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Renewable energy governance in India: challenges and prospects for achieving the 2022 energy goals

Rehman, Salma and Hussain, Zaki (2017): Renewable energy governance in India: challenges and prospects for achieving the 2022 energy goals.

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India has set colossal renewable energy (RE) targets (achieving 175GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022) which need a clear strategy roadmap, integrated planning and a whole-of-system approach. However, the loopholes in institutional mechanisms are bound to hinder the process of policy formulation and implementation for the aspired quantum leap. This paper is an attempt to observe governance of renewable energy in India while exploring the issues and challenges that have been stalling the process of clean energy uptake. The paper finds that despite the comprehensive policy and regulatory frameworks, the large disconnect between the central policies and regional needs has created barriers for deployment of renewable technologies. The paper emphasizes the provision for clean energy financial support to be made available to the states for addressing the disparities between RE potential and the development cost, and planning for better grid management systems. The RE targets also demand an intensive capital market development and innovative financial support mechanisms and products. While aligning itself with the clean energy goals, India needs to focus significantly on the energy needs of the rural population which has been grappling with electricity cuts and brownouts. For regions with limited or no electricity supply, the government should aggressively promote the ideas of off-grid solar power and micro grids. The paper also recommends the possibilities for private sector investments, rural entrepreneurship and public- private ventures for filling in the gaps, and thus harnessing the potential of RE-rich states.

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