As Planet Earth continues to be blanketed with toxic and dangerous air, the subject of clean energy has occupied centrestage across the globe. Global pollution levels stand at pernicious levels threatening the existence of life on Earth. The recently held 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco asked countries to commit to limiting their carbon output and laying significant emphasis on the development of clean energy. Indiaâs signing of Paris Agreement on Climate Change on the historic day of Gandhi Jayanti this year (2 October) is a giant move for a country which is the fourth largest carbon emitter in the world.
The world has now realised the catastrophic ramifications of fossil fuels which may force us to a point of no return. There is an increasing demand for renewable energy resources and intelligent technology to produce nature-friendly fuels and sustain the healthy environment fundamental to all living species.
India stands second after China in releasing air pollutants on account of inefficient technology and lack of pollution management mechanism. Studies indicate that every year more than 6 million people could die early due to air pollution. Further, there is the threat of climate change baffling scientists worldwide, which is also being blamed on global warming arising due to use of fossil fuels. Therefore, renewable and sustainable energy is the need of the hour as the conventional energy is soon going to be exhausted to zero in the upcoming future.
Reportedly, India was first in the world to set up a dedicated ministry on non-conventional energy. However, as per a study, Indiaâs per capita consumption of energy is low as compared to other developed nations like Japan, Europe, USA, Australia and many more. But over the next decade and half, the demand for energy is going to augment from 776 TWh in 2012 to 2,488 TWh in 2030 due to increase in urbanisation, industrialisation, manufacturing sectors, infrastructure sectors and moreover to provide accessible and affordable energy to Indiaâs 300 million poor people.
It is important for society to understand the escalating threat of non-renewable sources and non-toxic benefits deriving from renewable energy. In many cases, it is observed that different sectors in India are welcoming the changes through the use of renewable sources in their daily life. Be it energy efficient biofuels for transportation, solar rooftop for energy consumption in industries, solar power for electrifying inaccessible villages, solar photovoltaic pumps for irrigation or cooking mid-day meals through solar cook stove, the renewable revolution is trending in India.
For instance, Latehar district of Maoist-infested Jharkhand installed âgreen mobile towersâ powered fully by solar energy. States like Tamil Nadu and Kerala have opted for solar-enabled items to replace completely the grid-connected agricultural equipments.
A school in Almora district of Uttarakhand cooks mid-day meals using solar cookers except during the days of rain and snowfall. Last but most interesting of all is the âSoura Rathaâ, a solar power cart which requires one-time charge but can provide continuous emergency energy for 72 hours. Launched in Odisha, the first-of-its-kind solar power cart that can produce up to 1 KW green energy was launched keeping in mind the occasional natural disasters in Odisha.
The call for clean and green energy has pushed Indiaâs energy sector to consolidate the wider spectrum of solar, wind, hydro, thermal, biomass, biogas and waste (important sources of green energy) for developing efficient and sustainable energy mechanisms against the extinction of fossil fuels and address the climate challenges in India and the world. There is no doubt that India is running out of conventional energy at a good pace but the country still abounds with adequate natural resources for meeting the energy demand of the present â and many more generations to come.
After assessing the poor energy scenario in India for the past five years, the MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) in 2010 launched an ambitious programme called JNNSM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission) to deploy 22,000 MW of grid-connected solar power by 2022. Now, it would be interesting to watch how India meets the target as the Phase I of the programme has already been covered, although, the result wasnât satisfactory.
Not to forget countryâs ambitious target of 175 GW of renewables by 2022 in which 100 GW solar, 60GW wind, 5 GW small hydro and 10 GW bio energy have been distributed. And talking about the rural electrification, the NDA government promises to light up 5,97,646 villages by May 2017. A recent record reads that as of 2 November 2016, the electrification of 5,90,642 villages (98.83 percent) is complete.