India aims to build 1 terrawatt of global solar power – four times the current worldwide total – and become a 100% electric vehicle nation by 2030, but still needs to rid itself of coal

Cross-posted from Clean Technica 23 Nov 2016.  Originally published on Energy Post.
By Dénes Csala

India aims to build 1 terrawatt of global solar power – four times the current worldwide total – and become a 100% electric vehicle nation by 2030. Those are great ambitions, but they still far short from what is needed for a true energy transformation away from coal, writes Dénes Scala of Lancaster University. Courtesy of The Conversation.

One of the world’s largest solar power projects has just been completed in southern India. At 648 megawatts (MW), the Kamuthi solar plant can generate as much electricity as most coal or nuclear power stations.

This is great news. But it must be only the start of an unprecedented Indian solar boom. For the country to achieve its Paris climate pledges it will need hundreds more Kamuthis.

India has become one of the big names in renewable energy in recent years. The country championed the International Solar Alliance, an initiative launched a year ago at COP21 in Paris which is expected to be ratified at the follow-up COP22 in Morocco. It aims to mobilise US$1 trillion (£790 billion) to develop 1 terawatt of global solar power by 2030 – that’s four times more than the current worldwide total.

India has made a good start. Among its many ambitious policies include plans for more resilient grids and the deployment of large-scale energy storage to retain intermittent solar and wind power for when it’s needed. The country also aims to become, by 2030, a 100% electric vehicle nation.

All those newly-commissioned solar farms won’t be able to power the electric cars by themselves – and existing coal power plants will still be needed

Impressive renewable energy projects are springing up across India. Kamuthi’s completion means the state of Tamil Nadu now hosts both the world’s second largest solar plant and one of the world’s largest onshore windfarms. Even bigger solar plants are being built further west, in Kanataka state and in Andra Pradesh along the east coast.

This is all part of an ambitious plan to deploy 100 GW of solar power by 2022 (for reference, the current the global total is around 223 GW). The government has pledged tens of billions of dollars to these projects, while a very strong private and foundation grant-based movement is encouraging smaller-scale solar, including micro-grids and off-grid systems.

But India is still powered by coal

Huge headline-grabbing solar projects don’t tell the whole story, however. India’s energy generation remains among the least sustainableof the world’s large countries.

Fossil fuels, mostly imported, account for 75% of primary energy. More than 80% of its electricity comes from coal. India couldn’t replace that overnight – even if it wanted to, there aren’t enough wind turbines and solar panels in the world. The transition to renewable energy could take decades.

Ahead of the Paris conference last year, India pledged that, by 2030, coal would generate only 60% of its electricity. However this is not because coal plants would be phased out, but because more solar and wind farms will meet growing demand. This won’t reduce the country’s emissions – it’ll simply decrease the rate at which they are growing.

Our scenario calls for 1,500GW of Indian photovoltaic generation capacity by 2030. This will be tough but is certainly not impossible

To further back up the idea that Delhi isn’t about to ditch fossil fuels any time soon, just look at the recent US$13 billion (£10bn) investment by Russia’s state-owned Rosneft in India’s Essar Oil, or early plans to construct a gas pipeline from Siberia to India worth US$25 billion (£20bn).

Even the electric car strategy isn’t as good as it first sounds. On the surface, the government’s plan to introduce subsidies and ensure all vehicles on the road are electric by 2030 sounds similar to proposals in Norway and Germany.

But there is a missing link in policy coordination somewhere: all those newly-commissioned solar farms won’t be able to power the electric cars by themselves – and existing coal power plants will still be needed. Effectively, India will replace petrol with coal and may even need to expand coal power: thus actually increasing emissions.

Can India turn things round?

To appreciate the scale of the challenge, let us compare a few different future scenarios for the country’s energy system.

In the chart below, A and B represent the predictions of the International Energy Agency and the US government respectively. Scenario C is India’s own pledges under the Paris agreement, including its solar plan – this is what the government is hoping to achieve.

