2018 was sixth warmest year in India's recorded history: IMD; 74% of India’s new power capacity addition In 2018 was renewables; Ahmedabad civic body budget jumps by 30%, focus on pollution, cleanliness
India Green News is a selection of news highlights about environmental and energy issues in India.
January 17 – 23, 2019
The average temperature in India was “significantly above normal” in 2018, making it the sixth warmest year the country has witnessed since 1901 – when it first began recording climate data. The winter season was the fifth warmest.
In its ‘Statement on Climate of India during 2018,’ the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday that last year, the annual mean surface air temperature, averaged across the country, was 0.41°C above (1981-2010 period) average.
For some states, the temperature soared even well above that—such as in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. According to a Quartz report, heatwaves have increased in duration. Global warming could further increase both their frequency as well as intensity. This would, in turn, pose a threat to public health.
(The Wire.in – January 17, 2019)
Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra Tuesday said India is one of the few countries that is moving on track to meet the Paris commitments on fighting climate change.
Mahindra added that he has taken a pledge on behalf of all employees of his group that the entire conglomerate and all its 100 companies will be carbon neutral 10 years before the agreed deadline for the world in the Paris agreement.
Speaking here at a plenary session on 'Safeguarding our Planet' during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), he said "India, unlike many other countries, including in the West, is on track to meet the Paris commitments. India is not backing down."
Mahindra said he has not come across anyone in India who is not concerned about climate change. "It is about staying alive, after all," he said.
(Business Standard – January 22, 2019)
Top Indian companies have reaffirmed their commitment to fighting climate change by taking bold emission reduction targets and promoting renewable energy that has put the country on the path to achieving its global commitment well ahead of the Paris Agreement targets.
This was the observation of Carbon Disclosure Project-India's (CDP) annual report of 2018, titled "Corporates #StepUp Climate Action".
The CDP is an international non-profit that drives companies and governments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
In India, 25 companies committed to science-based targets in alignment with the Paris Agreement by December 2018, propelling the country to the fifth position after the US, Japan, Britain and France in corporate climate action.
(Energy World by the Economic Times – January 22, 2019)
India added a total (net) of 17.6 gigawatts power generation capacity in 2018, a record percentage (74%) of that capacity was based on renewable energy technologies—primarily solar power. The huge capacity coming online from renewable energy sector has made 2018 the greenest year in terms of new capacity addition so far.
Of the 17.6 gigawatts of total capacity added last year, 4.1 gigawatts came from fossil fuel-based technologies (various forms of coal and natural gas), around 435 megawatts were contributed by large hydro, and 13.1 gigawatts came from renewable energy technologies. Hydro power projects with installed capacity over 25 megawatts are not classified as renewable energy projects. Solar power projects with total capacity of 8.9 gigawatts and wind energy projects of 2.2 gigawatts were commissioned last year.
(Clean Technica – January 21, 2019)
To reduce its annual electricity bill, Indian Railways will soon run trains powered by solar power from arrays of PV cells deployed along electrified tracks in 10 states. The solar power generated will replace 4 GW of coal-fired electricity consumed by the railways, saving the operator 20% of its annual energy bill in the first year and 40% thereafter. Indian Railways currently buys electricity for around INR5 ($0.07) per unit.
Developers will recover the installation cost of solar panels and other equipment through the sale of power to the railway operator. Under an agreement with states, there will be a provision to sell surplus power to the local utilities, which will supply equivalent power when Indian Railways needs it.
(PV Magazine – January 17, 2019)
A 2018 report lists Tamil Nadu as one of the top nine renewable energy markets in the world. Today, 14.3 per cent of all the energy demand in the state is met by renewable energy, primarily solar and wind.
Wind power capacity in Tamil Nadu increased from a meager 877 MW in 2002 to 7,652 MW in 2017. Persistent load shedding by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) has been a huge problem for the local industry. The policies and incentives offered by the government—bundling of wind power projects, accelerated depreciation, a Technology Upgradation Fund etc.—have driven the state’s power-intensive industries to invest in captive wind power plants. Of the total capacity today, nearly 5,500 MW36 of captive plants have been set up by textile mills and cement industries.
(Down to Earth – January 20, 2019)
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND AIR POLLUTION
Ahmedabad’s civic guardians on Tuesday tabled a Rs 7,509-crore draft budget for 2019-20, an increase of 30 per cent from 2018-19, with special focus on controlling pollution and ensuring cleanliness of the city. It was tabled by municipal commissioner Vijay Nehra.
Among the challenges highlighted by Nehra in the draft budget include projects covering both air and water pollution namely Ahmedabad Clean Air Program (ACAP), making Sabarmati River pollution-free at a cost of Rs 500 crore, ‘Pirana Dumpsite Remediation project’—capping of Pirana dumping site at an estimated cost of Rs 300 crore, and several proposals of electric public mobility system.
(The Indian Express – January 23, 2019)
Government-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited will set up a network of solar-based electric vehicle chargers along the entire 250 km stretch of road between Delhi and Chandigarh, allaying range anxiety among EV users.
BHEL‘s scope of work in the project includes design, engineering, manufacturing, supply and installation of EV charging stations along with a central monitoring system. Each charging station will be equipped with a rooftop solar power plant to supply green energy to fast and slow chargers planned to be installed at the location.
The project is covered under the Indian government’s FAME scheme—Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India.
(PV Magazine – January 17, 2019)
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.