India Green News: India Will Implement Paris Pact & More

India Will Implement Paris Climate Pact in Letter and Spirit: PM Narendra Modi; Tangedco Evacuates 5,079 MW of Wind Power, Sets National Record; CPCB Plans to Roll Out Action Plans for Air Pollution in Non-Attainment Cities

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

June 30 – July 13, 2017

CLIMATE CHANGE

Times of India

India Will Implement Paris Climate Pact in Letter and Spirit: PM Narendra Modi

At a time when the United States' stand on climate change has pitted it against every other country, other major economies appear not to have given up hopes from the Paris Agreement with India on Friday reiterating its commitment to implement the global deal in "letter and spirit" while underlining the importance of its implementation to globally fight the menace of climate change.

The country's stand was articulated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi while speaking at the informal meeting of BRICS leaders on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.

Describing implementation of the Paris Agreement "globally" as essential to fight climate change, Modi noted that it was "mandatory" to implement the consensus reached at Paris. "India will implement the agreement in letter and spirit," he said while highlighting important roles of other BRICS nations - Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa - as well in achieving the goals under the global deal on climate change.

Addressing the session on sustainable development, climate and energy at the G20 summit, the Prime Minister stressed on the need to be forthcoming on climate change action and emphasized that the developing countries must have enough room to grow…

(Times of India – July 8, 2017)

World Bank Says India is Emerging Front Runner in Global Fight Against Climate Change

The World Bank has said that India is emerging as a front runner in the global fight against climate change. It further observed that the solar power is gradually displacing coal as an energy source in the country.

"In India and beyond, solar power is starting to displace coal as an energy source," the World Bank said.

"With a sweeping commitment to solar power, innovative solutions and energy efficiency initiatives to supply its people with 24x7 electricity by 2030, India is emerging as a front runner in the global fight against climate change," the World Bank said in a news report published on July 7, 2017…

(India Today – July 10, 2017)

Delhi Could Become as Hot as Sharjah by 2100

New research shows that average summer highs in major Indian cities could rise by around 3-5 °C by end of the century.

Summer temperatures in India’s capital could become more like those in Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates, by 2100 if carbon emissions are not curtailed, new research by World Meteorological Organisation and news outlet, Climate Central, shows.

For Delhi, that would mean a rise of 5 °C in the average summer highs from 35.2 °C to 40.2 °C, which is alarming because the average takes into account June, July and August temperatures.

Elsewhere in India the relatively benign summers of Bangalore (average summer high of 30.4 °C) will feel more like Esfahan (33.8 °C) in Iran. Chennai (35.4 °C) could feel more like Multan (39.2 °C) in Pakistan. Multan has an arid climate and extreme summers, witnessing some of the worst heat waves in Pakistan’s history, including the one that gripped the country in 2015…

(Hindustan Times – July 6, 2017)

India's Response to the Paris Agreement: Plant 66 Million Trees in Just 12 Hours

Triggered by India's commitment to the Paris Agreement, 1.5 million people gathered in India last Sunday and planted 66 million trees in just 12 hours. That's the equivalent of the entire city population of Philadelphia or San Antonio working together towards one common goal, plant as many trees as possible.

The campaign will likely beat the world record, which India owns, when they planted 49.3 million trees last year in 24 hours. The campaign last year planted saplings in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, while last Sunday's feat was accomplished in Madhya Pradesh in central India. The saplings last Sunday were planted along the Narmada River to allow for a constant water supply and increase the likelihood that most of these trees reach adulthood.

In total 66,300,000 trees were planted in the Indian state, which still has to be reviewed by the Guinness World Records to take the title away from last year's feat…

(Forbes – July 5, 2017)

ENERGY

Climate Action Programme

India to Integrate 175 GW of Renewables by 2022

According to new analysis, India’s power grid can be balanced even in the event of the nation integrating 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy into the grid by 2022. 

The report, Pathways to Integrate 175 Gigawatts of Renewable Energy into India’s Electricity Grid, was launched on Thursday 29 June by Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal.

The report – which was developed under the U.S.-India bilateral programme “Greening the Grid” – confirms both the technical and economic viability of integrating 175 GW of renewables into India’s power grid by 2022, as well as identifying the most appropriate course of action to enable such integration.

Minister Goyal said: “It is time for the people of India to get ready and embrace the change with a ‘New Mindset’ of a ‘New Grid’ for a ‘New India’, which is ready to integrate a large amount of renewable energy…."

(Climate Action Programme – June 30, 2017)

Tangedco Evacuates 5079 MW of Wind Power, Sets National Record

CHENNAI: Tangedco at 7pm on Monday evacuated 5,079MW of wind power, a new record in wind power evacuation in Tamil Nadu and India. It was a two-hour sustained supply of over 5,000MW on Monday.

 For nearly 3 hours, Tangedco put 3 thermal units with a total capacity of 1,020MW on stand-by mode and also advised other power sources to operate at 50% of their capacity. "We were thrilled on Monday evening when the wind power generation started increasing. Immediately, we put private thermal units on standby and evacuated wind power to the maximum," a senior Tangedco official told TOI.

 The previous record in Tangedco's wind energy evacuation was 4,600MW. "On May 31 this year, we evacuated 4,600MW of wind power; the total wind power consumption on that day was around 99.46 million units," said the official….

