Net gains: A complete shift from fossil fuels to renewables in north India would add up to 2 million new jobs according to a new study | Photo: Council on Foreign Relations

Renewable energy sector can employ 5 million people in north India by 2050: Study

A new study by Climate Trends and Finland’s Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT) revealed that the National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi, one of the world’s largest metropolitan areas, can become carbon neutral by 2050 by using low-cost renewable energy in an integrated energy system across the sectors of power, heat, transport and industry. 

The study estimates that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in northern India can be reduced from 825 metric tonnes of carbon-dioxide equivalent (MtCO2eq) in 2020 to zero by 2050 across all energy sectors. According to the study “the deep de-fossilisation of northern India’s energy system” would generate five million jobs by 2050, compared to nearly three million jobs in 2020 with the current fossil-based energy system.

The study finds that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in northern India can be reduced from 825 metric tonnes of carbon-dioxide equivalent (MtCO2eq) in 2020 to zero by 2050 across all energy sectors as well as create five million new jobs.

India sets new RE target at 220 GW by 2022

India will increase its clean energy capacity from 134 GW now to 220 GW by 2022. This was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message that was read out at the World Solar Technology Summit organised by the International Solar Alliance.

India’s state-owned oil companies will be able to operate at least 50% of their fuel stations on renewable energy by 2025, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. The minister pointed out that three state-backed fuel retailers Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum, which run 63,150 fuel stations across India, have begun installing solar panels across their operations. They have currently installed a combined 270 megawatts (MW) of solar power capacity and will add 60 MW more capacity in the coming year, he said.

India’s non-fossil fuel energy share reached 34% in August 

As power demand picked up three months after the coronavirus lockdown was lifted in June, India’s share of electricity from non-fossil fuels in the month of August was 34%, a notch higher than the 32% recorded in August 2019. The power generation however, was 13% lower on a year-on-year basis, DTE reported.

Experts pointed out this is a seasonal summer peak. The share of electricity sourced from non-fossil-fuels — including renewable energy, hydro energy and nuclear energy — usually peaks during the summer months, especially when it rains, DTE said. This surge in demand is met by increased generation from hydro-electric plants and supported by renewable energy.

Discom dues to renewable energy company rose to $1.4 billion by July 2020

Indian power distribution companies (discoms) owed $1.4 billion to renewable energy developers by July 2020.  The state of Rajasthan has the maximum overdue of nearly $4.8 billion, out of which ₹331.47 billion (~$4.49 billion) has been unpaid for more than 60 days.

Tamil Nadu’s pending payment was at $2.58 billion of which ₹168.07 billion (~$2.28 billion) has been overdue for more than 60 days. Uttar Pradesh’s massive dues touched nearly  (~$1.8 billion), out of which ₹107.83 billion (~$1.46 billion) has been unpaid for more than 60 days

Europe’s power supply could be 80% fossil fuel free by 2030: Industry study

A study by Europe’s industry association Eurelectric said almost 80% European Union’s electricity could be fossil fuel-free by 2030. The report revealed that by June 2020, renewables generation accounted for 40% of the electricity mix and fossil fuel generation dropped by 18% year-on-year to 34%.

In 2010, renewables accounted for 20% of the EU’s electricity mix. To meet the EU’s 2030 climate targets, wind and solar capacity must double and obstacles must be overcome, the report stated.

COVID-19 pushing global energy giants to invest in renewables

Fossil fuels may remain their main business, but COVID-19 has forced a ‘great reset’ among global energy companies. The pandemic has shrunk world oil consumption by over 20% in the second quarter and prices hit their lowest in decades. 

Malaysian state energy company Petronas posted a $5 billion loss in April-June and has set up a team to reshape its portfolio and expand in solar and wind for power generation. Oil giants such as BP entered the offshore wind energy sector with a $1.1 billion Equinor deal, while Chinese state energy companies PetroChina, Sinopec and CNOOC Ltd tiptoed into renewables as they continue to prioritise hydrocarbons for China’s energy security needs.

Besides expanding into solar and wind for power generation, more energy companies are researching blue hydrogen produced from natural gas and using carbon capture and storage (CCS) to reduce emissions in the process. The hydrogen could be used in power plants and fuel cell vehicles. Royal Dutch Shell is involved in biomethane, biofuels and hydrogen and has done “significant work” on CCS, Shell’s vice president said.

About The Author