In a positive development that has confirmed India’s march towards energy security driven by three big factors—solar energy, wind energy and electric cars—the International Energy Agency (IEA), in its latest report, has said that not only will India achieve “electricity of all” by the early 2020s, but will also be a major driving force in global energy trends.

The IEA’s World Energy Outlook Report 2017, re-launched in association with The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi, on Wednesday, pointed out that India has been gaining a prominent position in global energy trends through its targeted efforts and will lead global energy demand growth by 2040.

Tim Gould, Head of Division, World Energy Outlook, IEA, told The Sunday Guardian: “In our view, if you look at the increase in the global energy demand between now and 2040, India is the single biggest component of that growth. As much as 30% of overall growth will be driven by India alone and that means India will have significant impact on global energy trends across a vast variety of fuels and technologies.”

The report noted that India’s continued emphasis on electrifying households will help the country reach “universal electricity access” in the early 2020s, with renewables accounting for about 60% of those who gain access. Gould attributed these findings to positive indications emerging from India’s recent policy developments towards managing energy efficiency and pushing the expansion of renewable energy.

 “There are definitely a lot of positive indications for India’s overall energy outlook. In our view, the initiatives on pollution control on the existing facilities are impressive in terms of energy efficiency. Also, efforts towards expansion of renewable energy are again very impressive parts of the overall policy portfolio that we assessed,” Gould told this correspondent.

Talking about the role of policies laying the ground for India to exploit its potential in terms of renewable energy and generation of clean energy, Dr Ashvini Kumar, Director, TERI told this newspaper that the world can learn from India, particularly in the policy aspect.

India’s target of adding 160 gigawatt of solar and wind energy capacity by 2022 is likely to generate over 330,000 new jobs over the next five years.

“The world is watching. India is in fact leading the movement, both in terms of rapid scale-up and fall of prices so as to increase accessibility. We have generated demand and are now focusing on integrating storage and working on distribution, transmission infrastructure and health of solar companies,” Kumar said, adding that competitive auction facilitated by the current government coupled with must-run approach of the National Electricity Policy and National Tariff Policy will help India achieve its clean energy target. Under the must-run status quo, operation of wind and solar energy plants will not be affected even if demand is less. 

“Earlier, the competitive auction was missing globally, including in India. But India became wiser and facilitated a fair competitive auction. Also, the move to waive Central Transmission Utility charges on both solar and wind energy will keep the tariff in check. All these are positive developments and we can hope to exploit our full potential in the field of renewable energy,” Kumar said.

Meanwhile, a recent study by Washington DC-based World Resources Institute has noted that India’s target of adding 160 gigawatt of solar and wind energy capacity by 2022 is likely to generate over 330,000 new jobs over the next five years.

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