INDIA GREEN NEWS: Indians Perceive Climate Change as Major Threat; Renewable Investments Touch $10.9 Billion; Delhi Vehicle Pollution Down 30%

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

January 6-14, 2016


92% Indians perceive climate change as a major threat: Survey

A total of 92 per cent Indians polled by independent market research company Ipsos view global warming and climate change as major threats. India ranks seventh among the 24 countries surveyed, a statement by Ipsos said.

"India has been strongly impacted by climate change and global warming, given the sudden upheavals in weather conditions."

"There have been growing incidence of landslides, earthquakes and unseasonal heavy rainfall on the one hand and extremely high temperature and drought-like conditions on the other hand," Ipsos' Managing Director (India) Amit Adarkar said.

"I'm not surprised that a large majority of Indians perceive it as a serious threat. Our government has been taking stock and is moving ahead with short-term and long-term remedial measures," he added. These include emission checks, encouraging use of public transportation and moving towards alternative clean renewable energy sources...

(Financial Express - January 13, 2016)


Renewable energy investments in India touch $10.9 billion on solar surge

Investments in clean or renewable energy in India have touched $10.9 billion on solar surge against an annual average of $8 billion in the last three years, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Solar PV investment leaped ahead of wind investments for the first time during the year due to a strong policy push for power from the sun. The increase in investment in India's solar sector was 80 percent to $5.6 billion in 2015 from $3.1 billion last year.

The report on green energy said the increase in investment mirrored the optimism generated by the pro-renewable energy policies introduced by the incumbent Narendra Modi-led BJP government. Solar investments have risen for the third year in a row propelled by allocation of 11GW of capacity in 2015 to independent power producers through multiple federal and national-level programs...

(Greentechlead - January 14, 2016)

Clean Energy Defies Fossil Fuel Price Crash To Attract Record $329bn Global Investment In 2015

Clean energy investment surged in China, Africa, the US, Latin America and India in 2015, driving the world total to its highest ever figure, of $328.9bn, up 4% from 2014's revised $315.9bn and beating the previous record, set in 2011 by 3%.

The latest figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance show dollar investment globally growing in 2015 to nearly six times its 2004 total and a new record of one third of a trillion dollars (see chart on page 3), despite four influences that might have been expected to restrain it.

These were: further declines in the cost of solar photovoltaics, meaning that more capacity could be installed for the same price; the strength of the US currency, reducing the dollar value of non-dollar investment; the continued weakness of the European economy, formerly the powerhouse of renewable energy investment; and perhaps most significantly, the plunge in fossil fuel commodity prices...

(Bloomberg New Energy Finance - January 14, 2016)

India seeks joint collaboration with Japan on energy efficiency, conservation

The primary objective of the government's thrust on energy efficiency investment is to promote sustainable development and improve energy access at affordable prices to the people, said Piyush Goyal, union minister of state for power, coal and new & renewable energy. He is on a visit to Tokyo to attend the Eighth India-Japan Energy Dialogue.

The joint statement issued following the conclusion of the Energy Dialogue chalked out a clear roadmap for further collaboration in the fields of electricity, renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation, coal and petroleum and natural gas.

While on the visit, Goyal informed that the use of energy efficiency measures as well as promotion of cleaner and renewable sources of energy in India is a step forward. He also underlined the fact that India is trying to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels, while simultaneously adopting advanced technologies to address its developmental priorities...

(Business Standard - January 14, 2016)

Wind Energy Companies Grab Solar Contracts in India's Auctions

Two wind energy companies in India have bagged solar projects worth a more than a quarter of the total capacity on offer from the country's largest auction to date. Wind power producer Mytrah Energy Ltd. won a contract for 327 megawatts of solar capacity in the southern state of Telangana, which issued a tender in April 2015 for as much as 2,000 megawatts. Suzlon Energy Ltd., the nation's biggest wind turbine maker, won its first ever solar contract with a successful bid for 210 megawatts in Telangana.

