India to Boost Renewable Energy Capacity by 2017

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Some 11% of the India's total power capacity comes from renewable energy. (Photo: M. Van Braak)
Some 11% of the India's total power capacity comes from renewable energy. (Photo: M. Van Braak)

ECONOMY

  • India capable of producing 20 GW of renewable energy
  • India to increase renewable energy capacity by 17 GW from 2012-2017 at the cost of $34 billion
  • 40% of India’s power consumption comes from coal, 24% from oil

India has stepped up its green focus with plans to increase renewable energy capacity levels by 17 gig watts by 2017, a government spokesperson reported. Renewable energy secretary P. Uma Shankar reported that the ambitious 5-Year Plan would cost almost $34 billion.

Between 1994 and 2007, India’s carbon footprint increased by over 50%, with around 40% of energy consumption coming from coal and 24% from oil, according to the International Energy Agency. It is among the top-five greenhouse gas polluters in the world.

Power consumption in the world’s second-fastest growing economy is expected to increase from 900 billion kilowatt hours to 1,400 billion by 2017, according to Mr. Shankar. To meet this demand, India will have to increase capacity levels by 100 gig watts.

India: World Wind Power Leader

Today, India is capable of producing 20 gig watts of renewable energy, which represents around 11% of the country’s total capacity. It is one of the world’s largest wind power producers and also generates solar, hydro and biomass energy.

The Indian government offers low-interest loans, tax breaks and subsidies as incentives to renewable energy startup companies in an effort to encourage development in the green sector.

Key Statistics – India's Economy (source: CIA World FactBook)

  • GDP: $4.04 trillion in 2010 compared to $3.74 trillion in 2009, 5th largest in the world
  • Public Debt: 55.9% of GDP in 2010 compared to 57.3% in 2009
  • Employment & Labor: Labor force of 478.3 million in 2010, with 10.8% unemployment in 2010 vs 10.7% in 2009
  • Leading Industries: services (55.3%), industry (28.6%) and agriculture (16.1%)

By James Mulholland for
James Mulholland is a Paris-based internet and broadcast journalist specializing in sports, current affairs and technology news, while also freelancing as a photographer.

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