India’s Green Energy Potential

India is on the rise in the green energy domain.  The countryincreased its total capacity from 2% in 2003 to 10% by 2010. The marketfor renewable energy and related technologies and businesses is growingby 25% per year, according to a U.S. Commerce Department report.

 Wind energy alone grew 33% in India over the last 5years, with capacity at 10,000 MW at the end of 2009. Wind provides 70%of the renewable energy power generation. Small hydro is the secondlargest source of renewable energy in the country, with about 2,520 MWof capacity or 15% of total renewable energy. Biomass follows at 12% oftotal green power. Solar is the rising star of the future, experts say.It currently supplies about 6 MW of energy but is estimated to grow to22 GW by 2022.

 India is an Electricity Deficient Country – it had a peak demand ofapproximately 116 MW between April and December 2009, but only had 101GW of supply. There is need and demand.  Like many other countries, coal supplies 53% of electricity generation, with gas at 10.5%; hydropowersupplies 25% and nuclear about 3%. Renewable energy supples almost 8% of the total electrical generation.

A big boost – but an unexpected surprise — came in 2010 when theCentral Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) mandated that utilities in India must generate 6% of their energy generation from renewableenergy sources, up from the previous 4%. The ruling came as a bit of asurprise, because India does not have the capacity to meet the 6%mandate. This has generated more growth, jobs and investment to meet the demands. But it has already created somewhat of a financial burden,since CERC has allowed the utilities to buy Renewable EnergyCertificates (RECs) if they are unable to generate the energy demand –and the utilities must bear the financial burden one way or the other.

 Another unexpected boost came to India in light of a controversialprovision in the U.S. stimulus package last year. U.S. citizens aregiven precedence over H-1B visa holders when hiring, if the firmreceived bailout funds. According to one study, the H-1B 6 year guestvisa has allowed hundreds of thousands of Indian engineers, scientistsand specialist to work in the U.S. which has helped transform and industry.  Manpower India, a global employment firm, says 1/3rd of the engineers in Silicon Valley are of Indian descent and 7%of firm CEOs are of Indian descent.  More than 100,000 Indian studentspursue education at U.S. institutions of higher education.

(To be continued…)


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