Thirds of young Indian adults believe solar power should be the priority future energy source for their country, with wind power (56%) and hydroelectricity (37%) ranked second and third most important, respectively.
That is according to the Masdar Gen Z Global Sustainability Survey, a study of 5,000 youth aged 18-25 in 20 countries.
Coal, currently a mainstay of power generation in India, was seen as a priority energy source by less than a fifth (17%) of youth interviewed.
India’s ambitious plans to quadruple the country’s installed renewable energy capacity from 42 gigawatts (GW) today to 175GW by 2022, will be high on the agenda at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), which takes place from January 12-21 on the theme ‘Practical steps towards a sustainable future’.
The findings of the Masdar Gen Z Survey, also in focus at ADSW, point to growing awareness among young people of the potential of renewable energy, and the need for public-private cooperation in its adoption.
Ninety two per cent of those surveyed in India said that business and government share equal responsibility for developing clean technology and renewable energy, second only to China (95%) among Asian youth consulted in the Gen Z study, commissioned to mark Masdar’s 10-year anniversary in 2016.
Nine in ten (91%) thought that their national government should be spending more on renewable energy, compared with 95% who said the same in China, 86% in South Korea, 82% in Russia, and 58% in Japan.
India will have a significant presence at the 10th World Future Energy Summit, the anchor event of ADSW 2017, hosting a national pavilion on the exhibition floor for the first time.
The afternoon session of the WFES conference programme on January 18 will also examine the renewables landscape in India, with discussions addressing the government’s strategic plans, financing, key projects and technologies.
According to the consultancy firm Bridge to India, as much as 100GW of the country’s 2022 renewables target will come from solar, and the private sector is increasingly willing to invest.
“On the power generation side, we see huge investment interest from around the globe,” said Bridge to India MD Vinay Rustagi, a speaker at ADSW 2017.
“Some of the leading international utilities, private equity funds and corporate houses are active players in the sector. I believe that out of the total solar installed, plus the pipeline capacity of 25GW, approximately 20% is sponsored by international investors.”
“India has all the fundamental drivers for renewables in place – growing energy demand, huge resource potential, competitive costs and an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions,” Rustagi added.
“India is an exciting market to watch for companies like Masdar, for international investors and those in the MENA region,” said Bader Al Lamki, Executive Director for Clean Energy at Masdar.
“Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week will convene decision makers from right across the spectrum at an opportune time for the renewables sector in India. As Masdar’s research indicates, the growing appetite for renewable energy investment is shared by the next generation of future energy leaders, in India and countries all over the world.”