India to challenge for share of $2.2 trillion global clean tech market
According to a new report from the Climate Group India could rival the US, EU and China in clean tech if it can capitalize on a market for sustainable products that could be worth up to USD135 billion by 2020.
It also predicts India could support 10.5 million green jobs by the end of the decade as investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies soar.
India's Clean Revolution predicts the country's private investment in clean energy will increase 736 per cent over the next 10 years - three times the rate expected in the US or China. It also predicts its domestic energy efficiency market will treble to more than USD77 billion by the end of the decade as communities embrace on-site renewable technologies such as solar panels and small-scale wind turbines.
India is already home to some of the world's leading clean tech firms. Wind turbine company Suzlon has helped turn the country into the world's fifth largest wind energy producer. Electric vehicle company Reva, known internationally as G-Wiz, will open a new plant in Bangalore this year to produce 30,000 zero-emission cars annually.Gujarat will have Asia's first tidal plant and has also established a USD2.3 billion solar park to provide infrastructure for 500MW of solar power.
The International Energy Agency expects India's coal imports to rise sevenfold by 2030, making it vulnerable to external price changes. The Climate Group is therefore urging the Indian government to prioritize growth of the country's blossoming clean energy industry if it wants to secure its energy future.
India is poised to invest USD1 trillion in its infrastructure over its upcoming 12th five-year plan period and the report advises that it must "avoid the developed world model of high-cost, high-carbon development and instead chart a new low-carbon pathway based on energy efficiency and energy security".
"India has the opportunity to leapfrog the efforts of more developed economies by deploying newer, cleaner technologies," said Dr Kirit Parikh, a former member of India's Planning Commission. "We have the capabilities, and the benefits to India in seizing this opportunity now will be transformational - India's Clean Revolution will mean sustainable growth in our economy and energy consumption."
Mark Kenber, chief executive of The Climate Group, agreed India has little choice but to embrace a more sustainable economic model.
"The writing is on the wall - there is no such thing as a secure, high-carbon, low-cost future in India or anywhere else," he said. "Only a clean industrial revolution can guarantee long-term prosperity for any nation and nowhere is this truer than in India. The good news is that the low carbon economy offers huge economic opportunities and that political and business leaders are already working together to ensure that an Indian clean revolution is now under way."