India at UN: We are heading towards non-fossil fuel energy target


India’s Permanent Representative to United Nations (UN), Ambassador TS Tirumurti said on Wednesday that the country is moving towards the target of non-fossil energy capacity of 500 gigawatts (GW) as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at COP26 Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021.

Tirumurti was speaking at a virtual event on solar energy he hosted along with Olof Skoog, EU’s Ambassador to the United Nations.

French Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere, Palau Ambassador Ilana Seid and International Solar Alliance Director-General Ajay Mathur also spoke at the event.

Tirumurti highlighted that India has “a clear vision that sustainable growth is possible only through sustainable energy sources.”

India’s official UN Twitter handle said quoting Tirumurti, “As announced at the COP26 in Glasgow by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we are moving towards the target of non-fossil energy capacity of 500 GW. The share of renewable energy in the energy mix stands considerably enhanced to about 40 per cent.”

According to Tirumuti, India has over-achieved its 2022 renewable energy targets . In less than eight years, solar capacity has increased from around 2.6 GW to more than 46 GW. This has catapulted India to No 4 in the global ranking for installed renewable energy capacity.

The Modi government in its annual budget earlier this year announced a $2.5 billion allocation for high-efficiency solar module manufacturing. There is also a huge market for solar stoves, which is necessary for India’s clean-cooking movement.

“Indian start-ups have been instrumental in carrying forward the country’s solar ambitions. Architects and builders are also urged to work on the concept of solar trees in the construction of houses that could cater to 10-20 per cent of the household’s electricity needs,” Tirumurti said.

He added, “Efforts have also been made to make solar power more accessible. Solar power tariff has been reduced by more than 75 per cent using plug and play model, and a record low solar tariff of less than 3 cents per unit has been achieved. “Along with energy production, energy storage and energy conservation are also important for sustainability; and we need to work together to find solutions to these issues.”

The Ambassador noted that the International Solar Alliance was conceived as a joint effort by India and France, and that last December, a resolution conferring observer status to the International Solar Alliance was adopted at the UN.
He said that at COP26 in Glasgow, the Prime Ministers of India and the United Kingdom launched the transnational grid initiative – the One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG) – the first globally interconnected solar power grid.