Sustainable Energy

To meet future energy demands, India is promising a push toward sustainability

Key Points
  • Home to more than 1 billion people, India is an economic, political and cultural powerhouse.
  • When it comes to renewable energy, authorities there have ambitious plans.
How one organization wants to push India to a more sustainable future

Home to more than 1 billion people, India is a huge economic, political and cultural force and when it comes to renewable energy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has ambitious plans.

In June 2019, Anand Kumar, the secretary of India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said the country planned to have 500 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030.

Based in New Delhi, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), is an independent organization that wants to drive India toward energy use that is less damaging to the planet, among other things.

"TERI is all about providing innovations for sustainable development," Ajay Mathur, the director general of the organization, told CNBC's Sustainable Energy.

"Innovations in technology, innovations in policy, innovations in business models," Mathur added. "What we want to do is to help users to be comfortable with more sustainable options and be able to use them so that they become the preferred option."

One area that TERI focuses on is the sustainable development of buildings. It has come up with a rating system called the Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment, or GRIHA. The GRIHA system aims to quantify things such as renewable energy adoption, waste generation and energy consumption.

"We are working towards pushing the boundaries to make sure that the buildings that come up in the future should be more efficient than the ones we have as of now, or have been built in the past," Sanjay Seth, a senior director at TERI's Sustainable Habitat Division, said.

TERI focuses on several sectors, from the built environment to agriculture, the climate and energy. Future Earth is another organization focusing on sustainability. Its executive director is Amy Luers.

"We need to work across a wide range of sectors and in between those sectors," Luers told CNBC. "It's only by taking the systems-based approach that we're going to be able to address the large, complex, global sustainability challenges we face today."