Ashwini Choubey: County Has Expanded 18% Solar Capacity After 2014

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Solar panels and wind turbine against blue sky

Moving forward in the nation’s objective of employing green energy sources and lowering carbon emissions, the Union government informed the Lok Sabha that the country has expanded its installed solar capacity by 18% since 2014, with a target date of October 2021.

Minister of State for Environment, Ashwini Choubey said that India’s present proportion of non-fossil sources-based installed capacity of power generation is greater than 40%.

Choubey further stated that the total installed solar power in 2014 was just 2.63 gigatonnes (GW), which has expanded by 18 times to 47.66 GW by October 2021.

India is addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation of renewable energy across a wide variety of industries through the National Action Plan on Climate Change and numerous national missions, he said.

Through the implementation of the energy efficiency, Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT), scheme in energy-intensive sectors, PAT Cycle II witnessed the aggregated saving of 13.28 million tonnes of oil equivalent to 61.34 million tonnes of CO2 avoided emission.

In response to a question about greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Choubey affirmed that according to India’s third Biennial Update Report submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in February 2021, total GHG emissions in 2016, exclusive of Land Use Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF), were 2,839 million tonnes carbon dioxide-equivalent and 2,531.07 million tonnes carbon dioxide-equivalent with LULUCF.

CO2 emissions from the oil and gas industry, as well as industrial processes and product consumption, contribute to India’s overall GHG emissions.

According to the statistics in three BURs, since 2010, India’s GHG emissions have grown from  2137 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2010 to 2839 million tons of CO2 equivalent in 2016, excluding LULUCF., as per the Environment Ministry.

While the CO2 emission increased from 1574 million tons to 2231 million tons between 2010 and 2016.

Minister expressed that the country is making every effort to bring down the emissions by steadily decreasing its GDP’s emissions intensity over time. This maintains India’s GHG emissions below what they would have been otherwise.

Further, the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management estimated the total size of the seagrass ecosystem in India to be 516.59 square kilometres, and it’s expected to sequester 434.9 tonnes of CO2 per square kilometre per year, with an annual net CO2 sink of 0.75 million tonnes over an area of 517 sq. km.

The Govt. has also launched a $130.26 million project, encompassing 24 ecosystems in some selected states, with the goal of strengthening coastal communities’ climate resilience.

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