|Topic: GS3 – Environment- Renewable energy, GS2- Govt policies and intervention
This topic is not much relevant in the context of Prelims but more for Mains in the context of in-depth analysis, discussion of challenges, and proposes strategies related to India’s decarbonization efforts.
- 2019 had 3.1 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), mostly CO2, according to India’s Third National Communication (2023).
- With its 76% share of emissions, the energy sector was followed by industrial processes at 8% and agricultural at 13%.
- Within the energy sector, 39% of CO2 emissions were attributed to power generation, including sources that relied on coal.
- There are obstacles in the way of attempts to lessen reliance on fossil fuels for transportation and power generation.
- While switching to renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and hydropower is viable, there are obstacles to the broad adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), particularly for four-wheelers because of the lack of adequate charging infrastructure.
- The shift away from fossil fuels is difficult for industries like steel and iron that need a lot of heat.
- Industries with constant heat demands might not be able to meet their specific needs from renewable sources.
- Additionally, aviation and heavy transport sectors find it tough to replace fossil fuels, with sustainable aviation fuel research still in fledgling stages.
- Green hydrogen is becoming more and more of a viable answer for challenging industries and areas like heavy transportation.
- However, the production of green hydrogen worldwide is still in its early stages at less than 1%.
- India wants to produce 5 million metric tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030, but doing so will require a significant amount of water and renewable energy.
- It takes a lot of green power and water to produce green hydrogen, and there are logistical issues with its storage and transit.
- Since hydrogen pressurisation and storage problems are energy-intensive, these challenges must be resolved in order to achieve successful decarbonisation.
- Renewable Capacity Scaling-Up as Low-Hanging Fruit:
- Increasing the amount of renewable energy produced appears to be the most practical and quick fix for India’s decarbonisation efforts.
- The nation’s needs are not met by the current renewable capacity, even with significant increase.
- Effective renewable capacity promotion requires streamlining land acquisition procedures, guaranteeing prompt payments to renewable generators, and giving grid access top priority.
- Maintaining investor trust requires policy pronouncements to be consistent.
- The government’s goal of being net-zero by 2070 means that green hydrogen projects, EV uptake, and renewable energy must be given top priority.
- To achieve decarbonisation targets, policy direction clarity, the implementation of basic customs tariffs, and an emphasis on quick, affordable expansion in renewable capacity will be essential.
- The article highlights that boosting renewable capacity should be the sole agenda issue for the upcoming power ministers’ meeting.
- India needs to solve policy inconsistencies, give priority to renewable energy, and create an atmosphere that encourages the quick adoption of sustainable practices if it is to meet its goals of being net-zero.
|PYQ: Do you think India will meet 50 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy by 2030? Justify your answer. How will the shift of subsidies from fossil fuels to renewables help achieve the above objective? Explain. (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2022)
|Practice Question: Evaluate the feasibility of achieving net-zero aspirations by 2070 and propose policy measures for effective decarbonization. Highlight the significance of scaling up renewable capacity and address the issues surrounding policy consistency in this regard. (200 words/12.5 m)