India is still bent on investing in coal amid its renewable energy plans

Lately, India has been focusing on reducing economic dependency and producing its valuables for consumption. Nevertheless, new policies and amendments have activated the country’s economic cycle, stirring increased energy use. India has recorded a high usage of fossil fuel energy to cater to electricity and power demands, especially in unpredictable weather patterns. However, New Delhi has maintained its stand on pushing for the uptake of renewable energy to facilitate the achievement of the Paris agreement on climate change. 

Statistics show that India’s energy consumption is ten times less than that of developed countries like the US. Nevertheless, the country’s high population proves to be the mapping agent for the government to be among the top carbon emitters. This sadistic statistic exists while the country is pushing for the uptake of renewables beyond the current 22 percent of the targeted 360 GW. India hopes that they can clock the 200 GW mark in renewable energy in the next two years. 

India’s desire to minimize carbon emissions is its primary target for adhering to the Paris Climate Agreement that sparks the venture of additional renewable energy sources. Nevertheless, the country is still utilizing pollutive fuels to cater to its growing economy. The country is buying itself out of the dependence on imported energy to meet its electricity demands to minimize its debt. 

One of the strategies to abscond imports is the full exploitation of coal energy. India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, revealed that the coal reservoirs would be reopening since the last five decades to solve the energy demands and improve the production scale. This strategy will accelerate electricity generation to 64 GW once the coal reservoirs achieve their maximum potential. 

These plans to rejuvenate the coal industry suppress the government’s efforts to substitute emissive coal with clean renewables. India’s energy secretary, R.K. Singh, stated that they would be phasing out the coal plants to create space for renewable energy production. 

The purpose of exploring renewables is to meet the environmental objectives the country has set and to serve the energy demands of the Indians living in marginalized areas. This move will facilitate technological growth through the utilization of solar energy in rural areas. 

Additionally, India will benefit greatly from exploring solar energy since it is the most affordable energy source that is environmentally friendly. Studies revealed that the cost of solar energy is 15 percent inexpensive than coal energy in India. 

Nevertheless, solar energy exuberance might sway once the other renewables get activated. India will face the challenge of operating a renewable energy mix, which is challenging considering the country’s economic state. Additionally, the country is still exploring the production of its solar components to halt the importation of these essentials from China. 

Finally, the Chinese solar components are cheaper, forcing the country to decide between imposing high tariffs to motivate the domestic industry or sustaining the importations to save on production costs. This dilemma makes the country stand at neutral grounds where it can utilize both renewables and coal.  


By Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and other federal agencies. He is a graduate of Middlebury College.
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