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Amrita Batra’s Blog

India Environmental News Compilation July 24th - August 6th, 2012

Amrita Batra

Posted August 8, 2012 in Living Sustainably, Moving Beyond Oil

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Climate

India’s Climate. Monsoon, or Later

“The dizzying midday heat of India’s northern plains cracks the earth. Farmers slump on the charpoys on which they sleep outdoors. It should be raining, yet the sky is clear. Prithi Singh, lean and wrinkled, says his entire rice crop has withered, along with fields sown for fodder. After two summers of erratic and delayed monsoons, this year the rains simply failed. Mr Singh cannot afford to pay for a borehole, generator and diesel to reach ever-diminishing groundwater. Farmers always grumble. But Mr Singh has lost half of his annual income of 50,000 rupees ($890) and now depends upon his crop of winter wheat. Another farmer nearby fears he must sell his land to pay accumulated debts to moneylenders.”

(The Economist, 7/27/2012)

Energy

Behind India’s Grid Breakdown, Deeper Energy Issues – and Opportunities

“(….) The massive grid breakdown in India should not come as a surprise at all. The surprise part is why it did not happen before. It has been a ticking time bomb. (….) It is time for India and Indians (especially the rich ones) to reflect and not just complain. Mere complaining will not solve this problem. The problem is here to stay — and coal and nuclear will not solve it. They will just hide the problem under the carpet for sometime. Renewable energy options and decentralization will help foster discipline — demand-side power management, energy efficiency, accountability and a sense of ownership — things that the centralized grid can never provide.”

(The New York Times, Dot Earth Blog, 7/31/2012)

Solar Photo Voltaic Installations Cross the 1 GW Milestone

“Solar photovoltaic installations in India have crossed the 1,000 MW or 1 gigawatt (GW) mark, data made available by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, show. As at the end of June, India had grid interactive solar PV installed capacity of 1,030.66 MW. Most of the capacities have come in Gujarat. In addition, India has 85.21 MW of off-grid solar PV systems, counting only those that are higher than 1 kW. Renewable Energy in India crossed another milestone in the first quarter of the current year — total grid interactive renewable energy installations crossed 25,000 MW.”

(The Hindu Business Line, 7/29/2012)

Renewable Energy Trade Picks Up Steam in India

“Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) trade —  a mechanism to trade renewable energy including solar, wind, biomass and small hydro projects on platforms similar to stock exchanges — is slowly gaining ground in India. REC trade, which began in India in March, has already gained popularity in countries such as Australia and Japan. REC trade through the Indian Energy Exchange and Power Exchange India Ltd (PXIL) has till date generated R431 crore for the country’s renewable energy producers. One REC equals 1 MW of electricity produced from renewable resources.”

(The Hindustan Times, 8/5/2012)

Manmohan to Inaugurate Global Seminar on Energy Access

“The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, is scheduled to inaugurate a global, Ministerial level, ‘International Seminar on Energy Access’ that is to be held in New Delhi on October 9 and 10. The seminar is expected to have the participation of more than 50 ministers and senior government officials from different countries, UN bodies and non- governmental organisations. The conference is being organised by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and supported by the Confederation of Indian Industry.”

(The Hindu Business Line, 7/31/2012)

Environmental Governance and Compliance

After Blackout, Environment Minister Rejects Clearance over Green Clearance

“Amid the blame game over the massive blackout, Environment Ministry today rejected criticism that lack of green clearance that held up several power projects was among the main reasons, asserting such clearances have far exceeded targets. Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan also said that her ministry is not a "stumbling block" in the path of sustainable economic development nor will it ever be.”

(Business Standard, 8/1/2012)

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