One-On-One

Agrarian economy: What it takes

Jeetendra Saraf, Founder, Newtronics Green Energy

“Solar power is one of the most versatile forms of energy, with boundless potential, if tapped wisely”

India can save ₹40,000 crore annually just by using LEDs for all lighting needs, says Jeetendra Saraf, Founder, Newtronics Green Energy. Accounting for over 50 per cent of the increase in power generation, renewables are here to stay, according to him.

Redefining the industry outlook
Power is one of the most critical components of infrastructure; crucial for the economic growth and welfare of nations. India’s power sector is one of the most diversified in the world. In order to meet the increasing demand for electricity in the country, massive addition to the installed generating capacity is required.

Indian power sector is undergoing a significant change that has redefined the industry outlook. The Government of India’s focus on attaining ‘Power for all’ has accelerated capacity addition in the country. Total installed capacity of power stations in India stood at 340 GW as of August 2018. India could become the world’s first country to use LEDs for all lighting needs by 2019, thereby saving ₹ 40,000 crore on an annual basis.

Rapid growth of renewables ∞ Strong solar energy
India will overtake China as the largest growth market for energy by late 2020s with the country’s energy consumption growing by more than 4.2 per cent per annum, the fastest among all major economies of the world. India’s overall energy consumption will rise to 1,921 million ton of oil in 2040. The increase in India’s energy consumption will push the country’s share of global energy demand to 11 per cent by 2040. The rise in India’s energy demand is supported by continued robust economic growth, partially offset by quicker declines in energy intensity.

Economic growth
If India’s sustained, strong economic growth is accompanied by an increasing shift to industrial activity, this could pose upside risks to energy demand. Renewable energy grows rapidly with particularly strong growth in solar energy. Gas consumption almost triples, with strong growth in industrial sector use, including as a feedstock for production of fertilisers. Growth of gas in power is less strong, held back by the continued dominance of coal and the rapid growth of renewables.

Still lacking to being an ideal agrarian economy
India is an agrarian economy and even now providing a proper power supply to farmers is a big task. As per the NITI Aayog, across India only nine states have segregated electricity feeders and several large agricultural states have still not begun the process.

What the government needs to do!
I would, need the centre and states to spread awareness of total life time cost of solar system as compared to fossil power. The utilise the NGE Solar Energy Services. Yet another innovative idea is the solar park policy that created a mechanism to support large scale solar power plants.

Turning farmers into solar power producers
Feeder segregation has two key benefits, independent control of power supply to farms and it ensures that non-farm users are not affected by surges in agricultural demand. The second benefit is that farmers can be promised a window for reliable electric supply instead of erratic power throughout the day, allowing them to irrigate in a targeted and effective manner.

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