“The Inconvenient Truth” – A documentary by Al Gore has received tremendous attention world wide around climate change and its repercussions on our current and future generations. Countries around the world have been trying ever since to take appropriate and concrete steps to create sustainable strategies for growth and consumption. US India co-operation is at its peak around sustainable energy development policies and technologies. Meeting India’s inclusive growth objectives through sustainable and distributed clean solar power generation assets coupled with creation of manufacturing jobs in cutting edge solar power technology development and exports in United States have been the key drivers for Azure Power, since its inception in the year 2008.
India is endowed with rich solar energy resource, among the highest GHI (solar radiation) in the world. India is a country with more than 1.2 billion people accounting for more than 17% of world’s population. In the last six decades, India’s energy consumption has increased 16 times and the installed electricity capacity by 84 times to over 150 GW. India currently suffers from a major shortage of electricity generation capacity, even though it is the world’s fourth largest energy consumer after United States, China and Russia. Almost 50% of the population does not have access to electricity grid and the reliance on diesel backups peak at over 50GWs.
This coupled with severe fuel shortages for conventional power, high imported coal prices, complex permitting and execution challenges make India a huge market for exploring alternate sources of power generation, specifically solar. In the last 3 years India has added over 1.2 GW of solar power capacity; starting from almost negligible capacity solar is the fastest growing source of energy in India today. India having abundant solar resources at its disposal, the need for distributed electrification and meeting peak demand shortages, solar is a promising and reliable alternative.
Decentralized power production using solar power with assured demand and sustainable rural electrification is the holistic (and realistic) solution for village communities to secure their household and community energy needs within a reasonable time frame.
Azure Power with one of the largest distributed portfolio of operating solar power projects pan India, has demonstrated that solar power can work in meeting India’s growth objectives in a sustainable manner. Azure Power builds, owns and operates solar power plants all over India under long term power purchase agreements that insures its customers uninterrupted and reliable source of clean energy at affordable prices. Azure’s plants are generally built on wasteland/barren lands which will ultimately lead to a positive impact on the social and economic development of the local communities where the projects are located. These assets generate reliable power and generate income for the community through local employment for construction, installation, security and maintenance of the facilities.
With each Azure solar power asset constituting cutting edge US technology; many manufacturing, logistics and financing jobs are created in the United States. US companies engaged in technology exports continue to outperform their peer group of companies in growth that are engaged only in domestic supply.
We stand committed to increasing jobs, trade and energy security, a positive for both India and the United States economies. With the scale up of solar power in the commercial, residential and rural sector, India is definitely on track in harnessing a sustainable, renewable and dependable source of power in the form of solar energy. I encourage each one of us to identify similar opportunities that harness the potential of the worlds two largest democracies for the greater good of the world.