A quarter of India’s energy demand can be met with renewables – IRENA

India can develop its renewable energy resources to meet a quarter of the country’s total energy demand by 2030 according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The Renewable Energy Prospects for India paper suggests biofuels will be the biggest contributor at 62%, followed by solar at 16%, wind at 14% and hydropower providing 7% of India’s total renewable energy use by 2030.

The combination of sources could potentially increase India’s share of renewable power generation to over a third by 2030 and will enable the country to fulfil its pledges under the Paris Climate Agreement.

“With one of the world’s largest and most ambitious renewable energy programmes, India is taking a leading role in the energy transformation both regionally and globally,” said IRENA director-general Adnan Z. Amin. “India possesses a wealth of renewable resources, particularly for solar and bioenergy development, which can help meet growing energy demand, power economic growth and improve energy access, as well as boost overall energy security.”

Pivoting to renewable energy sources could also save the country’s economy 12 times more than it costs by 2030, creating jobs, reducing emissions, ensuring cleaner air and water and savings on health-related costs.

Dolf Gielen, IRENA’s director of innovation and technology said: “Balancing economic growth and development, environmental protection, and energy security is a real challenge in India that can be tackled by enabling more renewable energy deployment.

“Through this report we have attained a better understanding of India’s renewable energy potential, that can assist in guiding the country’s energy policy in a way that is both economically and environmentally attractive.”

The number of people living in cities and towns in India is expected to increase from 435 million to 600 million by 2030 as a result of population and economic growth and accelerated urbanisation.