According to Union Minister RK Singh, approximately 44% of India’s energy demand is currently met by non-fossil sources and is expected to rise to 65% by 2030, well exceeding the country’s goal at the COP meeting in 2021.

At COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, India pledged an ambitious five-part “Panchamrit” plan. They included achieving 500 GW of non-fossil electrical generation, sourcing half of all energy from renewables, and lowering emissions by 1 billion tonnes by 2030.

India as a whole seeks to lower the emissions intensity of GDP by 45 percent. Finally, India pledges to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070.

“At COP26, we vowed that by 2030, 50% of our capacity will be non-fossil, mostly renewable. In actuality, it would be between 60 and 65 percent. We will go much beyond what we promised,” the minister in charge of the power and renewable portfolios said at The Energy and Resources Institute’s World Sustainable Development Summit 2024 on Friday evening.

According to the minister, 103,000 megawatts of renewable energy are under construction in India, with 71,000 megawatts under bid, which he claims is unsurpassed.

“Our rate, speed, and scale of energy transition may be unsurpassed. We are the only ones bidding on renewable energy around the clock. We are the only country that is building storage with the goal of lowering storage costs,” he remarked.

India has one of the lowest per capita emissions, at 2.0-2.6 tonnes, compared to the global average of 6.8 tons, he claims.

“The use of fossil fuels has enabled industrialised countries to develop. They were directly responsible for 77% of the legacy carbon dioxide burden on our planet, which has resulted in global temperature rise.

India, which accounts for 17% of the global population, generates only 3% of the historical carbon dioxide load, he noted.

“If developed countries continue to emit at their current rate. The available time before we reach that 1.5-degree rise in global temperature is only 4.5 years. But we don’t see any signs that they’re slowing down their emissions,” he said.

He stated that developing countries require carbon space in order to develop, and he supported his claim by pointing out that affluent countries’ per capita emissions are likely four times the world average.

He claimed that the core issue is high per capita emissions.

“Developed countries must recognise that no country in the world will compromise on its development, no matter how many speeches are delivered. “You need to free up carbon space so that developing countries can develop,” he added.

Furthermore, he stated that developed countries require financial assistance and access to technology. “We need to bring down the price of energy transition, otherwise it won’t come down.”