Our world is changing at a faster pace than ever before. Air in our cities is filled with pollution, supplies of freshwater are reducing and sea levels are rising. A major reason for this is global warming. The decline in food production, increasing natural disasters, and rising temperatures because of climate change are all pointing towards a ghastly future for humans.
A recent example of this includes the devastating cyclone – Tauktae which caused severe loss to life and property. A study by The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology has shown that both the frequency and intensity of cyclones in the Arabian Sea are on the rise. The experts believe the key reason is a rise in the temperature of the Arabian Sea.
It’s a matter of grave concern. Because when oceans get warmer, it creates an enabling environment for cyclones. This was the third cyclone that emerged from the Arabian sea after Vayu (2019) and Nisarga (2020).
The primary culprit behind this is the use of fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and petroleum.
In case you are wondering how here are the reasons:
Coal: The no.1 contributor of CO2
Coal, used as fuel for electricity generation the world over, has high carbon content and emits more CO2 as compared to other fossil fuels when burnt. Globally, coal combustion is the biggest reason for the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. To make matters worse, during the mining process of coal, methane gas is generated which has a 25 times greater global warming potential than CO2.
Vehicular emissions: The 2nd top source of air pollution
Vehicles with internal combustion engines which use diesel and petrol emit almost three-fourths as much CO2 as burning coal.
Natural gas: Not clean as it appears
Natural gas has been often termed as the cleanest gas among all different fuels derived from fossil fuels. While it is true to a large extent. However, natural gas still emits about 50% of CO2 as compared to that emitted when coal is burnt. Hence, in absolute terms, it\’s still a contributor to global warming-causing emissions.
Renewable energy is the solution
Unlike conventional fuels that emit harmful greenhouse gases, renewable energy obtained from sources as solar, wind, and hydropower do not produce harmful by-products. That’s not all. There are many other benefits associated with renewable energy too.
Renewable energy is good for the economy
By developing renewable energy, countries can cut down on their import bills on fuels drastically. Currently, India is 85 percent dependent on imported crude oil to meet its fuel needs. Besides, as compared to fossil fuels, there are no transportation costs involved in wind, solar, and hydro energy.
Renewable energy is good for public health
As there are no harmful emissions of greenhouse gases, renewable energy can help in making the air pollution-free and thus prevent respiratory diseases and related deaths, which account for over 2 million cases in India alone every year.
Let’s take a look at different aspects associated with renewable energy such as:
Different sources of renewable energies
In this section, we will take a detailed look at the different renewable energy sources, such as solar power, hydro energy, wind-generated energy, India’s achievements in this sector, government initiatives, and key growth drivers for the sector.
Challenges in the renewable energy sector in India
Every sector has its own challenges. In this section, we shall examine the major challenges in the renewable energy industry.
Top renewable energy companies in India
Here we shall take a look at the top companies (listed as well as unlisted) in the renewable energy sector in India and whether it makes sense to invest in this sector or stay away from it.
Different Sources of Renewable Energies
\”The nation that leads in renewable energy will be the nation that leads the world\” – James Cameroneron
In our previous story, we talked about the role of renewable energy in creating a better and greener environment. Today let\’s take a look at the different sources of renewable energies and where India stands in terms of these technologies.
The major sources of renewable energy are:
Wind power is generated by turbines that work as a fan using wind to generate electricity. The wind rotates the propeller-like blades of a turbine around a rotor, which spins a generator, creating electricity. Wind turbines can be built offshore or on land or even in large bodies of water like oceans and lakes.
India’s achievements in wind power
- Ranks no. 4 in the world
- 38.789 GW installed capacity
- 300+ GW estimated potential
Andhra Pradesh ranks as the number one state in terms of installed wind power capacity in India, followed by Gujrat and Karnataka.
State-wise wind power installed in India as on 31.12.2020
Source: Ministry of New and Renewable Energy MW=Megawatts GW=Gigawatts