There's a revolution going on India: a clean social innovation one! India's solar energy is transforming the country into a clean tech powerhouse with its world-beating green energy growth increase of 52% to $10.3bn in 2011. According to figures released by analysts Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), solar investments in India led the growth with a seven-fold increase in funding, from $0.6bn in 2010 to $4.2bn in 2011, just below the $4.6bn invested in wind during the year. A record 2,827MW of wind energy capacity was added in 2011, which kept India third behind China and the U.S. in terms of new installations.
The surge in installation of renewable energy shows India is becoming cost competitive and scalable. BNEF predicts a further 2,500MW to 3,200MW could be added in 2012. It expects India to exceed the target of adding 12.4GW of grid-connected social innovation renewable energy during its 11th five-year plan, running from April 2007 to March 2012, and is likely to bring 14.2GW of capacity online.
However, if the targets are to be met, this subcontinent needs to improve the grid to handle increasing amounts of renewable energy, plus ensure that renewable purchase obligations are enforced and, crucially, that project developers are paid on time for the power they produce. India still has significant scope for social innovation and growth as it only accounts for four per cent of global investment in clean energy.
Another forecast about India's social innovation and its clean technology market comes from a piece of research by HSBC in 2010 which reported that India's share of the $2.2 trillion market for low carbon goods and services in 2020 could be as much as $135bn. Plus, that India's renewable energy market could create 10.5m green jobs and is likely to grow faster than any other country. This country is making more progress than the U.S. on energy efficiency. It is now fifth in the world in terms of wind energy production and the rate of increase of its private investment in social innovation and clean energy will be 736% over the next 10 years; three times that of U.S. or China!
Michael Liebreich, CEO of BNEF says, "India's record performance in 2011, and the momentum it is carrying into 2012, is one of the bright spots in the clean energy firmament. With support mechanisms falling away in the U.S., the ongoing financial crisis in Europe and China already going flat out, it is gratifying to see some of the world's other major potential markets coming alive." Enormous potential exists for guaranteeing the future prosperity for India, by prioritising its renewable energy programme it is creating a better, more secure and prosperous future for its one billion people and rising.
Source: JustMeans, 21 Feb, 2012