India to offer incentives for solar modules to promote renewable sources

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said production-linked incentives will be offered for high-efficiency solar modules to boost the generation of electricity from renewable sources which have the potential to generate an annual business of $20 billion

Speaking at the Global RE-Invest 2020 conference, he invited global investors to join India’s renewable energy journey.

“There are huge renewable energy deployment plans for the next decade. Today, India’s renewable power capacity is the fourth largest in the world. It is growing at the fastest speed among all major countries,” he said, adding that these are likely to generate business prospects of the order of around $20 billion per year.

Renewable energy capacity will rise to 220 GW by 2022 from the current 136 GW, he added. At current exchange rates, $20 billion translates to around Rs 1.5 lakh crore and Rs 15 lakh crore in a decade.

Modi said that after the success of Production Linked Incentives (PLI) for electronics manufacturing, “we have decided to give similar incentives to high-efficiency solar modules”.

The prime minister also stressed that ensuring “ease of doing business” is our utmost priority and dedicated project development cells have been established to facilitate investors.

“In the last six years, we increased our installed renewable energy capacity by two-and-a-half times,” he said. “Our annual renewable energy capacity addition has been exceeding that of coal-based thermal power since 2017”.

Even when it was not affordable, investments were made in renewable energy. Now, investments and scale are bringing costs down, he said.

Noting that in the last six years, India has been travelling on an unparalleled journey, Modi said, “we are expanding our generation capacity and network to ensure every citizen of India has access to electricity to unlock his full potential”.

He also emphasized “We are showing to the world that sound environmental policies can also be sound economics. We have ensured energy efficiency is not limited to one ministry or department. Instead, it has been made a target for the entire government. All our policies have a consideration of achieving energy efficiency.”

He inaugurated the third Global Renewable Energy Investment Meeting and Expo (RE-Invest 2020) through video conferencing. The summit is being organized by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and this year’s theme is ‘Innovations for Sustainable Energy Transition’.

Power Minister RK Singh said that India has transformed from being an energy deficit to being an energy surplus, connected the entire country with one grid, and connected 28 million households in 18 months, which is the largest programme in the whole world.

India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) state that 40 percent of energy production would be from non-fossil fuel sources.

Singh said that India currently has 38.1 percent installed capacity from non-fossil fuel sources.

By 2030, India plans to achieve 64 percent power generation capacity from renewable sources, which would be 24 percent higher than our commitment under the Paris Agreement, he added. The minister said that India is the only G20 country to take action set to keep the increase in temperature below 2 degrees celsius. New technologies like green hydrogen and green urea would help in electrifying other major sectors of the country.

Dan Jorgensen, Minister for Climate, Energy & Utilities, Denmark, said that India’s target for renewable energy sends out a strong signal to the industry and the world that “you are committed to greening of the country”.
At the inaugural session, Alok Sharma, President, COP26 and Secretary, Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, UK said there is a need to de-carbonize the economy five times faster than we have done in the past.

He said that India is a key partner as the country has led the way for a renewable energy revolution through the conception of ISA (International Solar Alliance), increasing its renewable energy capacity by 13 times in the last five years, achieving the lowest tariffs, leading the largest energy access plan and much more to come.
According to him, the UK has been able to reduce 43 percent of its emissions and houses the largest offshore wind project.

In his video message, Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, said, that India leads in climate change and renewable energy, and both the countries have been firm supporters of Paris Agreement and ISA members.

In February 2021, the Netherlands will bring in a virtual trade Mission to India to discuss water and renewable energy and travel across India.

He said that the COVID-19 crisis has hit society hard and all countries have realized that green investment is the way forward, which will make economies more resilient and reshape the future of energies.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, said that the future of the world in clean energy. He said that at present, 10 percent of the energy consumed by Israel comes from solar sources and the target is to increase it to 25 percent by 2030.

The major issue is storage and about 400 startup companies are working in this space with billions of dollars of investment. These startups are expected to bring solutions that will benefit people across the world, he noted.

Global RE-Invest 2020 will feature a three-day conference on renewables and future energy choices, and an exhibition of manufacturers, developers, investors, and innovators.

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