Economic Survey calls for $330 billion investment in renewables


The Ministry of Finance’s 2019 Economic Survey has pitched for a whopping $330 billion (Rs22.6 lakh crore) investment in the renewable energy sector through 2030.

“Broad estimates suggest that additional investment in renewable plants for up to the year 2022 (without transmission lines) would be about $80 billion at today’s prices and an investment of around $250 billion would be required for the period 2023-2030,” said this year’s review of economic developments over the previous 12 months. “Thus, on an annualized basis, investment opportunity for over $30 billion per year is expected to come up for the next decade and beyond.”

India stands fifth in the global solar power and overall renewables rankings, and fourth for wind power, according to the survey.

Laying emphasis on electric vehicles (EVs), the survey called for India to develop an automotive manufacturing hub along the lines of Detroit, in the U.S.

Taking note of the lack of EV charging infrastructure, and the need to invest in battery technology, the report stated developing an EV manufacturing center would accelerate adoption of electromobility and ensure the development of a proper ecosystem for such vehicles.

EV hub can drive adoption

“Since the battery is the heart of any EV, development of appropriate battery technologies that can function efficiently in the high temperature conditions in India need to be given utmost importance,” the survey noted. “The market share of electric cars is around 2% in China while it is around 39% in Norway … the Indian market share of electric cars is a meager 0.06%. Electric two-wheelers comprise a major part of EV sales, with sales of around 54,800 in 2018, and electrification of two-wheelers and buses has picked up pace in recent years.”

According to the document, published yesterday, around 27 GW of renewable power capacity is under installation in India with more than 38 GW under tender bidding. The share of renewables – excluding hydro facilities with a generation capacity above 25 MW – in India’s total power generation was around 10% in 2018-19, compared to 6% in 2014-15.

The implementation of energy efficiency programs generated cost savings of Rs53,000 crore in 2017-18, according to the survey, and removed 108.28 million tons of CO2 emissions.

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