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) for achieving the target of renewable energy capacity to 175 GW by the year 2022. These include, inter alia, suitable amendments to the Electricity Act and Tariff Policy for strong enforcement of Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) and for providing Renewable Generation Obligation (RGO); setting up of exclusive solar parks; development of power transmission network through Green Energy Corridor project; identification of large government complexes/ buildings for rooftop projects; provision of roof top solar and 10 percent renewable energy as mandatory under Mission Statement and Guidelines for development of smart cities; amendments in building bye-laws for mandatory provision of roof top solar for new construction or higher Floor Area Ratio.

The Government of India has set a target of 175 GW renewable power installed capacity by the end of 2022. This includes 60 GW from wind power, 100 GW from solar power, 10 GW from biomass power and 5 GW from small hydro power.

A target of 16660 MW grid renewable power (wind 4000 MW, solar 12000 MW, small hydro power 250 MW, bio-power 400 MW and waste to power 10 MW), has been set for 2016-17. Besides, under off-grid renewable system, targets of 15 MW eq. waste to energy, 60 MW eq. biomass non-bagasse cogeneration, 10 MW eq. biomass gasifiers, 1.0 MW eq. small wind/hybrid systems, 100 MW eq. solar photovoltaic systems, 1.0 MW eq. micro hydel and 100,000 nos. family size biogas plants have been set for 2016-17.

Economic growth, increasing prosperity, a growing rate of urbanisation and rising per capita energy consumption has increases the energy demand of the country. In order to meet the energy demand, India has total installed power generation capacity of 307.27 GW as on 31.10.2016 from all resources. With 46.33 GW installed renewable power capacity, the renewable power has a share of about 15% to the total installed capacity.

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