India might have second largest power capacity in Asia this year

India might have second largest power capacity in Asia this year
  • Research shows that India is set to have the second largest power capacity in Asia.
  • The South Asian country will overtake Japan this year as per reports.
  • India may even gain on the US to become the second largest energy producer in the world by 2020.
India may dominate the world’s air pollution list, but it’s still home to states like Tamil Nadu that utilise more wind energy than Sweden and Denmark. With energy playing such an integral role in the nation’s ecosystem, it’s not astonishing that India is set to have the second largest power capacity in Asia this year, according to reports.

BMI research, a consultancy firm based out of London, has predicted that India’s enroute to overtake Japan in terms of power capacity. That being said, there’s a chance that India might even manage to overtake the US in terms of energy production, by 2020.

Looking ahead

In the current scenario, India’s 363.32 gigawatts of power generation is mainly dependent on coal. But by 2027, coal will remain as the primary source of energy, but India’s capacity to generate power will increase by 69%.

Experts credit the velocity of the upcoming change to the drop in prices for solar and wind energy. That’s not surprising considering that solar energy is at a position where it’s actually cheaper than coal, as of now. In fact, India is currently the third largest solar market in the world.

They go on to add that despite growth in cleaner sources of energy like nuclear, non-hydro renewables and natural gas, the dominance of coal will not diminish.

In fact, in the proposed 2027 scenario, it will still account for 75% of the mix. That’s not so bad if you consider the fact that it currently accounts for 85% of India’s installed capacity.

The overall conclusion is based on the premise that India will manage to complete its goal of installing an additional 175 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2022 as per the Paris Climate Agreement 2015.

Two sides of the same coin

Energy and India is always a mixed bag. Out of the 10 most polluted cities in the world, 9 are located in India. Move to the top 15 and 14 cities are still Indian. Yet, Karnataka, one of India’s southern states, is at the heart of its Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution.

Looking purely at numbers, in 2017, India’s carbon emissions actually increased by 4.6%. But on the other hand, per capita emissions are at 1.8 tonnes, much lower than the global average of 4.2 tonnes.

Although these predictions look optimistically towards the future, developers are wary of the effect that increasing taxes and tariffs may have. In effect, 3 gigawatts of capacity have already been cancelled.

Either way, energy from renewable and non-renewable sources, alike, plays an important role in the Indian ecosystem, as it should for any developing economy.