India’s fast-growing economy and population are consuming energy at a surging pace, but the country’s renewable-energy capacity seems to be growing fast enough to keep up. The Indian government estimates that India will meet two-fifths of its electricity needs with renewables by 2030, even though the country’s overall energy needs are likely to double by 2024.
India now gets 59 gigawatts of energy from renewable sources and aspires to reach 175 gigawatts by 2022, Power and Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh told reporters recently. He said that this target number would include 100 gigawatts of solar energy and 60 gigawatts of wind power.
India’s solar panels have reached a milestone 30% efficiency, and the prices for solar will likely decline, he added. However, analyses indicate that India will have to invest around U.S. $100 billion to meet its 2022 renewable-energy goal.
The International Energy Agency shares the Indian government’s optimism. In a report last month, the agency projected that Indian renewable capacity will “more than double” by 2022.
China is presently the world’s largest generator of renewable energy. It has attained 360 gigawatts of capacity and has already exceeded its 2020 solar PV goal this year.
But India and China are not the only places where renewable energy is set to flourish, the International Energy Agency said. It’s report forecasts that global renewable capacity in 2022 will total 1,000 gigawatts—the size of half of the entire world’s coal capacity. Solar energy would constitute a dominant share of this growth, according to the report.
“What we are witnessing is the birth of a new era in solar PV. We expect that solar PV capacity growth will be higher than any other renewable technology through 2022,” said Fatih Birol, the agency’s executive director.