In a video statement to the UN High Level Dialogue on Energy 2021 held on Friday on the sidelines of the 76th General Assembly session, Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy R K Singh said India has set an ambitious target of 450 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2030 and is all set to launch a National Hydrogen Energy Mission to scale up in a major way the use of green hydrogen toward decarbonisation of the economy.
Green hydrogen is created using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels. It has the potential to provide clean power for manufacturing, transportation, and the only byproduct is water.
“Today, as we discuss energy transition, energy access and finance, I would like to reiterate the importance of being fully sensitive to the energy-mix and national circumstances of different countries. There cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution,” Singh said.
The National Hydrogen Energy Mission would scale up annual green hydrogen production to 1 metric ton (MT) by 2030. The mission would make India a global hub for green hydrogen production and export, the minister said, adding that the country is also continuing to work on improving energy efficiency across various sectors and several renewable energy based citizen centric measures like solarisation of agriculture and the rooftop solar programme.
India’s Energy Compacts submitted to the dialogue on energy reflect “our endeavours and commitment toward energy transition. Our partners in the public and private sectors have further committed to transformative goals through their own energy compacts”.
According to a statement released by the UN, India also committed to begin a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme to add 10 GW solar PV manufacturing capacity by 2025, create 15 million metric tonnes (MMT) production capacity of compressed biogas (CBG) by 2024, achieve 20% ethanol blending in petrol by Ethanol Supply Year 2025-26.
India has also promised to enhance energy efficiency in agriculture, buildings, industry and transport sectors and promote energy-efficient appliances/equipment to reduce India’s emissions intensity of GDP by 33-35% over 2005 levels by 2030.
Singh told the meeting that India has set for itself ambitious targets for the energy transition and has taken many bold steps towards achieving them.
“We achieved universal access to electricity by electrifying more than 18,000 villages in under 1,000 days and more than 28 million households in just 18 months in what was the largest expansion of access in such a short time anywhere in the world,” he said.
Singh said India’s installed non-fossil fuel based electricity generation capacity today stands at more than 153 GW, which comes to more than 39% of the country’s total installed power generation capacity. India has a further 63 GW under installation and 29 GW under bid and this comes to 245 GW overall.
New multi-billion-dollar commitments to increase renewables and access to electricity and clean cooking technologies were announced at the critical UN energy summit aimed at boosting efforts to reduce the ranks of nearly 800 million people living in energy poverty without electricity access while setting the world on a trajectory towards net-zero-emissions by 2050.
More than USD 400 billion in new finance and investment was committed by governments and the private sector during the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy, the first leader-level meeting on energy under the auspices of the UN General Assembly in 40 years, a statement by the UN said.
Over 35 countries — ranging from Small Island Developing States to major emerging and industrialised economies — made significant new energy commitments in the form of Energy Compacts.
Additionally, several new partnership initiatives were announced, aiming to provide and improve access to reliable electricity to over a billion people.
The new commitments would result in large increases in the installed capacity of renewable energy and significant improvements in energy efficiency around the world — leading to hundreds of new renewable energy facilities and the creation of millions of new green jobs.
Singh said while the global pandemic tragically affected lives across the world, it also brought out the collective resilience, resolve and can-do spirit. India has administered more than 772 million doses to its citizens, making its vaccination programme one of the world’s largest and fastest.
“We have also distributed more than 66 million vaccines to other countries” as of May this year.
Underscoring that “we all agree that the energy transition has to be just, inclusive and equitable, leaving no one behind,” Singh said the entire international community needs to come together and work on the time tested principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities” — with the developed countries supporting the transition in developing nations through technology transfer and affordable financing.
The International Solar Alliance (ISA) with 98 signatories, co-founded by India and France, is a multilateral initiative targeted in this direction, he said.
The energy summit took place as world leaders grappled with the critical urgency to keep the 1.5 degrees temperature target of the Paris Agreement within reach, and cut emissions by 45% by 2030, while closing the energy access gap and providing more than one billion people who currently rely on harmful fuels with clean cooking solutions.
The new commitments showcase the bold actions needed to meet the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7).
Recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have shown that countries are not moving fast enough on climate action to avert disastrous consequences, and that even if countries met all their NDC commitments under the Paris Agreement, the collective impact would be only a fraction of what is needed to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.