India Green News: India Advances Launch of Euro-VI Fuels
India on course to achieve its 2030 climate targets; Power minister launches national portal for power sector; India advances launch of Euro-VI fuels for smog-hit Delhi
India Green News is a selection of news highlights about environmental and energy issues in India.
November 07 – 16, 2017
India is among the small group of countries that are on track to achieve their self-declared climate targets under the Paris Agreement with their current policies in place, a new report released at the climate change conference here has revealed.
The report says that only nine of the 25 top emitting countries it surveyed were in line with achieving their targets mentioned in their respective ‘nationally-determined contributions (NDCs)’ that every country had submitted in the run-up to the 2015 climate change conference in Paris.
In its NDC, India had promised to reduce its emissions intensity—greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP—by 33 to 35 per cent below 2005 levels by the year 2030. It had also promised to ensure that at least 40 per cent of its energy in 2030 would be generated from non-fossil fuel sources, like solar, wind or bio-fuels. In addition, it had said it would rapidly increase its forest cover so that an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent is created by the year 2030….
(Indian Express – November 9, 2017)
This week a major United Nations gathering on climate change gets underway in Bonn, Germany. Countries around the world will take this opportunity to showcase their actions taken to fulfil pledges under the landmark 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, another step forward under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). But it’s clear that there is still much ground to cover.
The Emissions Gap Report 2017, an annual audit of national mitigation efforts and the goals presented by countries in their voluntary Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), finds that pledges to reduce current emissions are only about one-third of what is needed to prevent catastrophic temperature increases. The NDCs must therefore be the floor, not the ceiling, of ambition….
(Hindustan Times – November 10, 2017)
India is ranked 14th in this year's Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2018 out of 56 nations and the European Union by environmental organization Germanwatch, an improvement from its 20th position last year, for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by opting to transform its electricity sector towards green technology.
China, with its high emissions and growing energy use over the past five years, still ranks 41st.
"The gap in mid and long-term ambition of the evaluated countries is still too high. In terms of GHG emissions, we see better 2030 targets in countries like Norway or India; comparably good targets for renewable energy, we see in for example Norway, Sweden or New Zealand," said Niklas Hohne from Germany's New Climate Institute and co-author of the CCPI….
(Economic Times – November 15, 2017)
Power Minister R K Singh today launched a National Power Portal (NPP), a centralized platform for collation and dissemination of Indian power sector information.
The NPP would be a single point interface for all power sector apps launched previously by the power ministry, the ministry said in a statement.
The portal may be accessed at http://npp.Gov.In.
The NPP is a centralized system for the power sector which facilitates online data capture/input (daily, monthly, annually) from generation, transmission and distribution utilities….
(Outlook – November 14, 2017)
India plans to invite bids for setting up 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar power capacity—the world’s largest solar tender—at one go, in an attempt to spur domestic manufacturing of solar power equipment.
The effort will help further lower the country’s solar power tariffs and provide a boost to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s Make in India plans.
Most solar power developers in India have been sourcing solar modules and equipment from countries such as China, where they are cheaper. This has resulted in domestic manufacturers accounting for only around 10% of the market despite India having an ambitious 175GW clean energy target by 2022, of which 100GW is to come from solar projects….
(LiveMint – November 10, 2017)
In a bid to widen the scope for tracking electrification in rural and urban areas, power minister RK Singh on Thursday launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana or “Saubhagya” web portal.
“It is a major challenge to electrify 4 crore households. But it needed to be done. Without this push, universal electrification will not happen. This is the single most important step in improving the quality of life of people. I am sure we will achieve our targets by 2018,” Singh said.
The Saubhagya Dashboard is a platform for monitoring household electrification progress, which would disseminate information on household electrification status (state, district, village-wise), and household progress on live basis….
(Energy World, Economic Times – November 16, 2017)
India is likely to lead global energy demand growth by 2040, the International Energy Agency said in its annual World Energy Outlook report 2017 on Tuesday.
