India has one of the world’s largest renewable energy capacity, ranking amongst the top 5 countries in the world in terms of installed wind energy and solar thermal power capacities. But the bad news is that the country remains way behind China, in total installed capacity and future installed forecasts. Per capita renewable energy generation is very low as well. This shows that the country is capable of installing massive amounts of wind and solar energy in the future. Given that 300 million people in India do not have access to electricity, there is a chance to leapfrog the fossil fuel era to provide power to all these people from renewable energy.
The new government is making the right noises about providing electricity to all by 2019 and expanding the usage of solar energy. However given the fact that the country remains resource poor, it remains to be seen whether that can be achieved. China has become the undisputed No.1 in terms of green energy installation and manufacturing. Most of the world’s largest wind and solar component manufacturers are Chinese. They are the biggest exporters as well due to their massive scale and huge cost advantages. The domestic market has also become the world’s biggest, with 30-40% of the global demand. India needs to emulate China to boost manufacturing and domestic demand to meet the energy needs of its people.