Affiliations: [a] Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism, Kalindi College, University of Delhi | [b] Research Fellow, Centre for WTO Studies, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi
Abstract: India’s colossal renewable energy (RE) target (achieving 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022) requires a clear strategy roadmap, integrated planning, and a holistic system approach. However, the loopholes in institutional mechanisms are bound to hinder the process of policy formulation and implementation for the aspired quantum leap. This article is an attempt to observe the governance of renewable energy in India while exploring the issues and challenges that have been stalling the process of clean energy uptake. The article discovers that despite the comprehensive policy and regulatory frameworks, the huge disconnect between the central policies and regional needs have created barriers for deployment of renewable technologies. The article also emphasizes the provision for clean energy financial support to be made available to the states for addressing the disparities between RE potential and the development cost and planning for better grid management systems. The RE targets also demand an intensive capital market development and innovative financial support mechanisms and products. While aligning itself with the clean energy goals, India needs to focus significantly on the energy needs of the rural population which has been grappling with electricity cuts and brownouts. For regions with limited or no electricity supply, the government should aggressively promote the ideas of off-grid solar power and micro grids. The article also recommends the possibilities for private sector investments, rural entrepreneurship, and public-private ventures for filling in the gaps, and thus, harnessing the potential of RE-rich states.
Keywords: Renewable energy, UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), India, clean energy, grid integration, Solar Mission, NAPCC, climate change, rural electrification