India stands on the brink of a renewable energy revolution, positioned as the third-ranked country in the renewable energy country attractive index for 2021. In 2020, renewable sources accounted for 38% (136 GW out of 373 GW) of India’s total installed energy capacity. To further unlock the potential of renewable energy, India has made a Climate Pledge called Panchamrittas (5 Pledges) at COP-26 in Glasgow.

Geographical advantages and renewable energy potential in India:

Solar energy: India, being a tropical country, possesses abundant solar energy resources. It currently holds the fourth position in terms of solar power production globally. Karnataka leads among Indian states, with an installed solar power capacity of approximately 7,100 MW, followed by Telangana, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat.

Wind energy: The wind patterns in India are influenced by the strong southwest summer monsoon. From March to August, the winds are consistently strong throughout the Indian Peninsula, except for the eastern peninsular coast. The National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) estimates a potential offshore wind energy capacity of 36 GW off the coast of Gujarat and nearly 35 GW off the Tamil Nadu coast. The Gulf of Khambhat holds substantial potential for offshore wind energy.

Geo-thermal energy: India also possesses a geographical advantage in geothermal energy. It has seven geothermal provinces and several geothermal springs. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy states that India has the potential to generate 10 gigawatts (GW) of geothermal power. All geothermal provinces in India are situated in areas with high heat flow and geothermal gradients.

Biomass power energy: With its predominantly agricultural landscape, India has enormous potential for biomass power generation. The power generating capacity based on annual biomass availability of approximately 500 million tonnes is estimated to be around 17,000 MW. The installed power generation capacity of biomass conversion technology is approximately 500 MW.

Challenges in realizing the full potential of renewable energy:

Higher upfront costs: Establishing renewable energy infrastructure, such as wind farms, solar parks, and hydropower stations, requires significant investment, land, and electrical infrastructure.

Reliability challenge: Renewable energy systems depend on natural resources like sunlight, wind, and water, making electricity generation unpredictable, much like the weather.

Topographic barriers: Most renewable energy plants occupy large areas, presenting challenges in land acquisition.

Threats to ecosystems: Turbines have been associated with noise pollution and bird fatalities, exemplified by the decline in the bustard population in Rajasthan.

Creation of storage infrastructure: Developing affordable and large-capacity batteries for effective energy storage.

Policy uncertainty: Concerns have been raised by renewable energy companies regarding uncertainty over import duties, particularly for solar cells.


Renewable energy represents the future of energy production. The current trajectory suggests the possibility of eliminating fossil fuel-based energy by as early as 2050, leading to a cleaner and greener planet. To achieve maximum efficiency, it is crucial to have clear policy guidelines that explore the optimal mix of energy sources integrated into the grid.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish January 3, 2024