Data released by global energy think tank Ember shows that from April to July, the proportion of fossil fuels in Rajasthan’s energy mix hit a record low of only 50%.
This is the first time that reliance on fossil fuels has been so low for more than a quarter of the century.
Fossil fuel electricity generation was 34 terawatt hours (TWh) between January and July, showing no growth (-1.6%) compared with the same period in 2022.
In contrast, solar and wind power generation have experienced significant growth, with a year-on-year increase of 28% in the same period in 2023, with a total power generation of 27 terawatt hours.
It’s worth noting that just two years ago, solar and wind power accounted for less than half of this year’s electricity generation. Data shows that combined with other clean energy sources such as nuclear, hydro and bioenergy, Rajasthan’s clean power generation capacity is now on par with fossil fuel generation.
From January to July, electricity generation in the Desert State increased by 4.4 TWh compared to the same period in 2022.
This growth is driven entirely by the expansion of solar and wind power generation. As a result, the carbon emission intensity associated with power generation in Rajasthan was 422 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt hour (gCO2e/kWh) in July 2023, 10% lower than in July 2022, according to Ember.
Rajasthan has actively promoted the deployment of solar and wind power by implementing a solar energy policy and a wind energy hybrid energy policy.
Additionally, growing demand for clean energy in neighboring regions such as Delhi has attracted significant investment from Rajasthan, which has the highest solar potential in the country.
From January to July, Rajasthan successfully added 1.7 GW of solar power installed capacity and 0.5 GW of wind power installed capacity. As of July, the state’s total installed solar and wind energy capacity reached 23 GW, accounting for 20% of India’s total installed solar and wind energy capacity.
This expansion enhances Rajasthan’s position as the country’s leading provider of clean electricity. Meanwhile, fossil fuel generation capacity, particularly coal and natural gas, has remained unchanged since 2022.
Nationally, more than 70% of India’s electricity generation from 2023 to July continues to rely on fossil fuels, which is consistent with the 2022 energy mix.
Uni Lee, data analyst at Ember, said: “To limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the world must triple its renewable energy generation by 2030.”
She said the G20 countries have committed to achieve this goal during India’s presidency.
“Rajasthan’s remarkable growth in renewable energy shows that this is possible. India can lead by example and successfully fulfill Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise to achieve 500 GW of non-fossil power generation capacity,” said Lee.