India Green News: IMD Opens Climate Services Unit and More

India Meteorological Department Opens Climate Services Unit; Renewables to Overtake India’s Oil Output in 2035; India Just Banned All Forms of Disposable Plastic in its Capital

India Meteorological Department Opens Climate Services Unit; Renewables to Overtake India’s Oil Output in 2035; India Just Banned All Forms of Disposable Plastic in its Capital

India Green News is a selection of news highlights about environmental and energy issues in India.

January 20 – 30, 2017



India Meteorological Department Opens Climate Services Unit

Special bulletins on heat waves in India, a monthly to nine-monthly dry conditions' forecast, experimental real-time forecast of the active-break spells of the monsoon rainfall and health advisories on vector-borne diseases from changes in the weather are services India Meteorological Department(IMD) has planned through its newly formed climate research and services division.

The met department will roll out climate services for the country under the global framework for climate services of the World Meteorological Organization.

A K Sahai, who recently took over additional charge as head of the division, told TOI that the focus will be to expedite IMD's focus on `services'….

(The Times of India – January 26, 2017)

India is Grossly Unprepared for Impending Climate Change and Worsening Monsoons

For the first time in its history, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had given a winter forecast for 2016-17 warning that winter temperatures would be higher than usual.

IMD chief KJ Ramesh said, "The winter will be above normal at the country level this year with North India having lesser cold waves." The weather office has hit the nail on the head because temperatures across the sub-continent are already much higher than usual. Mumbai temperature on Tuesday (January 24) was 36 degrees Celsius, six degrees above normal. The situation is no better in the south. Mysore known for its cool winters is already bracing itself for summer with temperatures eight degrees higher than normal. South India has long put the Vardah cyclone behind it with temperatures in some cities touching 38 degrees Celsius….

(Firstpost – January 26, 2017)

India on Board for Second Phase of Kyoto Protocol

The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved ratification of the Doha amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, which mandates global actions to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the 2013-2020 period.

The Cabinet’s approval comes soon after India urged and even criticised developed nations for not ratifying the Doha amendment during the recently held annual climate conference in Marrakesh, Morocco.

While the Paris climate agreement, adopted by 196 countries in 2015, was ratified within a year, the Kyoto protocol, adopted in 1997, is yet to be ratified by most developed nations….

(Daily News & Analysis – January 25, 2017)

India’s Inputs to be Featured in IPCC Report

The next report of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) due in 2018 will carry India’s inputs on climate change assessment generated by an indigenous modelling system, M.Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, has said.

Delivering the foundation day lecture at the National Centre for Earth Science Studies (NCESS) here on Friday, Dr. Rajeevan said India’s participation in the climate change assessment by the IPCC represented a breakthrough for the country.

“India’s inputs were not given in the last five IPCC reports because so far we were relying on climate change models developed by other countries. Now we have our own model. ”….

(The Hindu – January 21, 2017)

Walking Back from Paris Climate Deal Can Harm As All: India

Amid concerns that a Trump administration could withdraw the US from the ambitious Paris Climate agreement, India has said “walking back” from commitments made to implement the landmark deal “can harm us all”.

The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Paris Agreement “explicitly acknowledge a collective responsibility along with the need to assist those who require support”, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Sujata Mehta said at a high-level dialogue on synergies between the 2030 Agenda and Sustaining peace here yesterday.

She, however, voiced concern that developments following the adoption of the landmark agreements have been “less than encouraging”….

(The Indian Express – January 25, 2017)


Renewable Energy: Address These Issues Urgently; 2017 Could be a Tipping Point

There is much to celebrate when reviewing the developments witnessed in the renewable energy sector in India in 2016. In 2016 the renewable energy capacity commissioned was higher than thermal capacity addition for the first time.

Solar power expectedly dominated the Indian renewable energy space in 2016 - the highest ever annual solar capacity was added (4GW), recording unprecedented low tariffs, and commissioning the world’s largest solar PV power plant with a capacity to produce 648 MW in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu.

The phenomenal growth recorded in the sector in 2016 was despite the disappointment among stakeholders in the renewable energy sector regarding the 2016 budget. Only a little over half of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) budgetary ask for the renewables sector was actually allocated to the sector. Further, the reduction of the accelerated depreciation incentive to 40 percent from the previous 80 percent effective April 2017 created uncertainty in the sector….

