Uttar Pradesh catalysing green transition systems
Economies worldwide have been showcasing their commitment to transition to a green economy and pursue climate actions in line with their respective COP26 (Conference of the Parties 26) goals. However, the road to profound climate transitions and achieving actionable targets is not as simple for emerging economies. Research estimates that emerging economies need around $ 94.8 trillion of investment to allow them to meet net-zero targets while continuing to grow and prosper. If developing markets bear this cost alone, the global economy will be smaller. There is also an $ 83 trillion private investment opportunity between now and 2060, with public-private partnerships crucial to meeting additional funding needs.
Along with similar emerging economies, India is proactively aiming to position itself on the resilient road to recovery from the persisting Covid-19 pandemic. To contribute to this pursuit, in alignment with sustained green growth of the states of India, investment from public and private sector leaders is crucial.
Under this context, the state of Uttar Pradesh has come to the forefront in utilising, establishing and innovating green solutions in the state. The state government focuses on replacing traditional energy sources like hydrogen-based energy with green energy like solar, wind and green hydrogen. It is also setting up an infrastructure to transmit electricity from renewable energy projects as it seeks to boost the output from green sources and meet the state's energy demands. Energy demand has risen substantially in tandem with the state's development. Because conventional energy sources are limited, their exploitation is limited, and environmental pollution is increasing, energy production based on the novel and renewable energy sources is being given significant priority and promotion. New and better opportunities to engage in mainstream energy generation are becoming apparent.
Along with biomass and minor hydroelectricity, the groundwork is being laid for developing large-scale solar energy plants of megawatt (MW) capacity. The state is working on grid-connected and rooftop solar power generation. Without a doubt, it is coming closer to the aim envisioned when the organisation was founded.
Uttar Pradesh has 2.3 gigawatt (GW) of installed solar capacity and another 714 MW on the way. Open access installations are developing in the state due to its favourable cheap land cost and energy storage legislation. The state of Uttar Pradesh's budget has set aside funding for renewable energy development projects in several districts within the state. The state of Uttar Pradesh has become a favoured destination for investment in renewable and sustainable green energy solutions due to the state government's favourable climate and assistance offered to investors. Currently, 23 renewable energy projects are in the works in various regions around the state, including, Jalaun, Mau, Ballia, Azamgarh, Sitapur, Jhansi, Banda, Fatehpur, Kanpur, Noida, Auraiya, Sonbhadra, Agra, Ambedkar Nagar, Badaun, Mahoba, Mirzapur, Pilibhit, Pratapgarh, Shahjanpur and Unnao. Out of these, Jalaun has Two solar plants in villages that are the subject of the largest projects, each worth more than INR 500 crore. Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) Limited has also suggested a 100-crore investment in the shape of three solar power projects in the state.
The state government has also made several efforts to focus on green energy sources such as solar, wind, and green hydrogen to replace traditional energy sources such as hydrocarbon-based energy. It is also constructing infrastructure to transmit power generated by renewable energy projects to increase green energy output and meet the state's energy needs. Additionally, around $ 320 million has been set aside to create initiatives to promote energy from organic waste, including bio-ethanol, biogas, bio-diesel, and bio-coal, among others. A recent proposal by the Uttar Pradesh state government also proposes building a green energy corridor. During the financial year 2022-23, the government intends to install 15000 solar pumps.
In addition, the state government's Babuji Kalyan Singh Gram Unnati Yojana intends to install solar street lights on roads in all of the state's villages. The state budget for the current fiscal year has set aside around $ 2 million for this purpose. Furthermore, with the overall goal of ensuring energy security for the agricultural sector, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) scheme has innovative solutions such as the construction of solar power plants on barren land, the installation of solar pumps for farmers, and solarisation of existing pumps, in addition to reducing irrigation costs.
In the coming years, such prioritised efforts, future planned interventions and large-scale investments by the public and private sector in the renewable energy sector will alter the state's ecology and fulfil its aim to become a one trillion economy by 2050 along with fulfilling the clean economy transitions and positioning the state at the top of the ladder of such transitions.
This is co-authored by Bhakti Jain and Srijata Deb.