India Green News: India to become 2-4 degrees Celsius warmer, but deaths due to heat are preventable; Power Minister Piyush Goyal Launches New Energy Conservation Building Code; Thirty new smart cities announced; India to have City Livability Index
India Green News is a selection of news highlights about environmental and energy issues in India.
June 16 – June 22, 2017
India to become 2-4 degrees Celsius warmer, but deaths due to heat are preventable
Scientists who studied India’s 2015 heatwave, which claimed 2,500 lives (over 1,700 in Andhra Pradesh alone), concluded that the region was likely to see intense heatwaves once in every 10 years instead of once in every 100 years.
The next year turned out to be India’s hottest ever, since record-keeping began in 1901. In 2016, temperatures rose 0.91 degrees C above the 1961-1990 average. And earlier in 2017, summer got off to an unprecedented intense start, as heatwaves in late March swept through nine states: Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
With 13 of India’s 15 hottest years on record occurring since 2002, intense heat appears to be the new normal….
(Hindustan Times – June 21, 2017)
Power Minister Piyush Goyal Launches New Energy Conservation Building Code
In a bid to increase energy savings by commercial buildings, minister of power, coal, mines and new & renewable energy Piyush Goyal on Monday launched the new Energy Conservation Building code (ECBC) 2017.
The adoption of ECBC 2017 for new commercial building construction is estimated to achieve 50 per cent reduction in energy use by 2030, according to the power ministry. The savings estimated by ECBC 2017 will be equivalent to the annual avoided expenditure of Rs 35,000 crore and 250 million tons of CO2 reduction….
(Economic Times – June 19, 2017)
Renewable Energy will reach 49 percent in India by 2040: Report
As batteries and new sources of flexibility bolster the reach of renewables, the renewable energy will be reaching 49 percent in India, 55 percent in China, 74 percent penetration in Germany and 38 percent in the U.S. by 2040 anticipates newly released bloomberg new energy finance's (BNEF) annual long-term analysis of the future of energy- 2017 New Energy Outlook (NEO).
"Wind and solar energy account for 48 percent of installed capacity and 34 percent of electricity generation world-wide by 2040. This is compared with just 12 percent and 5 percent today. Installed solar capacity increases 14-fold and wind capacity fourfold by 2040. We anticipate renewable energy reaching 74 percent penetration in Germany, 38 percent in the U.S., 55 percent in China and 49 percent in India by 2040 as batteries and new sources of flexibility bolster the reach of renewable," report says….
(Outlook – June 17, 2017)
India's Renewable Energy Sector Could Add Over 300,000 Jobs By 2022
Underlining the idea that a shift to clean energy makes economic sense as well, a new report found that India can add over 3 lakh jobs in the clean energy sector with rooftop solar emerging as a major employer.
“Clean energy expansion is generating thousands of new jobs while meeting India’s climate and economic goals,” Nehmat Kaur, Consultant and Development Economist, at Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the co-publishers of the report said. “With this tremendous opportunity, India is stepping up as a global leader in demonstrating how a growing economy can scale up renewables, generate employment and provide access in the face of rising energy demands….”
(Hindustan Times – June 21, 2017)
World's Largest Coal Company to Retire 37 Mines in India
The largest coal mining company in the world, Coal India, has announced plans to decommission a total of 37 mines which are no longer economically viable in India. Coal India, which accounts for over 80 per cent of India’s coal production, produced an average of 1.42 tons of coal per day in June last year. Earlier this month, the government-owned coal producer informed the Bombay Stock Exchange of its intentions to close 37 mines in the country, on account of them no longer being financially viable.
According to Coal India, all 37 mines will be retired by March next year. The mines make up approximately 9 per cent of the total number of mines operated by Coal India. The Telegraph India – quoting industry sources – reported that the company is expecting to yield savings of around Rs 800 crore ($124 million)….
(Climate Action Programme – June 19, 2017)
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND AIR POLLUTION
Picture: Centre for Science and Environment
Thirty new smart cities announced; India to have City Livability Index
On the occasion of completion of two years of Smart Cities Mission (SCM) and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) announced the new batch of smart cities at a National Workshop on Urban Transformation. The Minister of Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, M Venkaiah Naidu, said that 45 cities contested for 40 available smart city slots but only 30 were selected to ensure feasible and workable plans that match the aspirations of the citizens. “The mission is an echo of urban revival,” the minister said.
The government had launched its flagship “100 Smart Cities Mission" in 2015. As of now, 90 cities (10 in the first round, 13 in the fast track round, 27 in the second round and 30 in the third round) have been selected as smart cities. In the third round of the Smart Cities selection, the Centre had shortlisted 45 cities, out of which, 30 have been selected….
(Down to Earth – June 23, 2017)
India Will Achieve Land Degradation Neutrality By 2030, Promises Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan
Environment minister Harsh Vardhan said on Friday that the government is committed to achieve land degradation neutrality (LDN) by 2030.
In a statement issued in New Delhi on the eve of "World Day to Combat Desertification", the minister said that India was focusing on sustainable land and resource management for livelihood generation at community level.
This, he said, would make local lands healthier and productive for providing a better homeland and a better future to its inhabitants….
(First Post – June 17, 2017)
Compiled by Laasya Bhagavatula and Henry Ruehl
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.