Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi – The architect of transformation of India’s energy ecosystem

RK Singh
Contd from prev issue
In COP 21 in Paris, India had also pledged that it will bring down the emission intensity of its economy by 33% as compared to 2005 levels.  We are well on our way to achieving this. Under the LED Programme (UJALA), over 1.15 billion LEDs have been sold since 2015, leading to a reduction of CO2 emissions by 171 million tonnes per annum. Under the PAT (Perform Achieve & Trade) - the Energy Efficiency Programme for Industry, we have achieved a reduction of CO2 emissions by 86 million tonnes per annum by 2020.   Under our programme for energy efficiency in appliances – the star-rating programme, we have achieved a reduction of 53 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum.  By 2019, we had already achieved an emission intensity reduction of almost 28%.
We have reformed our investment policies to allow upto 100% FDI in the RE sector via the automatic route and brought RE into priority sector lending.  The sector has attracted over USD 70 billion in investment and offers an opportunity of another USD 227 billion in generation alone.  Since 2017, annual investments in RE in India have exceeded those in fossil fuels.
Operational parameters have been reformed to enhance the ease of doing business.  In 2020, during COVID-19, the ‘must-run’ status for RE Projects were maintained, preventing curtailment unless grid stability is at risk.  Ensuring payment security with demand aggregation through bids by intermediary procurers such as SECI, NTPC and NHPC on behalf of states, dispute resolution mechanisms; and fiscal incentives such as waiver of Inter-State Transmission (ISTS) charges till June 2025, have facilitated the energy transition.
The strategy to offer a ‘plug-and-play’ model to developers via utility-scale solar parks, which provide ready access to land, grid and other infrastructure, has helped minimise uncertainties and shortened project commissioning timelines.  Since 2015, the Government has sanctioned 47 solar parks in 15 states, with aggregate capacity of 37.7 GW, Karnataka’s 2 GW Pavagada Solar Park is among the largest in the world.
The PM-KUSUM Scheme, launched in March 2019, aims to add ~31 GW capacity through solar plants on barren / fallow / marshy land owned by farmers; replace 2 million diesel pumps with standalone solar pumps, and solarise 1.5 million grid-connected agri-pumps, using domestically made solar cells and modules.  PM-KUSUM is providing energy and water security to farmers, de-dieselising the farm sector and enhancing farmers’ income through excess solar power sale.  It will save ~32 million tonnes of CO2 emissions and 1.4 billion litres of diesel annually.
On the urban side, the Solar Cities Programme aims to develop at least one solar city in state, to source all electricity from renewable.  So far, 23 States / UTs have identified cities to be developed as Solar Cities. To be contd