Gujarat’s Significant Contribution to India’s Environmental Commitments

Kanubhai Mohanlal Desai

The Gujarat Government is steadfast in its efforts to increase the non-fossil fuel energy capacity. We are investing heavily in renewable energy sources to ensure we are on the right path to meet the national goal of achieving 500 GW of non-fossil energy capacity by 2030, shares Kanubhai Mohanlal Desai, Minister – Finance, Energy & Petrochemicals, Government of Gujarat in an exclusive interview with Hemangini S. Rajput & Muskan Jaiswal of Elets News Network (ENN). Edited excerpts:

What are Government of Gujarat’s initiatives in the field of environmental sustainability and green technologies that will be showcased at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024?

Resonating with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s goals set at the COP26 Conference in Glasgow, our focus includes achieving significant milestones such as 100 GW of non-fossil energy capacity in State and 50% of our energy from renewable sources by 2030. We are also committed to reducing our carbon emissions by one billion tonnes and decreasing carbon intensity below 45% by 2030, with a goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2070.

Additionally, the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024, will focus on cutting-edge areas such as semiconductors, green hydrogen, and electric mobility. We have an array of seminars and conferences lined up, covering topics like Industry 4.0, smart city development, renewable energy, carbon neutrality, waste & water reuse and many more.

Furthermore, Finland, as a partner country for the summit, will exhibit sustainable solutions in various fields. A dedicated Country Session on January 11th will emphasize our strong bilateral trade ties, showcasing Finland’s commitment to carbon neutrality.

What measures are being taken by the Government of Gujarat to contribute to India’s commitment to the Nationally Determined Goals as declared by the Hon’ble Prime Minister at COP26, specifically in the context of the five point agenda to fight climate change or “The Panchamrit”?

The Government of Gujarat is actively contributing to India’s commitment to the Nationally Determined Goals, in line with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s declaration at COP26, specifically in the context of “The Panchamrit.”

Firstly, the State has been a frontrunner in attracting the investment in renewable sector through conducive policy framework. Gujarat has tripled its renewable capacity from 7.5 GW in 2018 to 22 GW in 2023 which demonstrates its unwavering commitment.

Secondly, we are committed to ensuring that 50 per cent of our energy requirements come from renewable sources by 2030. Our policies and incentives are tailored to encourage the rapid expansion of renewable energy infrastructure. This includes not only large-scale projects but also decentralized energy solutions to empower rural communities.

Thirdly, in our quest to reduce carbon emissions, we are implementing various green initiatives. These include promoting electric mobility, enhancing energy efficiency in industrial processes, and encouraging sustainable practices in urban and rural development.

Lastly, our long-term vision aligns with the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2070. To this end, we are not only focusing on expanding our renewable energy capacity but also investing in research and innovation to develop new technologies and sustainable practices. This includes fostering collaborations with national and international experts and institutions.

In short, the Government of Gujarat is fully committed to supporting India’s ambitious goals set forth in “The Panchamrit” at the COP26. Through proactive policies, strategic investments, and collaborative efforts, we are dedicated to ensuring a sustainable and green future for Gujarat and contributing significantly to India’s environmental commitments.

With the ambitious goal of reaching an impressive 100 GW of Renewable Capacity within the State by 2030, what is the current state of affairs, and can we anticipate a forthcoming roadmap for accomplishing this milestone at the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024?

Gujarat, under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has set forth ambitious objectives, targeting the generation capacity of 100 GW from renewables by 2030. This aligns seamlessly with the national goal of achieving 500 GW by the same year.

The success of the Jyotigram Scheme emphasizes the State’s commitment to ensuring 24 hr electricity capacity. This initiative, which has reached even the remotest areas, including the tribal district Dang of Gujarat, brought 24 hours of electricity to these regions.

We have taken significant strides in providing continuous electricity to every village in Gujarat, making it the first State in India to achieve 24-hour power supply post implementation of the Jyotigram scheme in year 2004.

Also Read | Elets Joins Forces with Gujarat Government to Unveil Exclusive Souvenir on State’s Clean Energy Triumphs

Even the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India while delving into the State’s achievements in renewable energy had noted, “Gujarat benefits from both wind and solar energy.” With an impressive wind power capacity of 11,176 MW and a solar power capacity of 10,516 MW, Gujarat stands as India’s second-best State for renewable capacity.

We are very proud to announce that Gujarat’s total installed capacity of 48,500 MW has established Gujarat as the leader in this aspect throughout the country.

Addressing the global commitment to carbon neutrality and with due emphasis to our Hon’ble Prime Minister Modi’s vision for a carbon-neutral world by 2070. Gujarat’s dedication to sustainable and environmentally conscious energy practices is noteworthy. These accomplishments and commitments will undoubtedly be part of the comprehensive roadmap to be discussed at the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024.

What can be the other sectors that can expect major investment apart from the sectors that have shown illustrious growth in the last decade?

The Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2024 is set to showcase a major emphasis on hydrogen production along with renewable energy, and we are targetting major investment in renewable and semiconductor technologies at this year Vibrant Gujarat Summit.

As Gujarat positions itself as a trailblazer in the renewable energy landscape, the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024 is poised to demonstrate the State’s unwavering commitment to forging a green and technologically advanced future. This strategic investment direction aligns with the State’s vision for pioneering advancements in both clean energy and innovative semiconductor technologies.

How can large battery storage stabilize Gujarat’s power grids with the intermittent electricity from solar and wind energy?

The State caters more than 24,500 MW peak demand as it is envisaged to grow rapidly. The energy storage will play a crucial role in transition to clean and green energy.

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