My colleagues and I engineered a best-case scenario, where India generates enough energy to keep its economy running, but still does its fair share of global efforts to keep warming below 2°C. This is scenario D in the chart.


Squint and you might spot solar and wind in the first three scenarios (charts also include hydro, in light green, and nuclear in purple). Denes Csala (data IEA, EIA, BP, UNSD), Author provided

Scientists have calculated there is a certain amount of fossil fuel we can safely extract in future while still staying within the 2°C carbon cap. This is the global carbon budget. In all four scenarios, we assumed that India would be allocated a very generous 50% of the global budget – yes, half of the world’s safely extractable fossil fuels – despite having just 18% of the population.

Yet even if India is “allowed” these generous emissions, it will still need around ten times more solar and wind power than under the government’s current trajectory. Just look at the enormous difference in the green and yellow sections of the above charts.

Our scenario calls for 1,500 GW of Indian photovoltaic generation capacity by 2030. This will be tough but is certainly not impossible. First India must keep on track with its 100 GW by 2022 plan and continue to boost its solar panel manufacturing industry to compete with China. Perhaps then, with a little nudge from the private sector and small community cooperatives, we might well witness a true energy revolution.

Dénes Csala (@csaladenes) is Lecturer in Energy Storage Systems Dynamics at Lancaster University in the UK. See his website.

NEW DELHI: The government is working on a scheme to provide electric cars on zero down payment for which people can pay out of their savings on expensive fossil fuels, for becoming 100 per cent electric vehicle nation by 2030.

“India can become the first country of its size which will run 100 per cent of electric vehicles. We are trying to make this programme self financing.

“We don’t need one rupee support from the government. We don’t need one rupee investment from th ..

Read more at:

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises
08-April-2015 20:12 IST

Anant Geete Launch’s the Scheme for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India – Fame India

Say , It is a Dire Necessity to Find Alternate Sources of Energy for Transport Which are Eco-Friendly Yet Cost-Effective

Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Shri Anant Geete today launched a scheme for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India, better known as FAME India at  an event held at the India Habitat Centre here in New Delhi for the stakeholders and the general public at large. The event was organized by The Department of Heavy Industry (DHI) of the Government of India, in association with the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). On this occasion Shri G.M.Siddheswara, Minister of State, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Shri Rajan Katoch and Additional Secretary Heavy Industry, Shri Ambuj Sharma were also present.


Speaking on the occasion Shri Geete said in 2011, Union Cabinet approved the setting up of a National Mission on Electric Mobility (NMEM) under which two apex bodies were set up –  National Council on Electric Mobility (NCEM) at the Ministerial level and the other – National Board on Electric Mobility (NBEM) at the Secretary level to formulate the road map for a new paradigm in road transportation centering around hybrid and electric vehicles.  The Minister said  Apart from the detailed field level study, including consumer survey conducted by a reputed global knowledge partner (M/s Booz & Co.)  a number of meetings of NCEM and NBEM were held over the next 1 ½ years.   Accordingly, Electric mobility was included as a prominent theme for DHI in the the 12th Plan Five Year Plan document under the caption “A Hiving competence in manufacturing of fuel efficient cars and electric vehicles including hybrid segment”.   The 12th Five Year Plan also approved an outlay of ` 795 crore for the same.


Based on the road map prepared by the DHI, a National Electric Mobility Plan (NEMMP-2020) was released in January 2013 by the then Prime Minister.   NEMMP 2020, drawing on various inputs received from all concerned stake holders including different Ministries, Planning Commission, Industry and Academia, laid down a aspirational target of 6-7 million hybrid and electric vehicles per year by 2020 provided commensurate incentives were extended by the Government for demand and supply creation, technology and R&D projects, creation of public charging infrastructure and pilot projects.  The industry on its part is also expected to make substantial investments based on this long term vision plan.


