Online Quiz Test

Preparing for Renewable Energy Initiative

GS 3 Conservation Biodiversity and Environment

In Context

  • The government recently solicited proposals for 50 GW of annual renewable energy capacity over the next five years.

About renewable &  non-renewable resources of energy:

Renewable energy

  • Renewable energy is energy derived from natural sources that are replenished at a faster rate than they are consumed.
  • For example, sunlight and wind are replenished at a constant rate. Renewable energy sources are abundant and ubiquitous.

Non-renewable energy

  • Fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and gas, are nonrenewable resources that form over hundreds of millions of years.
  • The combustion of fossil fuels to produce energy results in the emission of detrimental greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

Significance of renewable resources of energy

  • Producing renewable energy produces significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions than burning fossil fuels.
  • The transition from fossil fuels, which presently account for the majority of emissions, to renewable energy is essential for addressing the climate crisis.
  • Renewables are currently less expensive than fossil fuels in the majority of countries and generate three times as many jobs as fossil fuels.
  • The sources also have relatively minimal maintenance costs.

Atmanirbhar Bharat

  • Private sector investments in renewable energy would also help the government achieve its goal of self-sufficiency. Additionally, it will generate employment opportunities in the nation.

Common sources of renewable energy:

Solar Energy

  • Solar energy is the most prevalent source of energy and can even be harvested during cloudy conditions. The rate at which the Earth absorbs solar energy is approximately 10,000 times greater than the rate at which humanity consumes energy.

Wind Energy

  • Wind energy utilizes large wind turbines located on land (onshore) or in saltwater or freshwater (offshore) to leverage the kinetic energy of moving air.

Geothermal Energy

  • Geothermal energy is derived from the Earth’s accessible thermal energy. Using wells or other methods, geothermal reservoirs are tapped for their heat.


  • Hydropower utilizes the potential energy of water flowing from higher to lower elevations. It is produced by reservoirs and rivers. Reservoir hydropower plants utilize water held in a reservoir, whereas run-of-river hydropower plants harness energy from the river’s natural flow.

Ocean Energy

  • Ocean energy is derived from technologies that harness the kinetic and thermal energy of seawater, such as waves or currents, to generate electricity or heat.


  • Bioenergy is derived from a variety of organic materials, referred to as biomass, such as wood, charcoal, manure, and agricultural crops for liquid biofuels. The majority of biomass is used for cooking, lighting, and space heating in rural areas, primarily by impoverished populations in developing nations.

Renewable energy capacity in India


  • As of February 28, 2023, India has a total renewable energy capacity of 168.96 GW, with approximately 82 GW in various phases of implementation and approximately 41 GW at the tendering stage.
  • This comprises 64.38 GW of solar energy, 51.79 GW of hydro energy, 42.02 GW of wind energy, and 10.77 GW of bio energy.

Upcoming plans

  • The government solicited offers for 50 GW of renewable energy capacity annually for the next five years. • These annual bids of ISTS-connected renewable energy capacity will also include the installation of at least 10 GW per year of wind power capacity.
  • The finalized plan by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) was consistent with India’s COP26 commitments.

Major initiatives

  • National Solar Mission (NSM)
  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM).
  • Atal Jyoti Yojana (AJAY) Phase-II
  • Solar Parks Scheme


  • Given that it takes 18 to 24 months to commission Renewable Energy projects, the bid plan will add 250 GW of renewable energy and assure 500 GW of installed capacity by 2030.Already, the Energy Ministry is enhancing and expanding the transmission system’s capacity to evacuate 500 GW of electricity from non-fossil fuels.


  • The difficulty lies in the availability of apparatus and infrastructure to implement this ambitious plan, as well as power evacuation.
  • As money is flowing into the renewable energy sector, financing these projects may not be a problem. However, as there are only a handful of original equipment manufacturers, sourcing equipment such as turbines, modules, power cables, etc. could be difficult.

Reasons for the growth of renewable energy:

Expansion of electricity coverage

  • Increased electricity coverage and the provision of last-mile connectivity to all residences under the SAUBHAGYA scheme or Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (see inset) have contributed to a rise in energy demand.
  • Increasing urbanisation is accompanied by a rise in energy consumption per capita, resulting in a rise in energy demand.


  • Despite the COVID-induced decline, India is one of the few countries that anticipates a significant growth rate in the future, thereby increasing the demand for energy in a post-COVID world.

Growing acceptance of electric mobility

  •  Electric and hybrid vehicles have become the preferred technology worldwide. This will increase the amount of energy required to charge electric vehicles.

Rise in importance of clean energy

  • India’s commitments under the Paris climate accord: In addition to reducing energy intensity and creating carbon sinks, India has pledged to satisfy 40 percent of its total energy demand from non-fossil sources.
  • Therefore, it is essential to invest in renewable energy to reach this objective.

Way Ahead

  • India’s transition from coal to clean energy is a win-win and a promising step toward the country’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2070.
  • Governments and private sector organizations must collaborate and work together to develop innovative solutions and strategies that can help to overcome these obstacles.
  • In the future decades, India’s energy demand is anticipated to increase more than that of any other nation due to its sheer size and enormous growth and development potential.
  • Therefore, it is essential that the majority of this new energy demand be met by renewable, low-carbon sources.

Daily Mains Question

[Q] What is the significance of India’s increasing renewable energy capacity? What initiatives does the government undertake? Analyze the challenges facing the industry.