India Green News: India, France Sign Environment Pact & More

India, France sign pact to deepen cooperation in environment field; IREDA, EIB sign €150 million loan for RE financing in India; Centre’s clean air plan goes beyond Delhi, urban India and outdoor pollution
Credit: Bloomberg

India, France sign pact to deepen cooperation in environment field; IREDA, EIB sign €150 million loan for RE financing in India; Centre’s clean air plan goes beyond Delhi, urban India and outdoor pollution

India Green News is a selection of news highlights about environmental and energy issues in India.
March 5 – 15, 2018


India, France sign pact to deepen cooperation in environment field

India and France on Saturday signed a pact to deepen their cooperation in the field of environment while affirming their commitment to lead the fight against climate change.

A day ahead of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) summit here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron also welcomed the coming into force of the Framework Agreement of the ISA.

India and France also committed to fully implement the historic Paris climate change Agreement at the forthcoming Conference of Parties (COP24)….

(Times of India – March 10, 2018)

Govt calls for studies on climate change goals

Nearly two and half years after declaring a comprehensive list of goals to tackle climate change post 2020, the environment ministry has called for a series of studies from research organizations to develop a roadmap for the effective and efficient implementation of these goals.

In the run-up to the Paris Climate Summit in December 2015, countries across the world outlined these climate actions, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). In October 2015, India too announced its INDCs promising a series of actions across the sectors.

Following this, India’s ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) has now called for studies from research organizations and institutions “working in the climate change domain and expertise for developing roadmaps” for five such actions promised under India’s INDCs. MoEFCC has called for proposals by 27 March. Once selected, the institutes will have to complete their studies within six months….

(LiveMint – March 12, 2018)


Credit: Financial Express

GCF grants $100 million to NABARD for rooftop solar in India

Green Climate Fund (GCF), in its 19th Board Meeting held at Songdo, South Korea on March 1, approved the proposal submitted by NABARD for a ‘Line of credit for solar rooftop segment for commercial, industrial and residential housing sectors’ with a GCF loan support of $100 million. The proposal is the first private sector facility proposal sanctioned by GCF to India and will be executed through Tata Cleantech Capital Limited (TCCL).

The Program aims to provide concessional loan assistance to solar roof top PV systems with a program outlay of $250 million creating the power generation capacity of 250 MW. The program would contribute to the development of market for solar roof top financing to meet India’s ambitious target of 40 GW of rooftop solar by 2022. Moreover, it will endeavor to create energy access for most vulnerable areas and MSMEs with poor energy access scenario to create better livelihood opportunities….

(PV Magazine – March 5, 2018)

IREDA, EIB sign €150 million loan for RE financing in India

The EIB and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) Ltd signed a loan agreement for a second line of credit (LoC) totaling €150 million, on March 10.

The credit has a term of 15 years, including a grace period of three years, and will be used for financing renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency projects in India. More than 1.1 million households are expected to benefit from the clean energy generated from these funds.

The agreement was signed by K. S. Popli, chairman and MD, IREDA and W. Hoyer, president, EIB in the presence of R. K. Singh, Union Minister of State Power (MoP) and New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), and Anand Kumar, Secretary, MNRE….

(PV Magazine – March 12, 2018)

We are preparing a national strategic plan for energy efficiency: BEE’s Abhay Bakre

State-backed Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is leading the government’s efforts to set energy efficiency benchmarks and to have policies that will reduce the carbon intensity of the economy. At the core of its efforts is the idea that efficient use of energy is the least-cost option to meet the rising energy demand. Abhay Bakre, director general, BEE, explains in an interview how the energy efficiency industry is evolving. Edited excerpts:

How conscious are consumers about choosing energy-efficient appliances?

Indian business and consumers are now more conscious about energy efficiency and the savings it could bring. You will certainly find a consumer looking for a star rating in appliances they are about to buy. There is a huge success of the standard and labelling (S&L) scheme in which appliances with high energy saving potential are made mandatory to have star rating labelled by BEE. Energy-intensive sectors are given the targets by the Bureau to reduce its energy consumption per unit production under the perform, achieve and trade (PAT) programme. But still, I do think that every Indian needs to be made more aware about the efficient utilization of energy they are consuming….

(LiveMint – March 12, 2018)

In a first, Delhi to buy 350MW power from wind farms

In a first for the city, Delhi will use wind energy to meet its growing power demand. Moving beyond solar power, distribution companies (discoms) in the city are now going to procure 350 MW of wind energy.

With this, wind energy will have the highest share among the renewable sources that are used to meet Delhi’s power demand. Solar energy satiates 141MW of the capital’s energy needs.

“After a series of meetings, discoms are ready to procure wind power which is at present the cheapest energy source in the country. Wind is complimentary to solar as a source since it mainly comes at night. This will help us in the non-peak hours, as well as to meet Delhi’s non-solar renewable purchase obligation (RPO),” said Varsha Joshi, principal secretary (power)….

(Hindustan Times – March 14, 2018)

As India offers up cash and advice, sunny nations form a solar alliance

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has moved to quickly scale up its use of renewable power.

