In the public statement, the government agency said it plans to raise its alternative energy production to 15.9% of total capacity—or 72,400 megawatts—up from the current 11% by 2022. If India reaches its goal, it will have 455 gigawatts of installed power from renewables.
The South Asian nation is experiencing fast-rising energy demand due to rapid industrialization as well as its efforts to address climate change and to bring electricity to millions of off-the-grid rural households. As a result, the International Energy Agency projects India will be the second-largest contributor to the global energy demand after China.
According to the latest figures, India derives just under two-thirds of its power from fossil fuels, mostly coal. Officials in New Delhi expect a significant shortfall in domestic supplies of the black rock in the shorter term, prompting an increased push toward renewable energy.
India plans to spend tens of billions of dollars in subsidies to reach its long-term power generation goals. Solar power will figure prominently into those efforts. On a recent official trip to India, President Barack Obama spoke of the potential for collaboration in the area of alternative energy between the two countries.
The United States is prodding India to lift its solar technology import restrictions, a move that would pave the way for U.S. companies to profit on a lucrative market as India embarks on a major solar rollout.