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India's transition to renewable would need strong policy support: ETC

ETC is a diverse international group that has members across the energy landscape

Shreya Jai  |  New Delhi 


Transition Committee (ETC), in a report last year suggested India not to make any new investment in the sector. is now willing to work with policymakers and redesign policies, which traditionally have been ‘coal-centric’. "We are arguing that if you are building a completely new system, it can be fully renewable in the coming 20-25 years,” told Lord Adair Turner, chairman, told Business Standard.

is launching two major initiatives this year, one is de-carbonising core infrastructure sectors globally and other is to take the vision of transition to renewable in India, said Turner.

is a diverse international group that has members across the landscape. It was convened to help identify pathways for change in systems to ensure both better growth and a better climate. This is inspired by the work of the New Climate Economy.

Turner said this year would introduce India chapter. has collaborated with in India to publish the report, which focuses on de-carbonisation of core manufacturing sectors such as steel, thermal power, manufacturing, automobiles and also suggest a transition in the Indian electricity space.

"India takes the basic proposition of switch to renewable and work out if it really works in India, in real details and specific circumstances in this country. We are looking at challenges around the electricity demand, existing coal-fired plants and ones, which will get stranded post renewable. This coupled with land and other capital availability challenge for renewable in India," said Turner.

In India, is expecting to face the dilemma of access and renewable based security, along with cost efficiency. and in their report bat for renewable as the cheaper and more efficient option than

“Price of renewable especially solar has come below Once the cost of storage plus renewable is below coal, it stands as the most viable option and meet demands of every person in the country. Existing capacity will continue to meet the till it becomes economically unviable. While new capacity will be renewable plus storage,” said Ajay Mathur, DG,

going green chart

In the Paris Climate Change commitment, India has set a target of 40 per cent of its would come from non-fossil fuel sources. The Indian government, however, has maintained that would remain the primary source and base for the country

The report observed that India has a 10-year window of opportunity to overcome the challenges to large-scale and economically preferential adoption of renewable “The prime consideration for utilisation of renewable thereafter would be whether the price of ‘despatchable renewable electricity’ i.e. renewable + balancing reaches Rs 5 per unit,” said the report.

It further said while the growth in electricity demand, policy, regulatory measures, and initiatives would lead to a “pull factor”, the dovetailing of international technological cooperation and financial support so as to overcome the “humps of challenge” would enable its realisation. This, the believes could provide a paradigm shift in the future of Indian electricity sector.

“In this economic transition, various kinds of issues will come up. The one currently happening is that capacity is suffering, because there is much greater capacity than there is Solar+Wind is only 8 per cent of total electricity and PLFs are down to below 50 per cent. Challenge is how we enable the transition along with the financial health of the sector,” said Mathur.

He further said that would provide policy options to meet the varied challenges when they come up during the transition to low carbon, green future.

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 23:50 IST