(Times of India – July 12, 2017)

Powering India: Renewable Projects Leap Ahead of Thermal

Private thermal projects are staring at muted power demand, which is the effects of non-remunerative tariffs partly due to aggressive bids and some adverse perception due to falling renewable tariff, says India Ratings and Research. India Ratings believes that private developers are facing more challenges in operating thermal power projects than renewable energy projects.

In contrast, the large target by the government for renewable capacity addition and the focus on renewable purchase obligation along with falling tariffs in competitive bidding regime have led to an increase in demand for renewable energy.

Strong counterparties for solar companies including Solar Energy Corporation of India and NTPC Ltd. are providing comfort to developers on payment security. However, an improvement in the financial profile of distribution utilities is important for power projects to have stable revenue receipts…

(Bloomberg – July 7, 2017)

India Saving Huge Cost with Energy Efficient LEDs, Fans, and Tube Lights

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government's initiative to 'Make India Energy Efficient' is in full swing and yielding good results.

In order to make the country more energy efficient, the NDA Government is distributing energy efficient LED bulbs, tube lights, fans and also pumps used in the country's agriculture sector by rural farmers.

According to data available with the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, pan-India distribution of energy-efficient LED bulbs has crossed over 24 crore, fans 10 lakh and tube lights 2,745,175 as on till July 6, 2017.

The government has set to achieve the target of replacing all the 77 crore inefficient bulbs in India with LEDs. This will result in reduction of 20,000 MW load, energy savings of 100 billion kWh and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction of 80 million tons every year….

(Outlook India – July 6, 2017)

World Bank Arm Picks Up $103 Million in L&T Green Bonds

World Bank's private sector financing arm IFC has subscribed to green bonds worth $103 million floated by L&T Infrastructure Finance Company, indicating the multilateral lending agency's commitment to supporting renewable energy projects in India.

The bond issue is the first such paper accorded green tag by markets watchdog Sebi since it came out with norms for this category in May.

India has set an ambitious target of setting up 175 giga watt of renewable power generation capacity and needs an estimated investment of $2.5 trillion to meet its climate change mitigation targets by 2030.

L&T Infrastructure Finance, a wholly-owned subsidiary of L&T Finance Holdings, will use the proceeds to fund solar power projects….

(Times of India – July 7, 2017)

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND AIR POLLUTION

National Geographic

CPCB Plans to Roll Out Action Plans for Air Pollution in Non-Attainment Cities

Non-attainment cities in India are set to get air pollution action plans. The 94 non-attainment cities will get action plans similar to the one notified for Delhi in January this year.

“Delhi is not the most polluted city though it is the most talked about,” AK Mehta, Joint Secretary at the Environment Ministry said, speaking at a pollution conference jointly organized by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago Center in Delhi and the Niti Aayog.

Cities are declared non-attainment if over a 5-year period they consistently do not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for PM 10 (Particulate matter that is 10 microns or less in diameter) or NO2 (Nitrogen Dioxide).  There are 112 cities that qualify as non-attainment cities based on three-year evaluations…

(Hindustan Times – July 10, 2017)

With Color-Coded Warnings, Indian City Gets Serious About Dirty Air

AHMEDABAD, India, July 5 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A plan to combat extreme heat in India's Ahmedabad city has been so effective in raising awareness and bringing down fatalities that city officials are rolling out a similar program to fight another environmental risk: air pollution.

Ahmedabad, in the western state of Gujarat, has among the worst air pollution in the country. But it is the first to install an air monitoring and warning system.

The Air Information and Response (AIR) plan, launched in May, involves the creation of an air quality index that measures daily pollution levels in eight locations. Giant LED screens display five color-coded alerts of the levels, and their related effects….

(Reuters – July 4, 2017)

Delhi Air Quality Not 'Good' in Over 500 Days, Even When It Rained

Delhi might have just experienced the wettest June in more than a decade, but even the heavy rains failed to wash away some of the city’s deadliest air pollutants.

Air Quality Index data between 2016 to June 2017, available with the Central Pollution Control Board, revealed that pollution levels in Delhi refused to drop even during the rainy season. Not even in the month of June 2017, when the city received one of the heaviest rains in the last decade.

“Delhi hasn’t witnessed a single day in the last 535 days, in which air quality could be termed ‘good.’ The air quality in nearly 50% of the days had poor category air quality followed by very poor,” said D Saha head of the air laboratory in the Central Pollution Control Board…

(Hindustan Times – July 10, 2017)

How Air Pollution is Being Turned into Ink

They developed a device that can be fitted onto the exhaust pipe of a car or portable generator and collected the soot that forms from burning diesel fuel. By mixing the fine black powder with solvents, they produced ink that then went into bottles and markers.

Kaushik says Air-Ink has a dual benefit: "It’s not just that we’re recycling that material into inks. What we are also doing is replacing the carbon black that otherwise would have been used to make black inks." Manufacturers typically use the soot known as carbon black in rubber, ink, paints, and carbon paper….

(National Geographic – July 8, 2017)

Sensor Network to Map and Predict Pollution, Effluents in Godavari

The Ganga may be the focus of the government’s river-cleaning efforts, but a group of U.S. researchers is working on a system to map undulating pollution trends in the Godavari, India’s second longest river.

Using a mix of methods, including satellite-monitoring, traversing stretches of the river to collect water samples and using special sensors to measure bacterial and chemical pollution, the researchers are trying to develop a cost-effective forecast system….

(The Hindu – July 11, 2017)

Compiled by 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.

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Anjali Jaiswal

Senior Attorney and Director, India Initiative

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