Shri Geete detailed Salient Features of FAME India scheme which are as under:


  1. Based on the NEMMP 2020 road map, a detailed scheme titled “FAME India” (Faster Adoption and Manufacture of Electric Vehicles in India) was drawn up by DHI and submitted for the approval of the Government.   Based on the Ministry of Finance’s approval, FAME India scheme with an outlay of ` 795 crore under Plan Head has been launched for the initial two years – Phase I (2015-17).





He said The break-up details of the two year allocation of Rs. 795 core is as follows:

(Amount in Rupees)

Components of the scheme 2015-16 2016-17
Technology Platform

(Including testing infrastructure)

`    70 cr. `. 120 cr.
Demand Incentives `. 155 cr. ` 340 cr.
Charging Infrastructure `. 10 cr. `. 20 cr.
Pilot Projects ` 20 cr. `. 50 cr.
IEC/Operations `5 cr. ` 5 cr.
Total (Rs.) `. 260 cr. `. 535 cr.
Grand Total (Rs.) `. 795 cr.

Under the Budget 2015-16, an initial amount of ` 75 crore has been approved.  It is expected that based on the successful implementation of the scheme and utilization of funds so far ear-marked, further funds would be released for the purpose, the minister added.


On coverage the minister said this scheme would be covered throughout the country with the following four areas:

  1. Cities under “Smart Cities” initiatives.
  2. Major metro agglomerations – Delhi NCR, Greater Mumbai, Kolkatta, Chennai, Bengaluri, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad.
  3. All State and other Urban Agglomerations/Cities with 1 million+population (as per 2011 census)
  4. Cities of the North Eastern States
  5. It will cover all vehicle segments i.e. two, three and four wheelers, cars, LCVs, Buses etc and all forms of hybrid (Mild/Strong/Plug-in) and pure electric vehicles.
  6. The demand incentive will be availed by buyers upfront at the point of purchase and the same shall be got reimbursed by the manufacturers from DHI,  on a monthly basis. The broad range of demand incentive available for different categories of vehicles is as follows:


(Incentive in Rupees)

Vehicle Segment Minimum incentive ` Maximum incentive `
2  wheeler scooter 1800 22,000
Motorcycle 3500 29,000
3  wheeler Autorikshaw 3300 61,000
4 wheeler cars 11,000 1,38,000
LCVs 17,000 1,87,000
Bus 30,00,000 66,00,000
Retro Fitment Category 15 % or ` 30,000 if reduction

in fuel consumption is 10-30%

30 % of Kit price or

` or ` 90,000 if reduction in fuel consumption is more than 30 %



On Technology Platform the Minister said  one of the prime focus area under the scheme is to develop indigenous technology and R&D capability to develop and manufacture the entire range of electric components and sub-systems necessary for hybrid and electric vehicles.


He said the Technology Advisory Group on Electric Mobility (TAG-EM) under the Co-chairmanship of Shri Ambuj Sharma, Additional Secretary, DHI and Prof. Jhunjhunwala of IIT Madras with senior members from the DST, Industry and Academia has been set up which is steering various initiatives in this field.


The minister said Four Sub-Groups have been set up on vehicle system integration, motors and controllers and power electronics; batteries and battery management system and charging infrastructure.  In each of these areas centres of excellence (COE) are being set up to provide the required thrust and short-term, outcome oriented results.


He said a number of R&D projects have already been initiated by DHI, for example – development of off-line and real-time simulators for Xevs systems, design development for light weight vehicles, technology for solid state lithium ion battery and COE for motors etc.


He also informed that an amount of ` 30 crore is being released for the creation of necessary testing and homologation facilities at ARAI, Pune for testing these new generation EV, within the country.


