India Green News: To slow climate change, India joins the renewable energy revolution; India's renewable energy capacity reaches 57472 GW; Delhi to get 20 new pollution monitoring stations by October this year
India Green News is a selection of news highlights about environmental and energy issues in India.
June 09 – June 15, 2017
On June 3, two days after President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchanged a hug with French President Emmanuel Macron during an official visit to Paris. Modi and Macron pledged to achieve emissions reductions beyond their nations’ commitments under the Paris Agreement, and Macron announced he will visit India later this year for a summit on solar power.
For observers who equate India’s energy production with a reliance on coal, this exchange came as a surprise. Modi’s internationally visible pledge would put India three years ahead of schedule to achieve its “Intended Nationally Determined Contribution” to the Paris climate agreement. Instead of shifting to 40 percent renewables by 2030, India now expects to surpass this goal by 2027….
(Salon – June 10, 2017)
Indian Railways (IR) says it is planning to adopt a sustainable procurement policy in a bid to reduce lifecycle costs and reduce its impact on the environment.
The move follows the release last month of a new procurement manual by the Indian Finance Ministry, which all central government ministries and departments have been mandated to adopt.
“We are in the process of framing the procurement guidelines,” explains IR environmental advisor Mr A K Tiwari. “This will be done either by implementing a new policy, or by bringing changes in the existing rules of business....”
(International Railway Journal – June 15, 2017)
It is generally held that if we can avoid warming the planet by 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures, we may be able to avoid the worst effects of climate change. In India, though, just a quarter of that warming has more than doubled the risk of deadly heat waves.
A study published in Science Advances shows that as average summer temperatures in India rose 0.5 °C from 1960 until 2009, the chance of a heat wave causing more than 100 deaths more than doubled. As the authors write, their work is far from theoretical: heat waves in 2010, 2013, and 2015 each killed thousands of people across the country. In May 2016, the northwestern city of Jaisalmer recorded India’s most intense heat wave ever, while just last month a city in nearby Pakistan recorded a temperature of 53.5 °C (over 128 °F)—the hottest temperature ever measured on Earth in the month of May….
(Technology Review – June 12, 2017)
As of April 2017, India boasts 57.472 GW of installed renewable energy capacity, show recent data from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy analyzed by Mercom Capital Group
As it continues to expand its grid amid growing demand, India is staying true to its ambitious renewable energy targets, with solar playing an increasingly important role in the country’s energy mix.
The latest data, provided by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and analyzed by Mercom Capital Group, show a steady growth in renewable energy installations in India, which as of April 2017 account for 17.5 % of the total energy source.
Namely, the country’s overall installed capacity has reached 329.4 GW, with renewables accounting for 57.472 GW. This constitutes a significant increase on the statistics released by the MNRE back in February, when the figure stood at around 50 GW….
(PV Magazine – June 12, 2017)
Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines, today said India has become a power surplus country in the last three years of NDA government at the Centre and there is no shortage of electricity or coal. Addressing a press conference, Goyal said, “The highest ever 60GW addition in conventional power, about 40% increase in transformation capacity, and over one-fourth increase in transmission lines since April 2014-March 2017, have made India a power surplus country, with no shortage of electricity or coal.” Not only this, the Union minister also said that India became net exporter of electricity for the first time in 2016-17….
(Financial Express – June 12, 2017)
In a country that loves its TV soaps as much as its films, and which is setting new global benchmarks for cheap and accessible solar energy almost every week, the arrival of this new product might seem rather late. Nevertheless, India’s first solar satellite TV is finally here.
The new pay-as-you-go product, known as Magic TV, is the latest offering to hit India’s fast growing renewable market and tipped to be a game changer in a country where 300 million people still live without a reliable access to electricity.
Designed by Simpa Networks, the package combines the solar TV with a home-lighting system. It includes a 20-inch LED television with over 100 free-to-air channels, a powerful battery, a solar charge controller and three LED lights. Customers can remotely monitor and control the solar panels themselves. But they are required to prepay for energy service, typically a month in advance. They get electricity every day until the prepaid credits expire, after which customers must recharge or prepay for the next month’s service….
(Forbes – June 12, 2017)
Pieces are falling into place for an important collaboration between India and Africa to end energy poverty. The stakes are high, as sub-Saharan Africa and India account for over 80 percent of the world’s 1.1 billion unelectrified.
On the heels of the first annual meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) ever held in India last month, this cross-continental partnership is evolving quickly, both in the public and private sectors. Of note, it is taking place at a time when India’s long-time rival China is investing tens of billions of dollars in African infrastructure to secure resources for its future development, adding an element of geopolitics that will be worth following despite India’s position that it is not engaging in Africa with “strategic intent” but to end poverty and promote social justice….
(Thomson Reuters Foundation News – June 12, 2017)
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND AIR POLLUTION
Twenty new air quality monitoring stations will start functioning in Delhi by October to “strengthen the fight against air pollution” in the Capital.
The decision was taken in a meeting of the environment department and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee convened by Delhi environment minister Imran Hussain on Tuesday.
Air pollution data in the capital is currently taken from 28 monitoring stations – four run by Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), eight by the Met department and the rest by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
According to a government release, the process of getting these new stations is in advanced stage and the work order will be issued shortly….
(Hindustan Times – June 14, 2017)
Puducherry Welfare and Labour Minister M Kandasamy today said a committee under his leadership would soon inspect industries on the outskirts to check if they were adhering to statutory provisions to prevent pollution.
The minister said the government will not hesitate to close industries causing environmental pollution and also posing a threat to the health of the people….
(India.com – June 13, 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.