Modhera, located in the western state of Gujarat, was chosen to be the country’s first solar-powered village partly because it houses a famous Hindu sun temple that dates to the 11th century.

The village’s solar project is part of the Indian government’s plans to generate half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also pledged for India to cut its emissions to “net zero” by 2070.

Mr Modi is currently seeking a rare third term in power, with one of his election campaign promises being to work towards the world’s most populous country becoming “energy independent” in the next few decades.

With costly fossil fuel imports expanding the country’s trade deficit, developing renewable energy has become even more important for India.

However, while large strides have been made in scaling up energy generation from renewable sources, analysts said a lack of investment is slowing progress down.

LESS THAN HALFWAY TO 2030 TARGET

According to official figures, India has more than doubled its green energy capacity to 188 gigawatts from just over 80 a decade ago, when Mr Modi first came to power.

Despite this, however, the country is not even halfway to its target of 500 gigawatts by 2030.

Analysts said the goal is achievable, but factors including the cost of capital need to be addressed to make the sector more attractive to investors.

A report by think tank Ember estimated that India requires almost US$300 billion of financing to meet its capacity targets by 2030. It would need an additional US$100 billion if it were to align with a net-zero pathway proposed by the International Energy Agency.

Ms Shailendra Singh Rao, founder and managing director of climate change mitigation and business service provider Creduce, said: “There has to be capital push from the government in terms of the loans, the capital addition and loans provided by the banks at the lower rates.

“(The) proper infrastructure, the transportation and other activities need to be pushed in order to add more capacity,” she added.

The government’s intention is clear, Ms Rao noted – for India to become the global superpower of energy transition and renewable energy.

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