Unlocking India’s opportunity to be self-reliant in clean energy

The energy landscape in India is being reshaped in fundamental ways. While this transformation had been happening gradually but steadily in recent years, it has now been accentuated by the covid-19 crisis, the ensuing lockdown and the more recent India-China border tensions. Cumulatively, as the energy mix shifts towards renewables, it presents a window of opportunity for India to act now by strengthening its domestic capability and, thereby, achieving energy security.

Several structural disruptions have been enabling the energy mix transition at a steady clip. First, there is a disincentive for thermal power with projects getting priced out due to low solar tariffs, as cheap as ₹2.5 per kilowatt hour (kWh). With solar tariffs expected to fall further and the emphasis on reducing pollution by thermal plants, there has been limited focus on new thermal capacity creation. This is, however, consistent with global trends.

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