Energy literacy is very poor in India says Pradip Kumar Das

He said that the country is still largely dependent on fossil fuels for energy, despite renewable energy targets being set.
Pradip Kumar Das, Chairman and Managing Director, of Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA)
Pradip Kumar Das, Chairman and Managing Director, of Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA) Photo | Express

BENGALURU: As the union government has set a target of generating 500 giga watt (GW) renewable energy by 2030, officials from the central and state governments said a lot of work needs to be done on improving the energy literacy.

Pradip Kumar Das, Chairman and Managing Director, of Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA) said energy literacy is very poor, in generation and usage. In the last 10 years, the country has grown 26 times, but this has not been the pace for the energy sector. We are still largely dependent on fossil fuels for energy, this is despite renewable energy targets being set. Now thus thrust is being laid on enhancing storage capacity and improving infrastructure.

He was speaking at the sidelines of the day-long national workshop on PM Kusum, on the theme- Accelerating Transformative Energy Security for Indian Agriculture, in the city. The inception of the schemes under Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) started in 2019, but this is the first national-level workshop being held to exchange ideas and learn of the implementation of schemes in various states.

Adding to this, Dinesh Jagdale, Joint Secretary, MNRE said, literacy is improving, but the demand and consumption are increasing at a faster pace. The demand post-Covid has shot up to 250 GW. The awareness on green grid is also increasing. Hence to address all this, the ministry has announced that all RTC bids will have to follow load flowing tender, where tenders are not just called for setting up solar and wind plants, but also for storing the power generated.

Das added that since battery power storage is costly, pumped storage methods be adopted near or in the existing hydro projects.

Additional Chief Secretary Gaurav Gupta said the drought made us realise the need to enhance solar-based pump sets. Since 2017 the energy capacity was not enhanced in the state as there were sufficient rains. No new power purchase agreements were made. But post Covid the demand augmented and now efforts are being done to decentralise the solar plants so that the load is shared and is not affected.

While Maharashtra has taken the lead in setting up solar IP sets, calling for tenders for five lakh sets and has issued orders for 9000MW, Karnataka is catching up. KREDL Managing Director KP Rudrappaiah said, so far 18,000 farmers have applied and they will get solarised IP set in six months under the Kusum-B scheme.

Pertaining to the various Kusum schemes and programmes, Jagdale said they have been shaped well and all states have accepted it. The schemes were launched to address the demand and supply chain. The start of the schemes was slow due to the pandemic and its after-effect issues.

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