On  Pilot Projects the minister said  in order to test and demonstrate the technical capability of hybrid and electric vehicles as well as market dynamics in real-time situation, a number of pilot projects are being launched in the coming months across India, jointly with the State Governments and Industry etc.  DHI shall provide viability of funding, installation of charging points etc., for the successful implementation of such pilot projects


  1. A few examples of pilot projects under consideration are :
  • Running pure electric vehicles (7 seater) in the last 2 Kms at Taj Mahal (Agra)
  • Pure Electric 2 wheeler vehicles for home delivery (Dominos, KFCs etc)
  • Pure electric 3 wheelers/small 4 wheelers for fruit and vegetable distribution and garbage disposal etc.
  • Electric cars for taxi fleets, corporate hire and rental scheme use etc.
  • Last mile connectivity from metro stations.
  • Hybrid and electric buses for public transport and creation of clean air islands for selected areas


On Public Charging Infra-structure the minister said to address issues of range anxiety amongst users of pure electric vehicles,  a mix of slow and faster charging facilities needs to be created in different cities across India, on a scientific basis, taking into account population density of such vehicles and the local transportation pattern etc.


Also ,India specific standards for both AC and DC chargers – slow and fast chargers are under formulation and will be finalized shortly. And, efforts are also being made to spur indigenous manufacturing of low cost, high quality chargers.


On   rationale for NEMMP 2020 |Shri Geete said estimated cumulative Fuel Savings by 2020 is – 9500 Million litres (equivalent).  Savings of ` 62000 crore @ 64.95/litre petrol)

  • There will also be reduction of pollution & greenhouse gas emissions (- 2 million tonnes)
  • Local manufacturing of vehicles will lead to employment generation direct (job creation of 60 to 65 thousand + indirect job creation in components like battery, motors, power electronic devices etc. totaling 2.5 to 3 lakhs)


On linkages the minister said  FAME India Scheme has inherent and close Synergy with the following leading industries of Government:

  • “Make in India” Mission
  • National Transport Policy
  • National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC)

o   National Solar Mission (NSM)

o   National Mission for Sustainable Habitat (NMSH)

o   National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE)

The minister also informed that   First National Workshop on FAME India Scheme and Electric Mobility was conducted by DHI on today morning at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi which was attended by senior officers of the Central Ministries/Departments, State Government/UT Administration apart from industry and academia.   Details of the scheme were apprised to all the stake holders.    Further, role of the State Governments particularly in the roll out of pilot projects and charging infrastructure was reiterated.  The industry representatives on their part, informed about their products and initiatives taken to upgrade technology in the future.

Shri Geete reiterated that  “Keeping in view the limited domestic reserves of the conventional fuels and the rising demand in the automobile sector, it is a dire necessity to find alternate sources of energy for transport which are eco-friendly yet cost-effective. In the present circumstances, the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (hybrid &) Electric vehicles Scheme is a necessity. We hope that the scheme shall be a success and benefits the citizens of our country and meet the objectives which are set out in the Mission. Today, the first national workshop organized by our Ministry also saw various stakeholders including our partners from the State Govts participating with full fervor; we are hopeful that as one of important stakeholders we will have their active participation in the implementation of the scheme as we go forward. I must say “Team India” will work for this nationally important scheme and make our country proud.

Shri Geete  also called upon both the industry and academia in the country to come forward and develop new and advanced electric and hybrid vehicle models across all segments matching international standards, which are also cost effective.  He said that the involvement of state Govts. and local bodies will be crucial in the successful roll out of pilot projects and public charging infrastructure for which the Central Govt. shall provide adequate funds in the initial years.

He said   Governments around the world are promoting these evolving alternate technology vehicles including countries such as USA, EU (including France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands), Japan and China. Across the globe, the major focus is on market creation through various forms of incentives, particularly demand side incentives.

The Minister also released a CD “Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electrical Vehicles”” brought out by the Department of Heavy Industries inaugurated a display of hybrid and electric vehicles in two, three and four wheeler segments being manufactured in India, which are eligible for coverage under the new scheme.