In 2014, the year Modi took office, India had 3 gigawatts of solar power. By the end of 2017, it had nearly 7 times that, or 20 GW, according to industry tracker Bridge to India, a renewable energy consultancy.

Now India wants to quintuple that total by 2022 – a goal once seen as hugely ambitious but now considered within reach by energy experts.

Progress is clearly happening quickly: During 2017 alone, India doubled its installed solar capacity from 10 GW to 20 GW….

(Reuters – March 12, 2018)

Diu becomes first UT to run completely on solar power, sets up example for rest

Taking giant leaps in the sector of solar power generation, Diu has become nation’s first ever renewable energy surplus Union Territory (UT) in just three years. Diu now runs 100 percent on solar power energy, The Times of India reported. Becoming fully solar energy efficient has helped the UT in cutting down on the power loss which it earlier faced when it used to borrow electricity from a Gujarat government grid, The Times of India report said. Diu is now a model for all other states and UTs in the country. The switch to solar energy has also helped it to reduce electricity tariffs for its residents. With a geographical spread of only 42 kilometres, solar power plants have been installed over 50 acres in one of the least populated UTs in India.

On a daily basis, the UT generates 13 megawatts of power in totality from solar power generating facilities. The rooftop solar plants generated nearly 3 megawatts (MW) and other solar power plants produced 10 megawatts (MW) of energy….

(Financial Express – March 9, 2018)

As countries crank up the AC, emissions of potent greenhouse gases are likely to skyrocket

In the summer of 2016, temperatures in Phalodi, an old caravan town on a dry plain in northwestern India, reached a blistering 51°C—a record high during a heat wave that claimed more than 1600 lives across the country. Wider access to air conditioning (AC) could have prevented many deaths—but only 8% of India's 249 million households have AC, Saurabh Diddi, director of India's Bureau of Energy Efficiency in New Delhi, noted at the World Sustainable Development Summit there last month. As the nation's economy booms, that figure could rise to 50% by 2050, he said. And that presents a dilemma: As India expands access to a life-saving technology, it must comply with international mandates—the most recent imposed just last fall—to eliminate coolants that harm stratospheric ozone or warm the atmosphere….

(Science Magazine – March 8, 2018)


Credit: Hindustan Times

Centre’s clean air plan goes beyond Delhi, urban India and outdoor pollution

A draft of the National Clean Air Programme that the Union environment ministry will finalise in less than a month broadens the focus from Delhi to 100 non-attainment cities across India and calls for guidelines on indoor air pollution.

The ministry told the Supreme Court on Friday that the plan, that seeks to reduce pollution by 35% in three years and 50% in five years, will be finalised within four weeks.

The country’s apex pollution regulator, the Central Pollution Control Board, has identified 94 cities that persistently flout the national standards for particulate matter pollution and are called “non-attainment cities,” and a few others that flout norms for other pollutants….

(Hindustan Times – March 12, 2018)

'India incurred $55.39 bn losses in terms of labour output caused by air pollution in 2013'

India, according to a report, incurred over USD 55 billion losses in terms of labour output caused by air pollution in 2013, which is about 0.84 per cent of its GDP, the government today said.

Minister of State for Environment Mahesh Sharma in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, however, said such reports need to be interpreted in the due perspective as they are based on different methodologies and involve various assumptions and uncertainties. The report titled 'The cost of air pollution: Strengthening the economic case for action' was published by the World Bank and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle in September 2016, Sharma said."(According to it) India incurred about USD 55.39 billion losses in terms of labour output caused by air pollution in 2013, which is about 0.84 per cent of its GDP….

(Business Standard – March 12, 2018)

India needs strategies to combat urban heat stress

With climate change leading to a rise in temperatures and rapid concretisation exacerbating the urban heat island effect, it has become important to develop adaptation strategies to reduce and combat heat stress.

The issue was prominent at the recent World Sustainable Development Summit 2018 organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). There were many discussions on declining liveability in the cities due to heat stress and the need for appropriate policies to cope with the worsening problem.

In 2015, recorded as the hottest year so far, an estimated 4,000 people in South Asia lost their lives to heat-related illnesses. “None should be dying of heat. Heat kills,” said Anjali Jaiswal, Director, India initiative, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “What we are seeing with climate change is that temperatures are soaring. They are breaking records. We saw 50 degrees Celsius in India. Human body cannot survive at this temperature outside. We need cooling measures in place and simple solutions like access to ice packs, ensuring hospitals are ready to receive people and so on….”

(India Climate Dialogue – March 9, 2018)

SDMC is first civic body to deploy e-vehicles

To deploy 75 sedans which will be automatic AC e-cars with zero tailpipe line emission

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Thursday became the first civic agency to deploy electric vehicles in its official fleet.

A statement released by the body said that replacement of internal combustion engines (ICE) vehicles with electric vehicles will result in saving of 1.65 lakh litres of fuel per year, reduction in emission of 2,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, and substantial reduction in pollution, maintenance and operating cost of vehicles….

(The Hindu – March 9, 2018)

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.