As we hinted at a few weeks ago, India has finally announced a national solar energy plan initially intended for public declaration on November 14. Officially known as the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, the “Solar India” plan adopts a three-phased approach with a preliminary goal of installing 200 MW of solar energy capacity by 2012. By the year 2022, Solar India hopes to have 20,000 MW of solar thermal and photovoltaic energy up and running. According to the plan,
With climate change negotiations set to begin in Copenhagen on December 7th, some nations are beginning to articulate commitments to renewable energy deployment in lieu of adopting binding carbon emission reductions. Rapidly developing economies, in particular, are opposed to emission reductions as they fear such caps will slow and limit economic prosperity. And so it goes with India, which is expected to announce details of the nation’s solar energy plan sometime this week.
Let us rejoice as India cements the beginning of a (hopefully) long relationship with solar with plans for its first polysilicon solar project, its largest solar thermal plant and the world’s largest solar farm. Not bad for a country just recently getting into the game—and perhaps expected, for a country with a potential generation capacity of 5,000 trillion kilowatt-hours a year from the sun alone.
After several months of scrutinizing solar in China, let us shift our focus for now to another energy-guzzling, rising economic power with some ambitious energy goals of its own: India. While India’s emissions record is commendable in comparison with China’s (8 percent of global CO2 emissions in 2007, compared to China’s staggering 24 percent), by no means is India sitting idle on the subject of climate change mitigation. After all, China, the United States, the EU-15, India and the Russian Federation—in that order—account for 71 percent of global emissions. India, in an effort to align its rapid economic development with more sustainable practices, has decided to launch its National Action Plan on Climate Change.