The nation of India is deeply committed to renewable energy. The world’s seventh largest emitter of global warming pollution, India is also the fifth biggest producer of emissions from fossil fuels. In a positive sign – India is taking the sunshine from its ample deserts, to create a brighter future with renewable energy from solar power.
A village in Northwest Rajasthan’s Pokharan Tehsil, Dhursar, is at the forefront of India’s pledge for solar energy. The home of only 1,400 people, the village is the site of a 40-megawatt solar voltaic plant developed by Rajasthan Sun Technique Energy Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of Reliance Power.
Next month, the company is scheduled to open a 100-megawatt, 620-acre project that will concentrate the sun’s rays to convert water to superheated steam and generate electric power. The $345 million project is the largest project of its kind under India’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, which aims to install 20,000 megawatts of solar power in India by 2022.
Starvation never takes a vacation —
It’s all part of the Asian giant’s plan, which started at the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations in Copenhagen back in 2009. At that time, India pledged to reduce its climate-changing emissions, per unit of GDP, by 20 to 25 percent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels.
India today has 2.28 million megawatts of power generating capacity, and about 12.4 percent of that comes from renewable energy, the ministry says.
Other firms are beginning to build more than a thousand miles of transmission lines to get the power to where it is needed, with up to $500 million in financial backing.
The state government Rajasthan, with its 300 days a year of sunshine and cheap desert land, has set an even more impressive goal. The government there has recently announced that it intends to install 25,000 megawatts of solar energy in the state within the next five years, and infrastructure to transmit that power to the national grid.
If the plan succeeds, it would put India ahead of countries like China, the United States and Italy in solar energy production. The world’s leader in solar energy, Germany,has over 32,000 megawatts of solar capacity.
“The state government is working on plans to develop logistics and attract investors targeting capacity of 25,000 megawatts in Rajasthan,” Chandra Shekhar Rajan, additional chief secretary for infrastructure with the Government of Rajasthan says.
He admitted such a scale-up of solar energy was “a mammoth task,” but said the project was attracting interest, including recently from two Japanese public sector energy giants, METI and NEDO.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in the Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>