Ground Report | New Delhi: Renewable energy in India; Solar power installations are increasing rapidly around the world as countries intensify their renewable energy efforts and attempt to reduce carbon emissions from electricity generation.
China’s installed capacity of renewable energy power generation reached 1 billion kilowatts (kW) by the end of October. The Chinese government took ownership of one of the world’s largest cobalt mines from the Americans.
Installed hydropower capacity stood at 385 million kW, and installed wind power capacity increased 30.4 percent year over year to 299 million kW, while solar power capacity increased 23.7 percent to 282 million kW.
China aims to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. The country is promoting green and clean energy amid the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Despite being the world’s top emitter, the sheer size of the Chinese economy means that its vast energy needs are capable of accommodating the world’s largest coal and renewables fleets.
Government subsidies stimulated activity in the sector in the late 2010s, although subsidies for commercial projects have now been phased out in favor of a competitive auction model. China’s largest single solar project is the Huanghe Hydropower Hainan Solar (2.2 GW) solar park in Qinghai province.
India has the fifth largest installed solar capacity in the world, totaling 38 GW in 2019 and producing 54 TWh of electricity. Energy demand in India is expected to grow more than any other region in the coming decades and, as the world’s third-largest carbon emitter, policies are being developed to shift the country away from fossil fuels like coal in favor of renewable energies.
The government’s targets include 450 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030, and solar power is expected to be central to this ambition. By 2040, the IEA expects solar to have a share of about 31% of India’s energy mix based on currently stated policy ambitions, compared to less than 4% today.
The agency cites the “extraordinary cost competitiveness of solar energy” in India as a driving force for this change, “which surpasses existing coal power by 2030, even when combined with battery storage.” However, it will be necessary to address transportation network hurdles and land acquisition challenges to accelerate the development of India’s solar market in the coming years.