UNANIMITY AMONG NATIONS ON ENERGY TRANSITION
New Delhi: Power and Renewable Energy Minister R.K. Singh on Wednesday said there was almost a complete unanimity across the world that energy transition has to be done and that emissions have to be reduced as soon as possible.
“The pace of emissions reduction is not as fast as it used to be. Time is running out. Global temperature has already risen by 1.01 degree Celsius. As far as transition is concerned, solar is playing a major role. Capacity addition in solar is outstripping that happening in any other form of renewable energy,” Singh underlined.
He was addressing a press conference on a curtain raiser event of the sixth assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA), which is scheduled to be held in New Delhi between October 30 – November 2, 2023, and 168 countries have already confirmed their participation in it. Singh further said that hydro has an essential role to play in energy transition.
“Hydro has a role in balancing the grid. Many countries have more than 50 per cent of their energy coming from hydro and it is working well. By and large, hydro has stood the test of time, we have had hydro projects which have been functioning since the 60s and 70s,” Singh said.
He said that solar energy can be deployed in small sizes and in specific locations.
“The most important contribution ISA wants to make is to bring investment to countries which need energy access. India believes that ISA’s objectives will ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all,” the minister told mediapersons.
“Investment in solar is expected to be $380 billion this year,” he added.
The ISA was launched jointly by India and France after COP21 in Paris. The sixth assembly of the ISA will deliberate on ISA initiatives that impact energy access, energy security and energy transitions, with a focus on: Universalisation of energy access through solar mini-grids, mobilising finance for accelerated solar deployment, diversifying supply chains, and manufacturing for solar in energy transition.
“Our experience shows that among renewable sources, solar has the edge. It is much more dependable, reliable and available for more months of the year,” the minister said.
“When we launched our campaign for universal access to energy, solar played a major role. It is using solar that we lighted many homes in the hills and in the deserts. It has the ability to be deployed for specific villages in mini-grids. For universal access, solar is the solution. That is what makes ISA important,” the minister said.
The primary role of ISA is to provide energy to countries and peoples who do not have energy access, he added. “The challenge lies in providing energy to the 750 million people who do not have access to energy. The conscience of the world needs to be stirred. Even in the past five to six years of existence of ISA, we don’t see countries which are capable of helping coming forward to help these 750 million people. It is our mission in ISA to bring together to help these 750 million people. That is how we define our role - to help countries deprived of energy access, get access to energy,” he said.
“Energy access is central to energy transition.”
The minister shared the government’s belief that energy access is central to any energy transition.
“We cannot have energy transition without energy access. And access has to be clean access as it should not be at the cost of the planet. That is what ISA has been doing. We advise countries how to do this, how to do electrification using solar, we help them set up regulatory structures, and physical structures such as generation being linked to transmission and distribution. We make experts available and ISA bears the cost.”