Browning the Green Agenda -Understanding Indian Solar Policy through Local Sustainability Perspective
Dynamics of change in Indian energy sector is marked by policy mediated scaling up of renewable energy technologies (RETs) for power generation in the country. The existing paradigm for RET scale up in India is targeted to conform with global green agenda of rapid capacity scale aimed at climate change mitigation efforts thus showing no differentiation for various socio economic, political and infrastructural concerns existing under Indian panorama i.e. the brown agenda’s. Being a tropical country India is endowed with high solar insolation ideal for solar based energy generation therefore Government of India has recently launched an ambitious program i.e. Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNSSM) targeted at massive scale up of solar based power generation capacities (20 Giga watts by the year 2022) in the country. The prevailing conditions of energy poverty, climate change vulnerabilities and high population growth rates in India warrant that policy incentives for scaling up solar installations fulfill multiple goals. Thus, the current trend of steep reduction in solar installation costs and rapid increase in efficiencies of solar power generation may not be enough for attaining effective energy sustainability transitions in a country where power supply is an inextricable socio-political issue. This article systematically analyses current solar policy implementation in India under triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental implications emphasizing on a need for inclusiveness in terms of local concerns and feasibility while formulating renewable energy policies in developing countries.
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