According to reports, the most critical challenge remains securing our energy supplies – and here we have an opportunity to leap-frog developed nations and make renewables a cornerstone of our energy policy says Mr. Tulsi Tanti, Chairman, Suzlon Group.
We are a nation of over a billion souls, which only make our challenges that much greater – we must not only have these life essentials, but also ensure universal access at affordable prices. Here, I believe the key lies in energy – as a catalyst and enabler for overall development.
India as an economy, has always been short of the energy needed to truly unleash our potential. However, we have not let this stand in our way. Instead, this has led us to unique approaches to solving problems, which has become known as ‘frugal innovation’. We have used our circumstances as a competitive advantage, creating solutions that others would never have dreamed of, and we must continue to do so.
I believe we have several levers that we can use to drive this forward. Our need of the hour is infrastructure; the Government has made huge strides in improving our national infrastructure across the board, and it is essential that we capitalise on this momentum.
A key aspect of this will be extending Section 80 (IA), a tax holiday for infrastructure projects, to incentivise and accelerate funding into critical areas. Within infrastructure, the most critical challenge remains securing our energy supplies – and here we have an opportunity to leap-frog developed nations and make renewables a cornerstone of our energy policy.
India in the past decade executed one of the best policy regimes for renewable energy anywhere in the world. The success of this is clear for all to see – despite being a late starter, in wind alone, we rank as the fifth largest wind power nation in the world.
However, we are now poised at a critical juncture where two key policies – accelerated depreciation and generation-based incentive – are subject to renewal. I believe there is a strong case to extend both frameworks for the course of the next Plan period. This will create a stable, positive investment environment that can catalyse foreign and domestic investment into the sector, and add an enormous boost to sustainable and secure domestic energy production.
With the nation building potential of renewable energy, there is a clear case to prioritise action in the sector. This could be achieved through a variety of systems, for example: incentivising States to push renewables, making financing renewables a priority for financial institutions, utilising the coal cess to fund renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure projects.
Finally, we must measure ourselves to what we set forth. Our goal as a nation is sustainable and inclusive development, and I believe we must hold ourselves to these goals and carefully judge each budget to see if the right resources are in the right place. A green budget is the foundation for a green, vibrant nation.