Today, about 90 per cent of the solar manufacturing capacity is in one country, mostly dependent on lithium ion, which raises supply chain challenges
Union Minister R. K. Singh emphasised the necessity of diversifying solar manufacturing and supply chains, in addition to establishing robust renewable energy storage solutions, to achieve net-zero emission targets during his address to member countries of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on Wednesday.
Singh, who serves as the president of the ISA, warned that without these measures, the goal of achieving net-zero emissions will remain elusive.
"The aspiration of reaching net-zero emissions will remain nothing more than an ambition unless the global community collaborates to address the issues related to the lack of diversity in solar manufacturing capacity and its associated supply chains," stated Union Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister Singh during a session at the ISA conference.
The ISA president also underscored the critical role of energy storage in enhancing the utilisation of renewable energy sources and providing uninterrupted energy supply around the clock. He pointed out that despite constant discussions about the necessity of an energy transition, the developed world has not taken concrete action.
"Currently, approximately 90 percent of solar manufacturing capacity is concentrated in a single country, predominantly relying on a single technology, namely lithium-ion. This concentration creates vulnerabilities in the supply chain, as evidenced during the COVID-19 pandemic," he emphasised. Singh highlighted that achieving round-the-clock renewable energy provision is unattainable without effective energy storage solutions.
India has emerged as one of the fastest adopters of the energy transition, according to Singh.
He stressed the importance of enhancing the efficiency of solar technologies to reduce the cost of electricity, especially for developing nations. "We must strive to improve the efficiency of solar technologies further. When India embarked on its journey, it required 5 acres of land to generate 1 MW of solar power; today, only 3.5 acres are needed.
While the cost of energy has decreased, it will vary from one country to another. Increasing efficiency will lead to a reduction in electricity costs, which is crucial for developing countries where many citizens cannot afford electricity," Singh noted.
"In India, we provide subsidies to individuals with incomes below a certain threshold, and this practise is common in all developing countries. Governments have limited financial capacity to provide subsidies, so improving efficiency is of utmost importance. This will ensure that electricity becomes more affordable for lower-income individuals without relying on government subsidies," he added.