Over the years India has successfully created a positive outlook necessary to promote investment in, demand for, and supply of, renewable energy. India’s strategy on renewable energy is driven by the objectives of energy access and energy security, aided by the increasing concerns of climate change and grounded in existing policy making processes. It has evolved over the years through increasingly stronger political signals at federal level, reflected in the creation of a separate Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).
The success of India’s renewable energy strategy relies in the dynamic policy making which allows for incremental target setting along with identification and removal of various barriers through the process. The removal of barriers through implementing policies like an accelerated depreciation scheme, generation based incentives and renewable purchase obligations have played an integral role. Decentralised implementation is a core component of this dynamic policy making, where the state governments are allowed to develop their own policy targets and regulations in line with, but independent from, federal policy. The institutional network that is responsible to implement and achieve these targets is overseen by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy at federal level and supported by a number of national and sub-national autonomous bodies, particularly the Electricity Regulation Commissions. This network of institutions provides a nation-wide capacity and awareness building platform for renewable energy.
A key lesson learned in the process is that while a favourable policy environment is crucial for promoting renewable energy technologies, a supporting strategy for indigenous/domestic manufacturers and investment in research and development is crucial for achieving higher long-term targets.