As a country, India has reached a point where renewable energy is the first response, not the last resort anymore. Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to have laid ample emphasis on the need for chasing the renewable energy dream if the country is to cut down its import bills and people are to move away from costly fossil fuel and eco-unfriendly ways of generating power.
According to an article published in ELE Times, the state government of Gujarat has set a target of achieving 30 GW (30,000 MW) of renewable energy generation by 2022 from the current generational capacity of 9670 MW.
The State’s Chief Secretary J N Singh was quoted by the ELE Times stating, “Gujarat will have over 30,000 MW of renewable energy by 2022, the roadmap for which has been finalised.” Currently, the total production of renewable energy in Gujarat stands at 9,670 MW which is an accumulation of 6,880 MW wind energy and 2,654 MW solar energy.
The article further quotes the state’s latest budget announcement which was made in July. The Gujarat government announced its plans to increase its target for power generation capacity from renewable sources to touch or surpass 30 GW by 2022. The state also plans on selling close to 10,000 MW of the generated power to other states.
In September, the state’s energy minister Saurabh Patel had announced that the his government’s rooftop solar panel scheme aims to cover two lakh households by March 31 next year. This scheme was to allow people to install solar panels for electricity generation on the roof of their houses, and if there is surplus electricity, they can sell it to the power grid.
Gujarat has been taking initiatives to push the adoption of renewable energy sources. An example of this could be noted when the state government had made a provision of Rs. 1,000 crore in the current year’s budget for the scheme, adding that the households which install solar panels will get 40 percent subsidy from the government for 2 kW capacity and 20 percent subsidy for 3 kW to 10 kW capacity systems.
In July, Gujarat had emerged as the state with the maximum installed rooftop solar capacity in India, with 261.97 MW installed in the state as per the latest data that was tabled in Rajya Sabha on July 23, 2019.
We are certainly moving in the right direction by putting emphasis on the importance and adoption of the renewable energy but are we taking enough efforts? Thanks to the global technological advancements in the field of renewable energy, the costs of production have come down. However, unfortunately, India couldn’t reap the benefits to the extent it should.
Shouvik Chakraborty writing in the Hindu hits the nail on the head by suggesting that if the central government and the states are truly concerned about deteriorating environmental conditions, there is an immediate need to spend more on research and development in the renewables area.