(Firstpost – January 18, 2017)

Renewables to Overtake India’s Oil Output in 2035: BP Energy Outlook

India’s demand for green energy is expected to grow by seven times in 2035, according to the latest BP Energy Outlook released on Wednesday.

Accordingly, the share of renewable energy in the country’s fuel mix will increase from the present level of 2% to 8% in 2035.

However, the green surge will be inadequate to meet India’s growing need for energy with the country’s demand growth expected to be more than double the non-OECD countries’ average of 52%....

(Livemint – January 28, 2017)

‘States Need to Align Policy to Meet Renewable Energy Targets’

State governments need to align their policies to meet the country’s ambitious renewable energy targets, according to Rajeev Kapoor, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Speaking at the award ceremony for good performance under the Off Grid clean energy programme, he said, “The mechanism for compliance of Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO) needs to be strengthened. There is a need for standardised guidelines across States for renewable energy. While minor deviations can be there to suit the needs of the State, the broader policies for renewable energy have to be aligned with national policy”.

Kapoor also launched a mobile App for Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Power Systems at the event….

(The Hindu Business Line – January 24, 2017)

From Semi-Literate Homemakers to Solar Entrepreneurs!

Dungarpur is going to have the first locally-owned Solar Module Manufacturing Plant. The unit would come into operation soon which would be fully owned and operated by tribal women. The ambitious project aims to provide employment to 30,000 women. The foundation stone laying programme for the factory was organized on Thursday.

The plant is a joint venture of the state government, IIT-Bombay and Rajeevika which will manufacture solar products ranging from 1 to 300 watts. The plant will have a capacity to harvest up to 2 megawatt of solar energy. "An expenditure of one crore rupees is estimated on the plant, a corpus amount exceeding 24 lakhs was collected for set up of the manufacturing plant by local women. We helped them in providing land and ensuring regulatory support," Dungarpur collector Surendra Singh Solanki told TOI….

(The Times of India – January 29, 2017)

Renewable Energy Certificate Sales Jump 245% in January at India

Renewable energy certificate (RECs) sales saw a notable rise in the month of January—245 percent.

RECs were introduced for offering a convenient way for companies to meet green energy obligations. The activity on the REC front was so encouraging in the first month of the 2017 that 15.68 lakh RECs were sold against 4.54 lakh in December last year.

According to the regulations of Central and State Regulatory Commissions, power distribution companies, open access and captive consumers need to buy RECs from renewable energy producers, under renewable purchase obligations. Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) and Power Exchange India Ltd (PXIL), both approved by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission hold auctions of RECs every month….

(The New Indian Express – January 28, 2017)


Air Pollution Reduces Lifespan and Even Those Burning Crops Realise This. It Will All End Soon, Says Environment Pollution Control Authority’s Bhure Lal

Q: Earlier this month, the ministry of environment notified the Graded Response Action Plan to combat air pollution in Delhi-NCR. At least 16 agencies across four states will have to work together to implement this plan. As chairperson of the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), which is responsible for coordinating with the agencies on the ground, what do you think will be some of the challenges of implementation?

A: Yes, we have to coordinate with the agencies and the nodal points have been identified. The central monitoring committee, under the secretary of the ministry of environment, will look into it. At the state level, there will be a monitoring committee under the chief secretary. The CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) will coordinate with the state pollution control boards. A task force with experts has also been formed. These experts will provide weather forecast for 48 hours. The IMD (India Meteorological Department) is also a part of the task force. This information (the forecast) will be passed on to the chief secretary concerned, who will then send it across to the state and district nodal officers, based on which action will be taken….

(The Financial Express – January 29, 2017)

India Just Banned All Forms of Disposable Plastic in its Capital

India’s capital city Delhi has introduced a ban on disposable plastic.

Cutlery, bags, cups and other forms of single-use plastic were prohibited by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

There is particular concern in the country about the amount of plastic waste it produces. According to the Times of India, it is responsible for an astonishing 60 per cent of the plastic that is dumped in the world’s oceans every year.

The ban affects the whole National Capital Territory (NCT) area of Delhi….

(Independent – January 25, 2017)

Compiled by Laasya Bhagavatula

Note: The linked articles and excerpts in this post are provided for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the India Initiative or of the Natural Resources Defense Council.