India’s Achieves Economic Growth, While Reducing Greenhouse Gases

The population of the Republic of India is approximately 1.38 billion people[1]. In 2019, utilities used coal (55.4%), renewable energy (36.0%), natural gas (6.7%), nuclear energy (1.8%)  and oil (0.1%) to generate electricity in the country[2]. Hydropower, wind and solar are the primary sources of renewable energy in India.

In 2016, India signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to a 33% to 35% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030, compared to 2005 levels[3]. India further pledged to achieve 40% of cumulative electricity installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based resources by 2030.

India has been experiencing unprecedented economic growth since 2005, which usually means a dramatic increase in greenhouse gas emissions. However, the country has been able to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by building new wind farms, solar parks, and energy storage projects to replace coal-fired power plants.

Recent renewable energy projects in India include:

  • 8,000 MW Solar Projects – In June 2020, Solar Energy Corporation of India awarded multiple solar projects to Indian renewable energy company, Adani Green Energy. The solar projects which have a total capacity of 8,000 MW will be built over the next five years.
  • 1,440 MW Wind-Solar Projects – Solar Energy Corporation of India has recently awarded three wind-solar hybrid projects with total capacity of 1,440 MW to companies in the states of Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.
  • 500 MW Energy Storage Project – Indian engineering firm, MEIL has begun work on the Kundah Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project in the Nilgiris hills of the Tamil Nadu State. The project will contain four 125 MW pump-turbine motor-generator units to power the energy storage operation.
  • 110 MW Solar Project – Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited has launched a tender for an aggregate of grid-connected solar power plants, ranging in size from 10 MW to 55 MW.
  • 2,285 kW Rooftop Solar System – G.B. Pant University Of Agriculture And Technology, located approximately 140 miles east of New Deli has launched a tender for a grid-connected rooftop solar system.

India has shown the world that is possible for a developing country to achieve dramatic economic growth, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has experienced dramatic growth over the past twenty years, but now produces more greenhouse gases than any other country in the world. Although the PRC has built some of the largest renewable energy projects in the world, it is India that has actually reduced greenhouse gases in their country.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”


[1] India Population (2020) –  August 27, 2020

[2] Government of India, “Optimal Generation Capacity Mix” July 12, 2020

[3] Carbon Brief – “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Pledges”

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