Content from the Brookings Institution India Center is now archived. After seven years of an impactful partnership, as of September 11, 2020, Brookings India is now the Centre for Social and Economic Progress, an independent public policy institution based in India.
This article originally appeared in the Mint. The views are of the author(s).
Who doesn’t want clean or ‘green’ energy? But what if this costs a bit more? We might quickly find many people’s appetite for renewable energy (RE) is lower, especially if the worry cited is something as invisible, long-term, and global as CO2 emissions that impact climate change. RE is making enormous progress in India—but it is driven more by targets, governmental support, and simple economics than a consumer push for being green. The good news is that the price for RE, especially solar power (photovoltaics, or PV) is falling dramatically. What this can allow us to do is focus on the next set of challenges in making RE scale, sustainably.
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Renewable energy growth has been strong but won’t be enough to avoid more coal. India’s focus should be on cleaning up coal, instead of wishing it away.