The Indian energy demand may rise by 1,005 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) between 2016 to 2040, accounting for 30 percent of the total growth in world energy demand. Thus, India will surpass the increase in energy demand of China (790 Mtoe), West Asia (480 Mtoe) and Africa (485 Mtoe) during the mentioned period.
However, US, Japan and Europe may reduce their energy demand by 30 Mtoe, 50 Mtoe and 200 Mtoe, respectively, by 2040….
(Mirror Now – November 15, 2017)
The Union government is working on a “rent a roof” policy to support its ambitious plan to generate 40 gigawatts (GW) of power from solar rooftop projects by 2022, said Anand Kumar, secretary in the ministry of new and renewable energy. The government is also planning to bid out wind power contracts totaling 24.5 GW over the next two years.
“We are planning a ‘rent a rooftop’ policy,” said Kumar in his first interview after assuming charge at the ministry.
While investors have been enthused by India’s large ground-mounted, grid-connected solar parks, the solar rooftop market hasn’t gained much traction. “We are now trying to work out a new program called ‘rent a roof,’ wherein the developer will take rooftops on rent and will offer lease to each household, and then feed the power to the grid,” added Kumar….
(LiveMint – November 16, 2017)
Renewable energy which has witnessed rapid capacity addition in the last three years has started lagging when it comes to electricity generation, this source of power now comprises a little less than 7% of the total electricity generated in the country.
Secondly, renewable energy is witnessing a slowdown in capacity addition due to inability of state distribution companies (Discoms) to sign new Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), says Care Ratings report on power sector.
During the 10 years from 2007 to 2017, renewable energy capacity has increased from 10 GW to 59 GW, during the same period coal and gas based electricity generation saw net addition of 135 GW….
(Daily News and Analysis – November 16, 2017)
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND AIR POLLUTION
India advanced the rollout of cleaner Euro-VI compliant fuels in Delhi by two years on Wednesday to reduce high pollution levels in the capital city.
Vehicular emissions as well as illegal crop burning in the farm states surrounding New Delhi have caused air quality to deteriorate dramatically, prompting calls for tough action.
The oil ministry said all vehicles plying in the capital will have to move to the new fuel from April 2018 to reduce emissions.
India uses Euro-IV compliant fuels but last year decided to migrate to the Euro-VI level from April 2020, leapfrogging over Euro V norms….
(Reuters – November 15, 2017)
On a particularly smoggy day, when the Air Quality Index (AQI) in a city reaches a value over 300, public health officials consider it an emergency. The AQI is designed to end at 500. This morning, in the New Delhi neighborhood of Punjabi Bagh, the index reached at 999 (or potentially even higher, as some sensors or the reporting website simply may not be set up to deal with AQI levels over 1,000).
The smog has grounded flights, forced the closure of schools through Sunday, and caused a 24 car pile-up on a local highway. It’s not the first time that the air has been this bad in Delhi, which the World Health Organization has previously ranked the most polluted city in the world. Other Indian cities are often equally polluted, leading to serious health problems: Recent data links air pollution in India to the deaths of 1.6 million people in 2016….
(Fast Company – November 8, 2017)
Outdoor air pollution was responsible for 6% and household pollution for 5% of the total disease burden in India in 2016, according to the first state-level disease burden and risk factors estimates released by the ministry of health and family welfare on Tuesday.
Air pollution also remained the second leading risk factor after malnutrition in India as a whole, posing a significant and growing challenge to population health, said the report jointly prepared by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).
While outdoor air pollution caused 6.4% of India’s total Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY) (measure of overall disease burden, expressed as the number of years lost due to ill health, disability or early death) in 2016, household air pollution caused 4.8%....
(LiveMint – November 15, 2017)
India’s emissions of the air pollutant sulphur dioxide increased by 50% since 2007, while China’s fell by 75%, claims a study which said India is yet to implement emission controls like its neighbor.
The study led by researchers at University of Maryland in the US suggests that India is becoming, if it is not already, the world’s top sulphur dioxide emitter.
Sulphur dioxide is an air pollutant that causes acid rain, haze and many health-related problems. It is produced predominantly when coal is burned to generate electricity….
(Hindustan Times – November 10, 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.