Write a note on India's green energy corridor to alleviate the problem of conventional energy.

Civil Services Main Examination

General Studies (Paper - 3) : Model Question & Answers


Renewable EnergyQuestion: Write a note on India's green energy corridor to alleviate the problem of conventional energy. (Asked in UPSC Main Year 2013)

A renewable energy future for India


The idea of electricity access in India has been centralised generation and grid-based distribution. This idea has failed to give adequate electricity supply to two-thirds of our people even after seven decades of independence.

Problems


  • Environmental and developmental crisis are interacting and reinforcing each other and reflecting in our energy sector.

  • Chronic energy poverty in rural areas and two third of the population is deprived of modern energy services.

  • Unscientific use of biomass such as dung, agricultural waste and firewood for primary needs cause indoor pollution and increase the burden of disease of the womenfolk.

  • India is largely dependent on coal to meet its energy needs which cause heavy environmental degradation and health issues.

  • The challenge before India is meeting its energy requirements without compromising the ecology of the country.

Five Trends


1. India’s dependence on imported fossil fuel is increasing at an alarming rate.
2. Reducing costs of renewable energy, especially solar and wind power.
3. Use of electricity for practically all applications.
4. Urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
5. Increasing global recognition to supply clean energy to all.

  • These five converging trends demands, an energy strategy that is based on electricity as a prime mover and this electricity is generated from renewable energy resources.

  • Energy policy of 2006 is primarily focused on developing fossil fuel resources for electricity and direct use of oil and gas for transport, industrial usage and cooking.

  • This is a high time where a new integrated energy policy that charts a roadmap for a renewable electricity future. India needs renewable electricity future that is affordable and accessible to all.

Future Aspects


  • It is important to understand that a 24 X 7 renewable electricity generation is not going to be cheap.

  • The renewable electricity future will be a decentralized and distributed one. The fact is renewable energy is decentralized—sunlight falls everywhere and wind blows everywhere.

  • Demand for electricity too is decentralized, and most renewable technologies are modular. This makes renewable electricity most suitable for decentralized generation and consumption.

  • In this energy future, there is no role of big DISCOMS. Instead, we will have mini-DISCOMS that would meet the electricity needs of small communities in cities and villages. These mini-DISCOMS would feed excess power to the grid and buy power from other mini-DISCOMS when in deficit.

  • There will be a role for large power plants based on other non-fossil technologies, but this role would be to supplement decentralized generation, which would also reduce over a period of time.

  • Germany, the leader in renewable energy, has most of its solar PV installed on rooftops. About 1.5 million households in Germany have installed more than 30,000 MW worth of solar PV panels on their rooftops. They are either feeding it to the local grids or consuming it domestically.

  • This is the only way we can keep the renewable electricity affordable and accessible to all. If operationalised, this model will revolutionize the way power is produced and consumed in India.

  • Millions of households would produce and consume their own electricity.

  • Thousands of renewable energy based mini-grids would promote millions of small businesses and social entrepreneurs to create local jobs and build local economies.

  • Living standards in villages will improve which in turn will ensure women empowerment, better health and education. There cannot be a better development agenda for the country.


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