Sources and scope for the use of renewable energy in India

The role of new and renewable energy has been assuming increasing significance in recent times with the growing concern for the country's energy security. Energy self-sufficiency was identified as the major driver for new and renewable energy in the country in the wake of the two oil shocks of the 1970s. The sudden increase in the price of oil, uncertainties associated with its supply and the adverse impact on the balance of payments position led to think for alternate energy.

Renewable energy resources and significant opportunities for energy efficiency exist over wide geographical areas of the country, in contrast to other energy sources, which are concentrated in a limited number of countries. Rapid deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency, and technological diversification of energy sources, would result in significant energy security and economic benefits.

Major sources in India are Solar power, Wind power and Waste to Energy. As India has high solar insolation and densely populated, an ideal condition for solar power. Due to lack of electric grid, use of solar power is limited in its application and use. For Wind Power, India is a relatively newer entrant and generates 1.6% of total energy through it. Waste energy has a greater scope as every year about 55 million tones of municipal solid wastes ( MSW) is generated in urban India.

A total power generation capacity of around 26,267 MW from renewable has been setup in the country as on 31.10.2012. A target of adding about 30,000 MW from various renewable energy sources has been fixed for the 12th Plan period.
--------------------------------------------------
Useful for UPSC Civil Services Exam