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India’s Journey to 500 GW: it's not just an energy transformation, it's an economic transformation

Source : IEA

Notes by Narsi

For those keen on knowing more about the financial dimension of India's planned journey to Net Zero and specifically its renewable energy target of 500 GW by 2030, I recommend this webinar.

We are currently at about 150 GW, implying an additional 350 GW to achieve the target. Depending on the proportion of the various renewable energy sources in the mix (dominated of course by solar with wind power coming next), total investments of close to $175 billion could be required to get to this target. That would be about $20 billion per year from 2022 to 2030 (both years included). That's a lot of financing to be done every year!

While the discussion theme was about renewable energy financing, a key theme that stood out as an important takeaway was when Arunabha Ghosh said that the 500 GW target is not one energy target but one about economic transformation.

I think that really is what most of us from the business side of things should appreciate about India's decarbonization journey - it is not just about energy, it is about a much larger ecosystem, touching many aspects of our economy.

Renewable energy jobs in India are expected to increase from about 1.2 lakhs in 2022 to 10 lakhs by 2030, an eightfold increase in eight years. While there are no reliable estimates about the number of SMEs in the renewable energy sector, there could be a similar increase in their numbers as well for the 2022-2030 period. Such large scale investments are also likely to dramatically increase the clean energy R&D in Indian universities and academia, as well as training and capacity building offerings from the likes of ITI. Finally, large scale solar and wind farms (and to a lesser extent, the bio-energy market) have the potential to significantly alter the economic and social landscape of thousands of rural regions (something wind farms had already done to select regions in states such Tamil Nadu where they had been in operations for a while).

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