Study claims Assam has underestimated renewable energy potential.

By Oliver Townsend Jun 14, 2024
Assam has more renewable potential than the government estimates, claims a study.jpegOrginal image from: https://india.mongabay.com/2024/06/assam-has-more-renewable-potential-than-the-government-estimates-claims-a-study/

Assam, a state in India, is making strides towards transitioning to renewable energy sources to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. Despite the government’s estimation of Assam’s renewable potential, a recent study by the International Forum for Environment, Sustainability, and Technology (iFOREST) suggests that the state has a much higher capacity for renewable energy generation than previously thought. This reassessment calls for increased ambitions in the renewable energy sector to drive Assam towards cleaner energy grids.

Reassessing Assam’s Renewable Potential

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) estimated Assam’s renewable energy potential to be 14,235 MW in 2022. However, iFOREST’s study based on updated satellite data reveals a theoretical potential of 27,748 MW for solar energy alone, along with significant biomass power potential. The study highlights the need for a more detailed assessment to guide policymakers and developers effectively.

Unlocking Solar and Biomass Potential

Despite Assam’s lower solar insolation intensity, iFOREST suggests that the state’s peak insolation is higher than in other solar-generating states. The study identifies wasteland areas suitable for solar panel installations, indicating a potential for ground-mounted and floating solar capacities. Additionally, Assam’s rooftop solar potential is estimated to be substantial, especially in urban areas.

Empowering Renewable Energy Growth

The Assam Renewable Energy Policy (AREP) introduced by the state government aims to attract investments and increase renewable energy capacity. With targets set for grid-connected solar projects, rooftop installations, and other renewable sources, Assam is moving towards a greener future. By emphasizing renewable energy sources, Assam aims to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and increase its share of renewable energy in the energy mix.

Addressing Structural Challenges

While Assam is making progress in renewable energy, structural challenges hinder further growth. The lack of private sector interest and focus on large-scale solar projects are areas that need attention. iFOREST recommends technology-specific policies, project identification, and infrastructure support to accelerate renewable energy development in Assam.

Driving Towards a Sustainable Future

Assam’s journey towards renewable energy signifies a shift towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy landscape. By refining policies, addressing challenges, and leveraging its renewable potential, Assam is paving the way for a cleaner and greener future. With a focus on renewable energy, Assam is taking significant steps to contribute to India’s national goals of achieving a higher renewable energy capacity and reducing carbon emissions.

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