With the international drive to reduce depletion of natural resources and increasing efforts towards sustainable development, renewable energy has come into focus globally.
Considering the higher increase in energy consumption, India is also looking at ways to alter sources to cleaner and greener energy that will help in building a more resilient future. The country is relying more on solar and wind energy to redirect the transition from non-renewable to renewable energy to achieve the 2050 goals.
Especially in critical times like today when about 50 percent of India's coal-based power plants, fuel stocks of less than three days, solar energy and other renewable sources have become all the more critical.
Switching over to renewable energy and encouraging investments in the sector is not just an internal goal for India, it also aligns with the COP26 goals, where countries have been asked to come forward with ambitious 2030 emission reduction targets that align with reaching net-zero target.
The energy choices that the country makes now will determine its success in achieving the target of 450 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030.
Carbon neutral is the new gold, nowadays more and more companies are pledging to become carbon neutral, net-zero or even climate positive. Sustainability and ESG disclosures are becoming an important part of the overall corporate strategy.
To discuss this, CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan is in conversation with Sumant Sinha, Chairman and Managing Director of ReNew Power and Rajat Verma, MD and Head of Commercial Banking at HSBC
Sinha said, “A tremendous amount has changed in the last five years. I think that, first of all, the biggest thing that has happened is that renewable energy has become cheaper than any other form of electricity. The second thing that has happened is that there is a very significant now, mindset shift. People recognize that we cannot control pollute, that carbon emissions need to be controlled, and therefore we need to fundamentally have different sources of clean energy. The third thing that I think now is beginning to happen is that people are also recognising that electricity accounts for only a quarter of the total carbon emissions because the energy sector is much broader and much bigger. It encompasses mobility, it encompasses the hard to abate sectors and the corporate side, etc. and so we need to find solutions, where we can actually take forward renewable energy into those areas as well and to clean those sectors also, because as I said they account for a very significant chunk of carbon.”
He added, “As we keep going forward, things are going to become even more compelling for clean energy and for the green economy as a whole. Technology is not going to stop, technology evolution is going to continue to happen, and the pressure from a climate change standpoint is going to continue to be there.”
On the ability of the sector to raise capital Verma said, “Almost 40 to 50 percent of the world's capital, whether it be asset management companies or banks, or pension funds, etc. have committed to net zero. So clearly the flow of capital, the amount of capital to my mind is not the issue any longer. You have $40 to $50 trillion of banks, $40- $50 trillion of asset management as a percentage of that industry, saying that, we will be lending a fairly significant chunk of our money towards this.”
For full interview, watch accompanying video...