India can create 3.4 million new clean energy jobs by reaching its goal of 500 GW non-fossil fuel energy sources by 2030

Power generating windmill turbines are pictured during the inauguration ceremony of the new 25 MW ReNew Power wind farm at Kalasar village in the western Indian state of Gujarat
Power generating Windmill Turbines. MeelBijendra/Nandini

Gujarat, September 17 (Meel Bijendra) – India ranks fourth in the world in terms of renewable energy installed capacity, including large hydro. Apart from this, it also ranks fourth in both Wind Power capacity and Solar Power capacity.

India announced its ambitious targets to install 500 GW of non-fossil fuel capacity by 2030, achieve net-zero emissions by 2070, and meet fifty percent of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2030 is an important milestone in the global effort against climate change.

Under these goals, MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) has set a target of installing 100 GW of wind power by 2030. India also has a huge potential of about 127 GW from offshore installations along the country’s 7,600 km long coastline.

In May 2023, India’s installed renewable energy capacity was 173.6 GW, which was 41.4% of the total installed power capacity in the country. Within Renewable Energy, the contribution of Wind Energy of over 42.8 GW currently stands at 24.6%.

To meet India’s 500 GW renewable energy target and tackle the annual issue of fossil fuel demand-supply mismatch, the Indian Power Ministry has identified 81 thermal units that will replace coal with renewable energy generation by 2026.

Allowing 100% FDI in India’s power sector has boosted FDI inflows into the sector to reach US$16.57 billion between April-December 2022.

The Government of India has also announced its intention to invite bids for 50 GW of renewable energy capacity annually over the next five years i.e. from FY23-24 to FY27-28.

These annual bids for ISTS (Inter-State Transmission) linked renewable energy capacity will also include the installation of wind energy capacity of at least 10 GW per annum.

The expansion of clean energy creates massive employment and economic benefits. By reaching its target of 500 GW of non-fossil fuel energy sources by 2030, India can create 3.4 million new clean energy jobs. A large portion of these jobs will likely be local employment opportunities, making a difference to remote communities.

Given the commercial feasibility of Indian renewable energy and the favorable policy environment, Indian corporates and the industry at large have started participating in and accelerating green energy adoption with great enthusiasm.

India is very well positioned as a country to showcase to the world how the battle against climate change can be won while powering growth, thereby firmly establishing India as a central force on the global energy transition map.