Can renewable energy replace fossil fuels in India?

India’s natural resources

Once it is understood that CO2 is the greatest contributor to climate change (in terms of quantity emitted and climate impact), it is immediately clear that in order to curb global warming it is absolutely necessary and urgent to stop its production, whatever its origin.

On a global scale, CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of forests, together with emissions of other greenhouse gases due to human activity, have increased the concentration of greenhouse gases (which cause climate change, the most important of which is CO2) from around 230 ppm to over 496 ppm today, of which 410 ppm are CO2 alone. In other words, CO2 accounts for 4/5 of the problem. In turn, 2/3 of total greenhouse gas emissions are due to CO2 emitted in the burning of fossil fuels and in industrial processes.

Therefore, to stop emitting CO2 means to stop using fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) for energy generation (either for thermal or electrical uses or for any process) and replace them with renewable energies. This is what has come to be known as decarbonizing the energy system.

Renewable energy in India

Humans have been using solar energy since the 7th century BC, when they used sunlight and glass to light fires. But the modern solar cell was not invented until the mid-20th century. Unlike fossil fuels, solar energy systems emit no greenhouse gases or air pollutants, making solar energy one of the best potential solutions to the climate crisis.

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As with solar power, Modi and Zhang said the United States has enough land to build wind farms. And there is a vast area offshore with great wind potential.

“If you look from Maine to New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New York, New Jersey, we have a really incredible offshore wind resource, which is a very high quality resource in this part of the country,” Modi said.

Iceland has been a pioneer in the use of geothermal energy because it has an abundant source of hot, accessible groundwater that can be converted to energy. In the United States, Modi said the challenge is finding the exact locations of where these geothermal points are and how close to the surface the magma and hot temperatures are.

Nuclear energy

Today we still use fossil fuels as our main energy source. Approximately 86% of the world’s energy production comes from fossil fuels.

Many scientists agree on the idea that both the discovery of new hydrocarbon deposits and their extraction obey a trend shown in the following figure, known as Hubbert’s Peak theory, a theory about the long-term depletion rate of oil, as well as other fossil fuels.

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Renewables are inexhaustible natural sources, such as wind or sun. They are therefore much more environmentally friendly. Unlike fossil fuels, they do not pollute and represent the cleanest alternative to fossil fuels. They do not generate greenhouse gases.

Photovoltaic energy is an energy source that produces electricity from renewable sources. It is the direct transformation of solar radiation into electricity in the form of direct current. Solar radiation is captured by semiconductor devices called photovoltaic cells, which have the property of absorbing photons of light and emitting electrons. When these free electrons are conducted, an electric current is obtained, which is understood as electricity. Therefore, photovoltaic energy is a renewable energy because it comes from an inexhaustible source of energy, the sun.    It is also a clean, sustainable and free resource.

Geothermal energy

The initiative, which was presented by the members of the Senate Mining and Energy Committee, states that “It is prohibited to inject into the National Electric System, as of January 1, 2030, electric energy whose primary source is the combustion of fossil substances”.

The Senate Mining and Energy Commission, presided by Senator Yasna Provoste and integrated by the parliamentarians Guido Girardi, Isabel Allende, Alejandro García Huidobro and Rafael Prohens, approved by 5 votes in favor and zero against the bill for the Promotion of Renewable Energies.

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He also explained that “the world is still hostage of fossil fuels, because China, India, USA, do not have viable alternatives to replace them. The importance of Chile is that -and it is a world consensus- due to its geographical conditions it could generate hydrogen through solar energy in the north and wind energy in the south. Territories where it does not enter in dispute with other activities and geopolitically they are safe”.