India’s renewable energy sector create up to 2.4 million jobs by 2020, according to a report jointly commissioned by environmental group Greenpeace, the Global Wind Energy Council and the European Renewable Energy Council.
To date, the sector employs 200,000 people, but this could jump 14 times by 2030 with the right policies and investments in place, stated India Energy [R]evolution report.
By 2050, about 92 percent of India’s energy infrastructure will be based on renewable energy sources. Renewables such as wind, solar thermal energy and photovoltaic, will comprise 74 percent of electricity generation.
The study projected that the country will experience immediate market development, with high annual growth rates achieving renewable electricity share of 32 percent already by 2020 and 62 percent by 2030. Moreover, the installed capacity of renewable energy will reach 548 gigawatts in 2030 and 1,356 by 2050.
“It is a win-win strategy for India to combine security of energy supply and job creation,” said Sven Teske, Senior Energy Expert from Greenpeace International.
Meanwhile, the radical shift to renewable energy and energy efficiency on a long-term basis will deliver savings of about one-fourth of the country’s energy spending. Given that renewables have no fuel costs, India could save as much as 285 trillion Indian rupees ($ 5,500 billion) to 7.1 trillion Indian rupees ($ 138 billion) per year under the Energy [R]evolution scenario.
The total average yearly investment in fossil fuels will be offset by the growth of renewable energy, stated the report. Thus, India would shift roughly 97 percent of the overall investments in renewables along with cogeneration, of which the average renewable energy investments annually will reach 6.1 trillion India rupees ($ 117 billion) between 2011 and 2050.
“Future of India’s growth lies with massive expansion and deployment of renewable energy technologies through key policy reforms and significant investments, without putting any negative impact on its pristine forest and dependent marginalized communities,” stressed Greenpeace.
Renewable energy development will also help India reduce its carbon emissions, which is now crucial in the face of climate change. The report stated that the country will decrease its emissions from 1.7 million tons in 2009 to 426 million tons in 2050. Additionally, annual per capita emissions will drop from 1.4 ton per capita to 0.3 per capita. By 2050, India’s carbon emissions will be 72 percent of 1990 levels, noted the report.
The India Energy [R]evolution report, which focuses on the socio-economic impacts of renewable and proposes the pathway to ensure India’s energy security in the long run, “comes at a critical time when the country is facing massive power shortage due to the inability of fossil fuels to meet its economic aspirations,” said Greenpeace.
According to Abhishek Pratap, the environmental group’s Senior Energy Campaigner in India, the recent massive electricity grid failure and severe power shortages that hit India due to the staggering electricity demand, is a reminder that “coal and other fossil fuels have no future and their era of dominance is over.”
“A transition to renewable energy is the best and the only option for the government to secure the future growth of our nation,” he added.
by C. Dominguez