Renewable energy to drive India’s future, but coal still in charge

India, Bengaluru: Pravin Bhai Parmar, a 36-year-old farmer in Gujrat, Western India, has been irrigating his crops through Solar Power for the past six years; he has lined his field with rice, wheat and solar panels.

India, Bengaluru: Pravin Bhai Parmar, a 36-year-old farmer in Gujrat, Western India, has been irrigating his crops through Solar Power for the past six years; he has lined his field with rice, wheat and solar panels.

He registered himself among the handful of farmers who use solar energy and save electricity as well as his spending. In his remarks, he stated, “to water my crops, I was spending close to 50,000 rupees every year, but with solar, I spend nothing.” 


In addition, Parmar saves enough electricity from using solar panels, which he sold to the state’s power grid and increased his earnings by 4,000 rupees a month on average.

According to Parmar, his approach brings a win-win situation for everyone. The reports have stated that thousands of farmers and crop owners are encouraged to adopt solar energy as their source of electricity to rinse in the agriculture-rich states of India as the national target to reach ‘net zero’ by 2070.

Furthermore, the use of clean energy, such as solar panels and livelihoods depended on it, is still an outlier in the country, which is ranked as the third largest emitter of the planet’s warming gases around the world and biggest ever auction for coal mines was announced last year, said reports.

According to the London-based energy think tank Ember’s analysis, it was confirmed that from the past six years, the electricity production from coal fell from 85% to 56% in Gujrat; meanwhile, the share of renewable energy increased from 9% to 28% in the same period.

Among India’s 28 states supposed to adopt renewable energy in 2022, Gujarat is just one of the four states that met the target. On the other hand, less than 50% of solar panels have been installed in other states and West Bengal, with just 10% of their overall target installation.

As per the report analysis, more than 70% of the electricity in India is generated by fossil fuels, which has been continued for decades, and coal is among the largest share of dirty fuels. In contrast, renewable energy sources fulfil only 10% of India’s electricity needs.


In his remarks, Thomas Spencer, energy analyst at Paris-based International Energy Agency, stated, “To reduce the share of coal in electricity production mix is specifically acute as you are dealing with a rapidly growing sector”.

Industry experts have stated that by 2022, India was supposed to install 175 gigawatts of renewable energy in its overall power production, which got missed by a substantial margin. To build clean energy, India needs to progress far faster than it currently does, said experts.

Aditya Lolla, an energy policy analyst at Ember, is optimistic for India’s clean energy future, saying renewables are “at the cusp” of skyrocketing. He believes battery storage for renewables to provide uninterrupted electricity and clean fuels — such as green hydrogen — will grow rapidly.

“Storage technology for clean energy, as well as green hydrogen, is expected to become affordable in the coming years,” Lolla said. “India is betting big on that.”


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