Understanding the Nuances of Climate Change in the Indian Subcontinent: Impact and Way Forward is an Online International Monsoon School Program, a Six-Week Immersive Online Introductory Certificate Training Course from August-September 2023 by IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute. An informative and interactive panel discussion on “The Current State of Play of Energy Transition in India” was held by Mr. Srinivas Krishnaswamy.
Mr. Srinivas Krishnaswamy, the CEO of Vasudha Foundation, New Delhi, India took the stage to lead the session on “The Current State of Play of Energy Transition in India.” He commenced by presenting the ‘India Climate & Energy’ dashboard, a collaborative effort between Vasudha Foundation and NITI Aayog, which provides a comprehensive overview of India’s climate and energy landscape. The dashboard, launched in July, compiles granular data at various levels, including pan- India, state, district, and DisCom (electricity utility) levels, offering real-time updates.
Mr. Krishnaswamy began by focusing on India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets, which include a 45% reduction in the emission intensity of GDP by 2030 (from 2005 levels) and achieving 50% cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. He provided an overview of India’s progress towards these targets, using data from the dashboard to illustrate the nation’s yearly performance.
The discussion then shifted to renewable energy progress in India. Mr. Krishnaswamy highlighted the remarkable growth in solar capacity, which had risen from a mere 3.74 GW in 2014-15 to an impressive 71.14 GW, encompassing utility-scale and rooftop installations. Additionally, the total installed renewable capacity, including solar, wind, biomass, small hydro, and large hydropower plants, stood at 177.74 GW. He emphasized that all dashboard data is primarily sourced from government ministries, ensuring data security through the NIC server.
Mr. Krishnaswamy also touched upon pipeline capacity, which includes projects in various stages of construction. Solar pipeline capacity alone amounted to 68.20 GW, with a total pipeline capacity of 105.29 GW.
A Deep Dive into the Power Sector
The Power Sector Overview provided by the dashboard offered insights into the generation,
transmission, distribution, and consumption of power in India. Mr. Krishnaswamy highlighted the challenge of rising power consumption, which necessitates additional power generation. Notably, solar emerged as a leading addition to capacity in recent years, diverging from the predominantly coal-based additions seen in 2015-16.
The dashboard further provided a state-wise assessment, highlighting the top five states in renewable and individual capacity categories, such as coal, solar, wind, hydro, and biomass. Prominent states included Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. The session also discussed the prospects of Uttar Pradesh achieving its solar targets by 2026-27.
Challenges in the Power Sector
Addressing challenges in the power sector, Mr. Krishnaswamy pointed to the central role of
DisComs (Electricity Distribution Companies). He highlighted three major issues: DisComs’
reluctance to adopt renewables, payment delays by DisComs to power producers, and the lack of incentives for solar rooftop installations, as DisComs fear losing high-paying consumers.
Deep Dive into Power Purchase
To illustrate power purchase by DisComs at the state level, Mr. Krishnaswamy used Bangalore as an example, showcasing how this data is accessible through the dashboard.
Analytics and Insights
The dashboard includes an analytics section that allows for the combination of various parameters related to energy, climate, and the economy. Mr. Krishnaswamy demonstrated a state-wise peak power demand versus temperature change, exemplifying the possibilities for deeper analysis and insights.
Energy Transition Platform:
Mr. Krishnaswamy introduced another platform by Vasudha Foundation, the Energy Transition Platform, which brings together energy practitioners from eight South Asian countries. This platform aims to facilitate learning and collaboration in the energy transition journey. It provides insights into fossil versus non-fossil fuel share and offers an overview of the energy scenarios in each country. Notably, India and Sri Lanka are significant players in the hydro sector. The platform also covers the Air Quality Index.
In summary, Mr. Krishnaswamy’s presentation, utilizing the two platforms, painted a clear picture of countries in the Indian Subcontinent actively transitioning towards cleaner energy sources. The session concluded with an engaging Q&A session and a final vote of thanks from, underlining the significance of discussions on alternative energy solutions and the critical role of data-driven insights in the transition towards a sustainable energy future.
Acknowledgement: Priyanka Negi is a research intern at IMPRI.
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