- Infrastructure- energy.
How PM Modi’s 450 GW power plan can change Indian economy?
Context: At the global climate summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a path-breaking pledge to more than double India’s non-fossil fuel target to 450 gigawatts.
Climate Action Summit:
The Climate Action Summit aims to boost action to implement the Paris Agreement, which was signed in 2015.
The Paris deal aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Increasing the share of non-fossil fuels in India’s fuel mix to 450 gigawatts (GW) can transform country’s economy in three ways:
- Help to reduce India’s dependence on coal, the fossil fuel which contributes to 60% of the country’s total carbon emissions.
- Can make India a global leader in new cost effective solar technologies provided it can beat China, which leads in manufacturing of cheaper solar photo-voltaic and other equipment.
- Can give boost to electric mobility in India, which rightly has been the Centre’s focus in the recent months.
Need of the hour:
- For being renewable innovator, India needs to focus on green technology research in premier institutes such as Indian Institute of Sciences in Bengaluru and Indian Institutes of Technology, which are working in different fields of new and renewable energy.
- India also needs to provide skill training to youth in the area, which according to New and Renewable Energy ministry can generate around 10 million jobs by 2022, India’s target year to achieve 175 GW of renewable energy under the Paris climate agreement.
What should the government do?
- Integrate energy and environment policy: The various ministries currently engaged with energy and the environment should be collapsed into one omnibus Ministry of Energy and Environment.
- An “Energy and Environment Security Act” should be passed at the earliest possible opportunity.
- Decarbonisation, demand management and efficiency should be the watchwords of the government’s energy policy.
- Intensify exploration and enhance recovery.
- Increase Natural Gas usage.
Such a transition would be a costly affair and will need easy and cost effective technology transfer from the developed western world. But, it also provides India an opportunity to innovate in reducing emissions from coal which is possible through different carbon sequestration technologies.