Solar and wind surge: clean energy outpaces fossil fuels


According to data released by global energy think-tank Ember, the share of fossil fuels in Rajasthan’s energy mix hit record-low levels at just 50 per cent from April to July.
This is the first time that such low levels of fossil fuel reliance have been sustained for over a quarter of the year. In contrast, solar and wind power generation accomplished substantial growth as it recorded a 28 per cent year-on-year increase and generated a total of 27 TWh during the same period in 2023.
It is worth noting that just two years ago, solar and wind power generation represented less than half of this year’s output. As per the data, when combined with other clean energy sources, including nuclear, hydro, and bio-energy, clean power generation in Rajasthan now equals fossil fuel generation in capacity.
From January to July, electricity generation in the desert state increased by 4.4 TWh compared to the same period in 2022.
This growth was entirely driven by the expansion of solar and wind power generation. Consequently, the carbon emissions intensity associated with power production in Rajasthan for July 2023 stood at 422 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt-hour (gCO2e/kWh), representing a 10 per cent reduction compared to July 2022, according to Ember.
Rajasthan has actively promoted the deployment of solar and wind power fleets through the implementation of its Solar Energy Policy and Wind Hybrid Energy Policy.
Also, the increasing demand for clean energy from neighbouring places such as Delhi has attracted substantial investments in Rajasthan, which has the highest solar potential across the country.
From January to July, Rajasthan successfully added 1.7 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity and 0.5 GW of wind capacity. As of July, the state’s combined solar and wind capacity reached 23 GW, constituting 20 per cent of India’s total solar and wind capacity.
This expansion has elevated Rajasthan’s status as a leading supplier of clean electricity in the country. Meanwhile, the fossil fuel generation capacity, specifically coal and gas, remained unchanged since 2022.
On a national scale, India continued to rely on fossil fuels for over 70 per cent of its electricity generation throughout 2023 up to July, consistent with its energy mix in 2022.
Ember’s Data Analyst Uni Lee said, “India can lead by example through the successful delivery of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise to reach 500 GW of non-fossil generation capacity.”