Prompt action on cheap Chinese imports of renewable energy equipment and the central government’s Productivity Linked Scheme (PLI) to encourage local manufacturing have resulted in the country emerging as a major exporter, minister for power & new and renewable energy, Raj Kumar Singh said.
“Up to 80 per cent of the cells and modules were coming from China. While we by and large believe in a free market, they (China) tried dumping their products here. We put anti-dumping duties. When that didn’t work, we put 40 per cent duty and introduced a mechanism for an approved list of models and manufacturers,” the minister told Rahul Kanwal, news director, India Today and Aaj Tak, in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Forum meeting in Davos on Thursday.
As a result, the bulk of the country’s requirements for cells, modules, etc., were increasingly being met by domestic manufacturers, the minister said. He said the capacity was already 25 GW for modules, with an additional 11 GW capacity expected to be added through polysilicon and module manufacturing. This provided an additional boost to such exports.
“Our export numbers are increasing each month. The situation changed as we took care of the supply chain problem,” the minister said.
The minister informed that because of the looming challenges on the energy storage front, the government was taking proactive action.
“You can’t have energy transition unless you crack the storage problem. Storage has to become viable. All these developed countries that have been talking about the need for climate action and energy transition have done nothing. The largest quantum of storage set up by them is 450 MW,” he informed.
Given the high cost of storage technologies, his ministry had come out with a tender for 1000 MW hours of storage, the largest such bid globally.
The minister also said the country had emerged as a leader in green hydrogen today. That would not only help significantly bring down the cost of green hydrogen and green ammonia compared to grey hydrogen and grey ammonia, which are manufactured using imported ncatural gas but also boost green shipping.
Talking about India’s transition to cleaner energy sources, the minister said it was accomplished by changing the structure of electricity generation and reduction of direct emissions. As a result, the country had met its climate change commitment well in advance.
“We had pledged at COP27 in Paris that by 2030 40 per cent of our capacity will come from non-fossil fuels. We achieved that in November 2021, nine years in advance. Today, my non-fossil capacity is 177,000 MW, which out of the total installed capacity of 408,000 MW is 42 per cent,” the minister said.
He said the country was now targeting to breach the revised commitment of 50 per cent of installed renewable energy capacity.
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