New Delhi, Nov 17 (IBNS) Replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy can create more jobs and provide cheap electricity, said environmental organization Greenpeace.
Greenpeace has launched the second version of the Indian Energy [R]evolution - a roadmap to secure India's growing energy needs without having to depend on the depleting and polluting fossil fuels.
The roadmap comes at a critical time when the country is facing massive power shortage due to the inability of fossil fuels to meet its economic aspirations.
Future of India's growth lies with massive expansion and deployment of renewable energy technologies through key policy reforms and significant investments, without putting any negative impact on its pristine forest and dependent marginalised communities.
The India Energy [R]evolution report jointly drafted by Greenpeace, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) focuses on the socio-economic impacts of renewable energy and proposes the pathway to ensure India's energy security in the long run.
Earlier this year, the three organisations released the Global Energy [R]evolution which highlighted the severe energy constraint the world is facing due to its over-dependence on fossil fuel.
"Recent electricity grid failure and severe power shortage due to rising electricity demand constantly reminds us that coal and other fossil fuels have no future and their era of dominance is over," said Greenpeace India Senior Energy Campaigner Abhishek Pratap.
"There is no cheap coal available without destroying forests, displacing people and wild animals and it is a heavy price to pay without any guarantee to meet the growing demand."
"A transition to renewable energy is the best and the only option for the government to secure the future growth of our nation." added Pratap.
With over 30 crore people still waiting to see light in their home and industrial production going into slump with 7% production loss last year due to lack of electricity supply, India faces a formidable challenge to build up its energy infrastructure fast enough to keep pace with economic and social changes.
India needs to meet its twin objective of sustaining high GDP-based economic growth and providing access of modern energy infrastructure to its people while at the same time, maintaining its pledge to not exceed its per-capita emission from that of developed nations, said Greenpeace.
There is a need to diversify the country's energy generation and distribution through massive public and private investment for ensuring the energy security of the nation, it said.
"With consistent and long term renewable energy policy frame work, India could build up a local renewable energy industry with an annual turnover of more than-INR 54,000 crore, creating more up to 24 lakh jobs by 2020.
These investments in new renewable power plants will lead to fuel cost savings paying back the overall investments between now and 2050 two times over," said Sven Teske, Senior Energy Expert from Greenpeace International.
"It is a win-win strategy for India to combine security of energy supply and job creation," Teske said.
Highlights of the India Energy [R]evolution:
. With significant shift to renewable energy and energy efficiency at a long-term basis will enable saving of around one-fourth of energy spending.
. By 2050, India's almost entire energy infrastructure i.e. 92 % will be based on renewable energy sources like Solar (Photovoltaic & Concentrated Solar Power), Wind (On-shore & off-shore) and Geothermal Energy.
. The job generation potential of renewable energy and energy efficiency domains can be two to three times that of conventional energy for e.g. coal, oil. Currently India's renewable energy industry employs 2 lakh people. However, this can be jumped to 14 times by 2030 if Energy [R]evolution pathway is taken. In the next eight years itself, 24 lakh new jobs will be created in the renewable energy sector if proper investments are made.
. There will be significant reduction or in fact stability in the pricing of electricity generation which remains at INR 3.70 per unit by 2050.
. Total avg. yearly investment in fossil power to the tune of INR 1, 00,000 crore will be offset through growth of RE. E[R] proposes that the average renewable energy investment per year will be close to INR 6, 10, 000 crore from 2011-2050.
. CO2 emission per capita [t/per capita] will go down from 1.4 to a 0.3 ton by year 2050
"India is one of the most dynamic markets for wind energy in the world today," said Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council.
"The reference target for wind power of 15,000 MW in the 12th Plan Period (April 2012 thru March 2017) should be easily reached; and much more could be achieved with stable, long term support policies, ideally in the context of a National Renewable Energy law.
"This would send a clear signal to investors about the government's vision for the scope and potential of wind power, and other renewable energy technologies," Sawyer added.