The efforts of India's wind companies to diversify reflects Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambition to install 100 gigawatts of solar power across India by 2022 at an estimated cost of $100 billion. Current solar capacity in the country is just over 4 gigawatts. "We are also working on integrated renewable energy solutions by combining wind and solar projects at a single location," Suzlon Group's Chairman Tulsi Tanti said in the statement.

Mytrah will sign power purchase agreements with the state power utility Southern Power Distribution Co. of Telangana Ltd. by the middle of next month...

(Bloomberg - January 13, 2016)

India Gets $1.5 Billion Loan For Rooftop Solar Power Program

India's rooftop solar power program has received a much-needed boost even as sector experts believe that the target of 40 GW installed capacity by 2022 looks extremely ambitious. Officials of the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) recently announced that the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the newly-founded BRICS development bank will provide $500 million each for development of rooftop solar power projects in the country.

The funds will be used for providing a 30% subsidy to public institutions that set up rooftop solar power systems. Individuals or entities not eligible for this subsidy may also be able to source low-cost debt finance from these funds.

India has set a target to have 100 GW of solar power capacity operational by April 2022; this includes a target of 40 GW for rooftop solar power systems. Rooftop solar power capacity represents just 10% of the 5 GW solar power capacity currently operational in India. Increasing the capacity to 40 GW in about 75 months will be a gargantuan task...

(Cleantechnica - January 11, 2016)


India Will Stick to its New Emission Rule Deadline, Gadkari Says

India reiterated it will bring forward stricter standards governing vehicle emissions by four years despite protests by carmakers that the skipping of an intermediate step disrupts their product development plans.

The government is not reconsidering its decision, Nitin Gadkari, India's minister for road transport and highways, said in a press briefing in New Delhi Monday.

"When the same carmakers are following the same norms across the globe, then why not here?" he said. "Pollution is a growing problem and we need to wake up."

Last week, the government announced that all new cars will have to meet Bharat Stage 6 regulations, equivalent to the European Union's Euro 6 emissions norms, by April 2020. The rule skips the BS-5 stage after determining that fuel conforming to the stricter standards will be available by then. The stricter BS-6 benchmark calls for a 68 percent reduction in nitrous oxide gases from current levels...

(Bloomberg Business - January 11, 2016)

Indian Oil Corp to invest Rs 21,000 crore to upgrade fuel quality

State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) will invest Rs 21,000 crore in upgrading six refineries to produce Euro-VI grade petrol and diesel by April 2020, its Director (Refineries) Sanjiv Singh said on Wednesday.

The investment on upgradation will raise the production cost of petrol by Rs 1.40 per litre and diesel by Rs 0.63. IOC, the nation's largest oil firm, is investing Rs 7,000 crore in upgrading fuel quality from Bharat Stage-III, equivalent to Euro-III emission norm, to BS-IV by next year, he said.

Another, Rs 13,000-14,000 crore will be invested in six units to upgrade fuel quality straight to BS-VI or Euro-VI, he added.

In a bid to cut vehicular pollution, the government has decided to leapfrog from Euro-IV emission standards for automobiles as well as fuel to stricter Euro-VI by April 1, 2020. All PSU refineries need to invest Rs 28,750 crore for upgrading quality of fuel they produce...

(DNA India - January 13, 2016)

Delhi government says vehicle pollution down 30%, experts divided

Delhi's transport minister Gopal Rai claimed on Thursday that levels of PM 2.5, primarily caused by vehicular pollution, had come down by 25-30%. "Yesterday, the levels recorded at 18 locations in Delhi were below 300 ug/m3. This was between 400-465 ug/m3 in the month of December," he added. The monitoring is being done by Delhi Pollution Control committee (DPCC).

The PM 2.5 level being cited by the government for the month of December is an average of the records from six fixed stations of the DPCC. These are located at Anand Vihar, Punjabi Bagh, RK Puram, Mandir Marg, Civil Lines and IGI Airport. The current readings, on the other hand, are from mobile monitoring units. These have been assessing air quality for 20 minutes at spots like Connaught Place, Talkatora Stadium, Chanakyapuri, Tees Hazari Court, Sadar Bazaar, Delhi Cantonment railway station and Dhaula Kuan...

(The Times of India - January 8, 2016)

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