Ambitious Target

India's 2022 renewable energy goal will require investment four times the defence budget

The central government's budget allocation for solar energy for the current financial year is merely 0.45% of the required investment.

"We have a target for renewable energy generation of 175 gigawatts by 2022. We have got off to a good start with nearly 12 GW likely to be installed by 2016, more than three times the current capacity,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during the inauguration of India's pavilion at the ongoing Paris climate change conference.

Of the target capacity, 100 GW would be from solar power, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from biomass and 5 GW from small hydro power, according to the Union ministry of new and renewable energy.

“In order to achieve the proposed capacity of 100 GW target by 2022, the overall investment required would be around Rs 6 lakh crore ($89.88 billion) at the rate of Rs 6 crore per MW at the present cost,”  the country's power minister Piyush Goyal said in his reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha with regard to the solar energy target.

The central government’s budget allocated for solar energy the financial year 2015-16 is Rs 2,708 crore (0.45% of the required investment), according to the minister’s own statement in the same reply.

Capacity addition of renewable energy between 2002 and 2014 has been at a compound annual growth rate – the average year-on-year growth rate – of about 20%.


Source: indiaenergy.gov.in


India’s installed capacity of renewable energy is likely to reach 147 GW by 2020, according to a report by the International Energy Agency. It would need Rs 8.01 lakh crore ($120 billion) in capital investment and Rs 2.67 lakh crore ($40 billion) in equity to achieve the ambitious target, according to information released by the ministry of new and renewable energy.

The Rs 10.68 lakh crore ($160 billion) needed over the next seven years (until 2022) – at an average of Rs 1.53 lakh crore ($23 billion) a year– to meet the stated goal is equivalent to over four times the country’s annual defence spending, and over ten times the country’s annual spending on health and education.

Meeting the target capacity

Green energy commitments for 2.66 lakh MW (266 GW) were received during the RE-Invest conference held in February this year. As many as 27 banks have submitted their commitments for financing 72 GW renewable energy projects.


Source: Press Release from Ministry of New and Renewable Energy


Earlier this year, the US had committed to support India’s efforts in the renewable energy sector with a $4 billion (Rs 26,702 crore) deal.

India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Germany “to expand bilateral development cooperation in the field of solar energy by increasing use of solar energy in India through technical as well as financial cooperation”.

As a part of this MoU, Germany “would provide concessional loans in the range of one billion euro (over Rs 7,200 crore) over the next five years”.

It has to be noted that the government’s investments may not necessarily be capital in nature but could be in the form of subsidies and tax-free bonds.

For instance, of the 100 GW target in solar power capacity, 40 GW would be from rooftop solar panels – an endeavour which the government has been supporting through the subsidy route.

This article was originally published on Factchecker.in.

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Relying on the power of habits to solve India’s mammoth sanitation problem

Adopting three simple habits can help maximise the benefits of existing sanitation infrastructure.

India’s sanitation problem is well documented – the country was recently declared as having the highest number of people living without basic sanitation facilities. Sanitation encompasses all conditions relating to public health - especially sewage disposal and access to clean drinking water. Due to associated losses in productivity caused by sickness, increased healthcare costs and increased mortality, India recorded a loss of 5.2% of its GDP to poor sanitation in 2015. As tremendous as the economic losses are, the on-ground, human consequences of poor sanitation are grim - about one in 10 deaths, according to the World Bank.

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Unfortunately, with about 732 million people who have no access to toilets, India currently accounts for more than half of the world population that defecates in the open. India also accounts for the largest rural population living without access to clean water. Only 16% of India’s rural population is currently served by piped water.

However, there is cause for optimism. In the three years of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the country’s sanitation coverage has risen from 39% to 65% and eight states and Union Territories have been declared open defecation free. But lasting change cannot be ensured by the proliferation of sanitation infrastructure alone. Ensuring the usage of toilets is as important as building them, more so due to the cultural preference for open defecation in rural India.

According to the World Bank, hygiene promotion is essential to realise the potential of infrastructure investments in sanitation. Behavioural intervention is most successful when it targets few behaviours with the most potential for impact. An area of public health where behavioural training has made an impact is WASH - water, sanitation and hygiene - a key issue of UN Sustainable Development Goal 6. Compliance to WASH practices has the potential to reduce illness and death, poverty and improve overall socio-economic development. The UN has even marked observance days for each - World Water Day for water (22 March), World Toilet Day for sanitation (19 November) and Global Handwashing Day for hygiene (15 October).

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This touching film made as a part of SASB’s awareness campaign shows how lack of knowledge of basic hygiene practices means children miss out on developmental milestones due to preventable diseases.

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SASB created the Swachhata curriculum, a textbook to encourage adoption of personal hygiene among school going children. It makes use of conceptual learning to teach primary school students about cleanliness, germs and clean habits in an engaging manner. Swachh Basti is an extensive urban outreach programme for sensitising urban slum residents about WASH habits through demos, skits and etc. in partnership with key local stakeholders such as doctors, anganwadi workers and support groups. In Ghatkopar, Mumbai, HUL built the first-of-its-kind Suvidha Centre - an urban water, hygiene and sanitation community centre. It provides toilets, handwashing and shower facilities, safe drinking water and state-of-the-art laundry operations at an affordable cost to about 1,500 residents of the area.

HUL’s factory workers also act as Swachhata Doots, or messengers of change who teach the three habits of WASH in their own villages. This mobile-led rural behaviour change communication model also provides a volunteering opportunity to those who are busy but wish to make a difference. A toolkit especially designed for this purpose helps volunteers approach, explain and teach people in their immediate vicinity - their drivers, cooks, domestic helps etc. - about the three simple habits for better hygiene. This helps cast the net of awareness wider as regular interaction is conducive to habit formation. To learn more about their volunteering programme, click here. To learn more about the Swachh Aadat Swachh Bharat initiative, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Hindustan Unilever and not by the Scroll editorial team.