Shri R. K. Singh, Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy, has announced the establishment of a Centre for Energy Transition as a joint effort of the Government of India and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). The Minister made the statement on February 9, 2024, during the 23rd World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) in New Delhi, which is held by TERI.
He stated that the institution will be expected to play a critical role in developing routes for sustainable energy transition and encouraging innovation in the renewable energy industry.
The Union Minister stressed India’s leadership in climate action and energy transition at a session on “Energy Transitions for People, Peace, Prosperity, and our Planet” to summit delegates.
He highlighted India’s remarkable progress and said: “44% of our power generation capacity is from non-fossil-fuel sources. About 180-plus GW of total capacity of 427 GW is from non-fossil-fuel sources, most of which is renewable capacity.Our rate of energy transition is unmatched. We are the only country issuing bids for round-the-clock renewable energy.”
Shri Singh said that India is the only major economy which has achieved both NDCs way ahead of schedule. “When neutral observers graded us, they rated India as the only major country whose energy transition actions are consonant with sub-2-degrees raise in global temperature,” added the Minister.
The Power Minister underlined the need for a change in public discourse. “The developed countries developed using fossil fuels; 77% of legacy carbon emissions are caused by developed countries. This is something which never comes out in the public discourse. India comprises 17% of global population, while we have been responsible for only 3% of cumulative global carbon emissions. If the developed countries continue at this rate of the pace of emissions, the carbon space will soon get extinguished, while we developing countries need carbon space to grow.”
Shri Singh said that the developed countries must realize that no country is going to compromise on their development trajectory. “They need to vacate carbon space so that developing countries can develop.”
He further said that the per capita emissions of developed economies are about 4 times the global average. “The discourse is hypocritical, since nobody talks about per capita emissions, which are the nub of the problem. The argument to do away with coal is a red herring, since it is not just coal, but gas too which emitscarbon dioxide and also methane. None of the COP gatherings has addressed this.”
The Minister said that developed countries did not add energy storage capacity, due to which prices are high. “Sustainable development has to rest on two planks: one, those emitting at rapid rate need to bring down emissions; two, those who need to develop need to be assisted with technology and finance, thus bringing down price of energy transition.” He said that while India does not need financial assistance, other developing countries need access to finance and technology in order to grow.
The Minister emphasized Prime Minister’s emphasis on Mission LiFE, stating, “The development model of the world must evolve; increasing demand without sustainability spells doom.” Highlighting India’s strides, he added, “We are boosting green vehicles and ramping up green hydrogen production.” However, he cautioned, “Protectionist trade barriers obstruct progress. It’s time for a collective rethink.”
India’s TERI Governing Council has announced the establishment of a Centre for Energy Transition in Hyderabad, in partnership with the government. The centre aims to develop comprehensive energy transition pathways for India and other nations. Director-General Vibha Dhawan reiterated TERI’s commitment to sustainability and the importance of collaboration and innovation in tackling climate change.
The World Sustainable Development Summit 2024 provided a platform for robust discussions and collaborations towards achieving sustainable development goals. India’s commitment to energy transition and sustainability marks significant milestones in its journey towards a greener future.
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