India has hit its renewable energy target four years ahead of schedule, and is now aiming at a target four-times as large by the year 2022.
The initial target of installing 20GW of solar power domestically by 2022 was set back in January of 2018. Now, however, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s advisor and head of India’s climate change program at the Department of Science and Technology, Dr Akhilesh Gupta has confirmed the nation has already exceeded it.
“India has now set a target of achieving 100-giawatts of solar power by 2022,” he told the media earlier this week. Speaking of the threat that a changing climate poses to India’s health, Dr Gupta said that “it is a global trend vis-a-vis climate change that least contributors are the worst affected.” He made this point while using the example of India’s Northeast areas of Assam and Mizoram.
“Assam is highly vulnerable because [it’s the] area under least irrigation, least forest area available per 1,000 rural households, least number of farmers taking loans, lowest per capita income, low percentage area covered under crop insurance and low participation in the national rural employment program,” he said.
India has one of the world’s largest producers of renewable energy since the initiative was launched, powering as much as 34.6 percent of its total installed power capacity. Hydro-electric power accounts for 45-gigawatts of power - 13% of India’s total power capacity - while wind power accounts for 36-megawatts, making India the world’s fourth-largest wind producer in the world.
Dr Gupta said the government has been trying to tackle the intensity of the country’s emissions for a number of years now, with the target of reducing emissions relative to India’s GDP by 12%.
According to reports, “four of the top seven largest solar parks worldwide are in India, including the second largest park in the world at Kurnool Andhra Pradesh, with a capacity of 1000MW.”
Dr Gupta confirmed that construction of the world’s largest solar plant - the Dhadla Solar Park in the Rajasthan province - will be finished shortly, which will have a capacity of 2,255 mega-watts. He also mentioned that India will push its nuclear-power capabilities, adding that it wants to increase its capacity to 63-gigawatts by 2032.