Environment and climate change

Climate change mitigation: India invests in solar energy

More renewable energies, less CO2 emissions - Metro in New Delhi is powered by solar power.

Climate change mitigation: India invests in solar energy

Nowhere is energy consumption higher than in the world’s cities, already home to more than half of the global population – and the figure is still rising. But regions with high consumption also have great potential to make savings. Take New Delhi: it is generating more and more of its power from solar energy – and its energy-intensive Metro is also benefiting from this.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, a federal enterprise, assists governments and businesses worldwide to generate more power from renewable sources. With GIZ’s support, more than 8,000 megawatts of new renewables capacity was installed between 2010 and 2015.

The Indian capital New Delhi is a good example. This megacity of 16 million inhabitants opened its Metro in 2002. Today, the network covers 190 kilometres and has 142 stations. It is more climate-friendly than cars and the motorcycles that are commonly used in Asia but it also uses a vast amount of electricity, with the same monthly power consumption as 100,000 Indian households.

The Metro powers itself

But New Delhi now aims to achieve two goals simultaneously: to generate green electricity while providing its Metro with a reliable power supply. Until recently, power outages were a regular occurrence due to the chronically overloaded and dilapidated grids. But with this new solution, solar power can be generated right where it is needed.

GIZ has been assisting the Metro operator, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), in setting up solar energy installations. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), it has advised DMRC on financing and planning the system and helped to find suitable buildings on which to mount the solar panels.

India’s climate goal: more solar power

During the pilot phase, solar panels were initially installed on the roofs of three metro stations. Since then, rooftop solar panels have been set up on five more DMRC buildings, delivering an output capacity of three megawatts. There are now plans to install solar panels with a total output of 50 megawatts by 2017, which will enable the Delhi Metro to generate a large percentage of its own electricity. . .

For India, an emerging economy, this is a small step towards achieving its climate targets. It aims to increase the renewables share of its total electricity consumption fivefold to 25 per cent over the next few years, mainly from solar installations. A further target is to reduce its CO2 emissions by at least 30 per cent by 2030 – despite rising energy demand. GIZ has helped India save at least 163 million tonnes of greenhouse gases since 2000 – more than the total annual greenhouse gas emissions from road transport in Germany.


Last updated: September 2017

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