India Green News: Centre to study climate change related extreme weather events; India's Power Trade Corporation to fund renewables in India

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

Compiled by Nehmat Kaur

Week of September 4th – September 11th


India has a leading role in the global fight against climate change: Simon Petrie

CHANDIGARH: On the occasion of the first Joint Climate Diplomacy Day, British Deputy High Commission, Alliance Francaise, and the German Embassy, organised a panel discussion on climate change on Tuesday with a focus on how businesses can reduce their carbon footprint and how governments can help.

Experts from the local business community, state governments of Punjab and Haryana, and experts from diplomatic missions in Delhi shared their perspectives, expertise and ‘on the ground’ experiences about how to combat climate change without compromising on economic development.

Dr Neelima Jerath, Executive Director, Punjab State Council for Sciences and Technology, while giving a presentation on the state of Punjab, shared that due to climate change, 83 per cent of agricultural area will be affected and essential food crops such as wheat will possibly witness a drastic fall in production.

(. . .) Meanwhile, Simon Petrie, the first secretary of low carbon growth, energy, climate and growth unit, British High Commission, said, “India has a huge opportunity to play a leading role in the global fight against climate change. Like all countries, India will feel the effects of climate change. There are millions of vulnerable people who will be affected by changing monsoons, rising sea levels and drought.”

“But India will also be part of the solution. India has taken impressive action already, with proposals in the budget to create an adaptation fund, improving farmers’ resilience to the impacts of climate change, flagship policies for industrial energy efficiency, and a huge ambition to scale up solar power,” Petrie added.

(Indian Express, 09/10/2014)

Centre finally wakes up and decides to study extreme weather events after Kashmir floods

Following India experiencing "extreme weather events" in regular intervals – Leh cloudburst in 2010, Uttarakhand tragedy in 2013 and now unusually heavy rain and floods in Kashmir – Indian Government has now decided to study reasons behind it and also find if it has any links to climate change in the south Asia region. Events like 2005 Mumbai floods are also among such some extreme weather events that have hit the country in the last decade or so.

The study would be done under the watch of the union ministry of earth sciences (MoES) as they have witnessed an increase in frequency of extreme weather events like sudden and extreme rainfall in Mumbai, Leh, Uttarakhand and now Jammu and Kashmir which not only lead to loss of lives of thousands but also damaged property worth tens of thousands of crores of rupees.

(Daily News & Analysis, 09/11/2014)


Renewable Energy May Get $100 BN in 4 yrs

NEW DELHI: Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that the government was firming up its policy framework for the renewable energy and the transmission and distribution sector and hoped that both these sectors together would fetch an estimated $150 billion to $160 billion for the same in the next four years.

In his keynote address at the Economist India Summit here, Goyal said that the government was expecting an investment of $100 billion in the renewable energy space and another $60 billion in the transmission and distribution sector.

“We expect $100 billion in the renewable energy sector in the next four years,” Goyal said.

(Indian Express, 09/12/2014)

India’s PTC, Power Finance to jointly fund renewables

India’s biggest power trader and one of the nation’s largest lenders to electric utilities have agreed to jointly finance clean-energy projects.

Developers of renewable-energy plants will be able to apply through a single window for loans from PTC India Financial Services Ltd. and PFC Green Energy Ltd., a unit of state-owned lender Power Finance Corp., according to an e-mailed statement today. That will allow projects to raise financing more quickly and hasten the industry’s growth, the lenders said.

India’s 20 gigawatts of wind and solar capacity is dwarfed by China, with more than 100 gigawatts, according to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. A lack of affordable debt is one of the biggest constraints cited by developers in India, which has raised borrowing costs three times in the past year to combat inflation. Power Minister Piyush Goyal last month pledged to tackle the bottleneck by exploring options such as green bonds, notes issued to finance environmental projects.

PTC India Financial Services is backed by power trader PTC India Ltd.

(Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 09/10/2014)

India reverses plan to impose solar panel duties before Modi meets Obama

NEW DELHI: India has dropped plans to impose an anti-dumping duty on solar panel imports, a move that is likely to help mend frayed commercial ties with the United States before Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets President Barack Obama this month. 

Days before Modi took office in May, a quasi-judicial body ordered the imposition of the duty on panels imported from the United States, China, Taiwan and Malaysia to protect domestic solar manufacturers. 

The order issued had set duties of between 11 and 81 US cents per watt following an investigation which started in 2011. The ruling had to be published by the finance ministry within a stipulated time frame to take effect. 

"There was no notification. We allowed it to lapse," commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is also minister of state for finance, said, without elaborating. 

(Times of India, 09/11/2014)  

3 landmark energy initiatives launched

NEW DELHI: India took another step in the quest towards energy efficiency with the launch of three landmark energy-saving initiatives.

Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge) Dharmendra Pradhan launched “Design Guidelines for Energy- Efficient Multi-Storey Residential Buildings” and “Star Ratings” for diesel gensets and hospital buildings here on Tuesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Pradhan called for adopting energy-efficient techniques for ensuring energy security of the nation. Adopting energy-efficient equipment and techniques would save money that could then be diverted for providing basic amenities to rural masses, he said.

Mr. Pradhan said every year, India imported crude oil worth about Rs. 6 lakh crore and if energy-efficient techniques could bring down consumption by even 10 per cent, it would usher in a big change.

P.K. Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Power, said the new design guidelines were among the first initiatives by the government intended to bring energy efficiency into the design of homes. The launch ceremony was attended by over 300 stakeholders from the energy sector.

(The Hindu, 09/03/2014)

JICA extends loan of Rs 3,500 cr for energy sector

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Monday signed agreements with the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA) to provide official development assistance (ODA) of 30 billion Japanese Yen (Rs 1,750 crore) each to the two institutions to enhance energy availability in India.

ODA is a development assistance programme run by Japan to provide monetary help, infrastructure, emergency assistance, and public facilities to developing countries.

The agreement was signed by Shinya Ejima, chief representative, JICA India with N K Maini, deputy managing director (in-charge), SIDBI and with K S Popli, chairman and managing director, IREDA. The assistance will further financial savings through efficient energy use and expand use of renewable energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The energy supply and demand gap in India has caused frequent power outages and is considered one of the impediments to India’s economic growth.

(Business Standard, 09/02/2014)


City Gasps for Breath as Air Quality Worsens

BANGALORE: It is time to clear the air as Bangaloreans have been choking on air pollution.

There has been a spurt in the respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) levels of pollution over the past six months, compared to 2012 and 2013.

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) monitored air quality in 15 stations across Bangalore. According to these statistics, 12 centres in the city, with the exception of Kajisonnenahalli and KHB Industrial Area, have registered a spurt in RSPM levels, which can cause respiratory problems and could also lead to cancer and lung diseases.

(Indian Express, 09/11/2014)

Ozone pollution in India kills crops that can feed 94 million in poverty: study

NEW DELHI: In one year, India’s ozone pollution damaged millions of tons of the country’s major crops, causing losses of more than a billion dollars and destroying enough food to feed tens of millions of people living below the poverty line, says a new international study.

The study was done this year jointly by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, US and the National Center of Atmospheric Research, US.

The research  looked at the agricultural effects in 2005 of high concentrations of ground-level ozone, a plant-damaging pollutant formed by emissions from vehicles, cooking stoves and other sources.

According to the new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, surface ozone pollution damaged 6 million metric tons of India’s wheat, rice, soybean and cotton crops in 2005.

(Hindustan Times, 09/05/2014)

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