In a significant address at the inaugural session of the High-level Conference on New Technologies for Clean Energy Transition, Shri R. K. Singh, the Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, highlighted the pressing issues related to achieving Net Zero and the importance of diversifying solar manufacturing capacity and supply chains. The conference took place on November 1, 2023, in New Delhi, alongside the Sixth Session of the International Solar Alliance Assembly.
Shri Singh, who is also the President of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), emphasized that Net Zero goals will remain elusive unless the global community collaboratively tackles the challenges of diversification in solar manufacturing capacity and its associated supply chains. This assertion underlines the urgency of addressing the manufacturing limitations in the renewable energy sector.
Storage, according to the ISA President, is a crucial aspect of the efficient utilization and continuous availability of renewable energy. He pointed out that storage remains a challenge, especially in developed nations where progress on energy transition and storage solutions has been slow. He stressed that energy storage is indispensable for ensuring round-the-clock availability of renewable energy.
One of the key issues highlighted by Shri Singh is the concentration of solar manufacturing capacity in a single country, primarily dependent on lithium-ion technology. Such a dependency poses supply chain challenges, which became evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shri Singh asserted that it’s not feasible to achieve round-the-clock renewable energy without adequate energy storage.
India, while making significant strides in energy transition, faces challenges stemming from manufacturing shortfalls. Shri Singh emphasized the need for investment in alternative chemistries for energy storage and expanding manufacturing capacities. India has initiated the Production Linked Incentive Scheme to boost manufacturing for polysilicon and solar modules. By 2030, India aims to achieve 100 GW of manufacturing capacity for solar modules, with 50 GW being fully integrated with polysilicon and wafers.
The ISA President called for global collaboration in advancing solar technology and research, emphasizing the importance of broadening research efforts beyond a single country.
Efficiency improvements in solar technologies were also highlighted as essential for reducing the cost of electricity, a critical factor for developing countries. Shri Singh noted that increasing efficiency would enable more affordable electricity, reducing the dependence on government subsidies, which are often limited in their financial capabilities.
Shri Singh stressed the importance of financial support for developing countries to facilitate their energy access and transition efforts. He urged developed nations to fulfill their commitments to finance green energy projects, highlighting the need for green finance to reach countries in need.
Regarding India’s contributions to climate change mitigation, Shri Singh stated that India is confident of exceeding its decarbonization targets for 2030. The country is making substantial progress in establishing non-fossil fuel capacity and aims to have 65% of its established capacity coming from non-fossil fuels by 2030.
The Minister also discussed India’s growing capacity for manufacturing green ammonia and green hydrogen, positioning India as a major player in these emerging markets. India is committed to decarbonizing its economy and promoting green technologies like hydrogen and ammonia.
The conference brought together international delegates, policymakers, experts, and industry leaders to explore new technologies for clean energy transition, collaboration, innovation, and knowledge sharing. Its overarching goal is to drive real-world change, making solar energy the energy of choice, reducing carbon emissions, expanding energy access, and fostering economic growth.
The conference marked the release of two reports: “Global Solar Reports on Technology, Investments & Markets – Second Edition” and “ISA ADB NEDO Report – A Roadmap for Developing and Scaling the Green Hydrogen Ecosystem.”
Shri R. K. Singh’s address at the conference highlighted the global significance of addressing solar manufacturing challenges and the imperative need for diversified supply chains to achieve Net Zero goals and promote sustainable energy transition. India’s commitment to renewable energy and decarbonization serves as a crucial example in the global effort to combat climate change and create a sustainable future.