Indian youth say solar power is the energy of the future

India’s pledge to quadruple renewable energy capacity in six years high on the agenda

at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017

Abu Dhabi, UAE, Janauary 3 2017: Two-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.”

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Masdar Global Youth Survey- Methodology*

The ‘Masdar Gen Z Global Sustainability Survey’ was done by international polling firm Penn Schoen Berland (PSB). It analysed what members of the post-millennial cohort (those aged between 18 and 25) worldwide think about the environment, climate change, sustainability and renewable energy.

PSB conducted 4,704 online interviews between March 4 and March 29, 2016 in 20 countries: three in the Americas (US, Mexico and Brazil), four in Europe (UK, France, Germany and Spain), three in sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa), five in the Middle East & North Africa (Morocco, Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan), and five in Eurasia (Russia, China, India, South Korea, Japan).

The findings were also analysed according to the economic development of the participating countries, with countries classified as either ‘Developed’ (Germany, France, Spain, UK, US and Japan), ‘Emerging’ (Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa, UAE, Morocco) or ‘Frontier’ (Jordan, Kenya, Nigeria).

Youth respondents were interviewed about subjects including climate change; awareness of and responsibility for environmental issues; their own personal actions on the environment; renewable energy; education and sustainability; and the development of clean technology including wind and solar power.

PSB conducted between 100 and 300 interviews per country depending on the level of internet penetration. The survey’s margin of error is +/-1.43% for the total sample, with sub-groups having a larger margin of error.

For more information and the full survey results, visit www.masdar.ae/GenZSurvey.

About Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week

The annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), hosted by Masdar, is an Abu Dhabi government initiative that aims to address the interconnected challenges of clean energy, water and sustainable development. Anchored by the World Future Energy Summit, ADSW features a series of complementary conferences, exhibitions and events, including the general assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency, the Award Ceremony of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, the International Water Summit, EcoWASTE and The Festival@Masdar City.

ADSW is the largest gathering on sustainability in the Middle East, attracting global policy makers, industry thought-leaders and clean-tech innovators among more than 35,000 attendees representing around 170 countries.

ADSW 2017 takes places on the theme ‘Practical Steps Towards a Sustainable Future’ from January 12-21. The opening ceremony will initiate four days of presentations, discussions and workshops on a range of pressing topics across energy, water and waste. These include strategies to drive investment, implementation of the Paris Agreement, and the challenges of adapting existing infrastructure to the new market reality of small-scale, distributed power.

About Masdar

Masdar is Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company which works to advance the development, commercialisation and deployment of clean energy technologies and solutions. The company serves as a link between today’s fossil fuel economy and the energy economy of the future. Wholly owned by the Mubadala Development Company PJSC, the strategic investment company of the Government of Abu Dhabi, Masdar is dedicated to the United Arab Emirates’ long-term vision for the future of energy and water.

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