In 2016, IndiaSpend looked at several indicators to show India’s progress in terms of clean energy, technological progress and electricity access. We analyse our progress since and predict an increased focus on renewables, more reliable power supply to villages, growing spread of Aadhaar–the national identification system–and greater use and spread of the Internet in 2017.
So, here are four things India can look forward to:
1. Increasing energy capacity and the push for renewables
What we said: Renewable energy installations would get a push in 2016, that would balance the country’s reliance on coal, IndiaSpend reported in January last year.
What happened: India said it would install 16 GW of renewable energy this year, with the aim of reaching 175 GW by 2022. It had installed no more than 3.9 GW as of November 2016, according to this progress report by the ministry of new and renewable energy.
The total installed energy capacity of India, as of November 30, 2016, was 309 GW, and nearly 15% came from renewable sources, according to data from the ministry of power. Between September 2015 and September 2016, 8.5 GW of renewable energy has been installed across the country. While the installed wind capacity increased 15.2% or 3.7 GW over the year, solar energy capacity increased by almost 4.2 GW or 96%.
Despite the slow growth in wind energy installation, the increase puts India in the fourth position world-wide after China, USA and Germany.
India had targeted installation of 4 GW of wind capacity and 12 GW of solar capacity, the two largest contributors to the renewables basket, in 2016-17.
Eight months into the financial year, it had achieved no more than 40% of its wind energy target and only 17.5% of its solar energy target.
To achieve the 2017 target, the government and private players will have to install 2.35 GW of wind and 11.8 GW solar energy.
2. Rural electrification moving ahead but power supply suspect
What we said: Up to 98.1% of all villages were electrified by June 2016, according to the Central Electricity Authority, IndiaSpend reported on August 13, 2016
What happened: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his Independence Day speech on August 15, 2015, announced that all un-electrified villages in the country (18,452) would have power within 1,000 days, or by May 1, 2018.
Only 10% rural households need to be electrified for a village to be considered electrified, and quality of electricity is suspect even then, IndiaSpend reported on August 23, 2016.
As many as 11,429 villages have been electrified so far, according to the latest release by the ministry of power.
Out of the remaining 7,023 villages, 698 villages are uninhabited, 3,775 villages are scheduled for grid electrification, 2,502 villages off-grid because of geographical barriers, and 48 villages are slated for electrification by state governments, the power ministry said.
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