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India achieves 12.95% of renewable energy potential

According to reports, the installed capacity of renewable energy has touched 32,269.6 Mw or 12.95% of the total potential available in the country, as on March 31, 2014. With this, the renewable energy, including large hydro electricity, constitutes 28.8% of the overall installed capacity in India.

According to the India Renewable Energy Status Report 2014 released at the ongoing Green Summit 2014 in Bangalore on Thursday, the total renewable energy potential from various sources in India is 2,49,188 Mw. The untapped market potential for overall renewable energy in India is 2,16,918.39 Mw that shows huge growth potential for renewable energy in India.

The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India has set a target of achieving overall renewable energy installed capacity of 41,400 Mw by 2017. This creates an opportunity worth $10.51 billion for the renewable market in India till 2017.

India has the world’s fifth-largest electricity generation capacity, which currently stands at 243 Gw. The power sector in India is highly diverse with varied commercial sources for power generation like coal, natural gas, hydro, oil and nuclear as well as unconventional sources of energy like solar, wind, bio-gas and agriculture. The demand for power has been growing at a rapid rate and overtaken the supply, leading to power shortages in spite of manifold growth in power generation over the years, the Report said.

Focused efforts are going to bridge this demand-supply gap by way of policy reforms, participation from private sector and development of the Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP).

“The power sector offers tremendous opportunities for investing companies due to the huge size of the market, growth potential and returns available on capital. Industrialisation, urbanisation, population growth, economic growth, improvement in per capita consumption of electricity, depletion of coal reserve, increasing import of coal, crude oil and other energy sources and the rising concern over climate change have put India in a critical position,” the Report said.

The government has to take a tough stance between balancing economic development and environmental sustainability. One of the primary challenges for India would be to alter its existing energy mix, which is dominated by coal, to a larger share of cleaner and sustainable sources of energy, the Report said.

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