Gujarat recently hosted ‘INTERSOLAR INDIA’ between December 2 and 4, 2021. It was touted as India’s most pioneering exhibition and conference for the solar industry. Given the state-of-the-art exhibition facilities in Gujarat, choosing it for such events is more of a natural decision than an outcome of any sublime analysis. Looking retrospectively, we can easily find that Gujarat has done more to persuade international tourists of India’s solar market and potential than any other state has.
Solar power is synonymous with clean energy adoption in the State today, not just in the form of a significant rooftop presence, where the State has dominated in recent years, but also in the sheer entrepreneurial enthusiasm and optimism of the many manufacturers, installers, and other players, despite the odds.
It began 20 years ago as a brainchild of PM Modi, and today, it has taken the shape of a full-fledged policy-driven movement that continues to aid India’s quest for becoming energy surplus.
What the CM of Gujrat Says
Gujarat CM, Bhupendra Patel, asserts that by 2025, the State will be India’s renewable energy capital. He takes pride in calling the State the world’s industrial hub and a favourite location for investors.
He continues to say, “Various reforms were implemented by the Central Government. Gujarat is capable of adapting to any situation. We want to help people all across the world. In the 75th year of Independence, Atmanirbhar Bharat accentuates the PM’s vision.”
Gujarat is honouring Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a self-sufficient India. Gujarat is the entryway to the world’s manufacturing capital. We take an approach that is investor-friendly. It is the world’s most industrialised economy and the most popular investment destination. We stay on top because of our infrastructure-building efforts. We live in a policy-oriented state”, CM Patel remarks.
What Numbers Say
Gujarat is predicted to significantly increase renewable energy sources by 2025. According to State Government forecasts, Gujarat’s renewable energy generation capacity is predicted to increase to 38,466MW by 2025, thanks to regulatory measures and investor support. Gujarat’s current cumulative installed power generation capacity from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, biomass, and bagasse is around 13,152 MW, according to the State’s Energy and Petrochemical Department. The State has embarked on several large-scale projects to increase electricity generation from renewable sources.
Gujarat has been at the heart of India’s transition towards solar energy since it has emerged as both a production and consumption centre. Gujarat’s renewable energy generation capacity is predicted to increase to 38,466MW by 2025, thanks to regulatory measures and investor support
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the groundwork for a 30,000MW hybrid (solar and wind) renewable energy park in Kutch in December of last year, claiming it to be the world’s largest of its kind. Moreover, the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited has already begun expanding in the State, significantly boosting the State’s renewable energy production capacity.
The Sheer Grit of PM Modi
Recently at the COP26 summit held in November 2021, Prime Minister Modi advocated “One Sun, One World, One Grid” as part of his global mission to not only solve the energy crisis but ensure clean, renewable energy for future generations. His idea comes from the very basis of Earth’s rotational movement that causes day and night.
The idea aims to create a worldwide energy grid and commission solar panels across countries so that the Sun-facing region would generate energy in real-time and transmit surplus energy to other parts of the world. This is indeed an ambitious project by any standard but once completed; it would allow equitable use of energy for human development without any hindrance or harmful implications.
What The Ground Journey in Gujarat Says
Gujarat has made the logical transition from being a manufacturing powerhouse to a consuming hub, in this case, thanks to a policy climate that has simplified the procedure for rooftop solar approvals and sparked large solar park ambitions for the State. The State leads the country in rooftop solar installations, accounting for as much as 80 per cent of new rooftop capacity increase in recent months.
One hopes that other states will follow Gujarat’s lead, particularly in rooftop solar, because this has the potential to not only create many more jobs but also to provide a strong domestic market for the manufacturing capacity that is springing up across the country, which will initially struggle to find ready takers in the utility-scale segment.
Gujarat alone accounts for 38 per cent of 37,771 MW capacity approved for different states. Project-wise sanctioned PV capacity in Gujarat is as follows: Dholera Solar Park (Phase-I) 1,000 MW, Dholera Solar Park (Phase-II) 4,000 MW, GIPCL RE Park (600 MW), GSECL RE Park (3,325 MW), NTPC RE Park (4,750 MW), and Radhnesada Solar Park (700 MW)
It won’t be an overstatement if we say that Gujarat has been at the heart of India’s transition towards solar energy since it has emerged as both a production and consumption centre. The switch towards sustainable energy requires institutional, financial, and execution support from the government, and Gujarat has been a forerunner in solar adoption due to the support extended by the State Government and local bureaucracy.
The other States can follow the footsteps of Gujarat as India aggressively marches forward to the net-zero emission targets with the help of renewable energy sources. As much as 40 per cent of the energy produced in India is from non-fossil fuel sources, and solar energy is going to be at its forefront. It is clear from Gujarat’s example that India will need both domestic and industrial-scale solar energy adoption to develop indigenous manufacturing capacity, and it could soon turn us into exporters of clean energy and solar equipment in the days to come. Important to note here that Gujarat has given the needed impetus to manufacturing solar equipment indigenously; many young names are among the leading installers, manufacturers, and solar parks developers. Gujarat has always led the revolution, be it milk, manufacturing, or green energy now.