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India Green News (9/25-10/2/12): "Solar Policy, Renewable Energy Financing and Biodiversity"

Amrita Batra

Posted October 11, 2012

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India: Andhra Pradesh Announces Solar Policy

“The Andhra Pradesh government has announced its solar policy. Tax benefits are on the table for projects, as well as exemptions from power transmission fees. The Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Policy will remain in place until 2017.  Madhavan Nampoothiri, Founder and Director of RESolve Energy Consultants told pv magazine that the new policy is not driven by FITs, but rather focuses on Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) regulations, and Renewable Energy certificates (REC). As such, the success of the policy depends upon the enforcement of the RPO in a lot of states in India.”

(PV Magazine, 9/28/2012)

Indian Renewable Energy Credit Demand Slumps in September

“Demand for renewable-energy credits in India declined this month because of a supply glut and concern regulators may not enforce clean-energy targets on utilities.  Bids from companies seeking to buy credits fell 7 percent from the August trading session, while sell bids gained 13 percent, according to data from REConnect Energy Solutions Pvt., an Indore-based trader. The credits sold for 1,500 rupees ($28) each, the floor price set by the regulator. “Demand has remained depressed due to enforcement concerns,” REConnect said in a note to clients.”

(Bloomberg News, 9/26/2012)

EU Keen to Partner India in Renewable Energy Sector

“The European Union (EU) today facilitated two MoUs between companies from Europe and India to tap India's huge potential in renewable energy. "India has a huge potential for renewable energy from hydel, wind, solar and tidal sources, while the EU has the technology. This expertise that can help India," EU's ambassador to India Joao Cravinho told reporters here. However, unstable regulatory environments, non-tariff barriers and variations in states are major problems faced by EU companies who want to venture into India, he said.”

(The Economic Times, 9/25/2012)

Recommendations Can’t Stall Plan Commissioning: Atomic Energy Regulatory Body

“The Atomic Energy Regulatory Body (AERB) told the Supreme Court on Friday that its 17 critical safety recommendations for Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant were meant to equip the plant to withstand a Fukushima-type disaster but were not critical for conducting commissioning activities like fuel loading. "The said recommendations are only in the nature of secondary or multi-tier backup which cannot justifiably put on hold the initial fuel loading and further commissioning of the plant," the AERB said in an affidavit before the court.”

(The Times of India, 9/29/2012)

India to Press Forward with Nuclear Power

“India is determined to increase its share of nuclear power, a government official said. Speaking at the India Nuclear Energy Summit in Mumbai Tuesday, Srikanta K Panigrahi, adviser to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and director general of the Indian Institute of Sustainable Development, acknowledged "apprehensions" raised about the safety of nuclear power in the wake of Japan's March 2011 Fukushima disaster.  "There are safety challenges but India has adequate capabilities to meet those challenges," Panigrahi said, the Business Standard newspaper reports. "The country is further increasing its capabilities.”

(, 9/25/2012)

Environmental Governance and Compliance

Biodiversity Norms for Green Clearances Coming, Says Environment Minister

In a move that will bring cheer to wildlife lovers but could dismay industry lobbyists already complaining about the difficulty in obtaining green clearances, the government plans to add biodiversity conservation as a new criterion to grant environmental and forest clearances. “There is no biodiversity clearance till now,” admitted Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, speaking ahead of the United Nations summit on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which begins in Hyderabad next week. “I know industries will panic if I say we are adding one more layer of clearances, but I would like to assert today that conservation of biodiversity should certainly be a part of forest and environment clearances. I will make every effort to integrate it into environmental or forest or both clearances, at whichever level it operates.”

(The Hindu, 9/29/2012)

U.S.-India Cooperation

Shot in the Arm for India-U.S. Relations

“While it may have lacked the punching power of a full-fledged Strategic Dialogue, India-U.S ties received a quick shot in the arm on Monday evening on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly when Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed bilateral issues, including visa-related concerns and shale gas extraction, and also cooperative efforts in Afghanistan and Libya.”

(The Hindu, 10/02/2012)

U.S.-India to Set Up Panel to Discuss Financing for Renewable Energy

“The recently concluded meeting of the US-India Energy Dialogue has decided to constitute a group to discuss financing options for encouraging electricity generation from renewable sources. The US-India Energy Dialogue was formed in May 2005 to promote trade and investment in the energy sector. Under the auspices of the Dialogue, four working groups (on oil and gas, coal, power and energy efficiency, new technologies and renewable energy) met in Washington DC this week. The Indian delegation was headed by B.K. Chaturvedi, Member, Planning commission. Among the issues discussed were assessment of solar and wind resources, integration of renewable energy grids and testing of solar modules.”

(The Hindu Business Line, 9/30/2012)

Health and Environment

India’s Dolphins Left ‘Miserable’ by Toxic Pollution

“Officials in India are launching a campaign to cheer the flagging spirits of listless river dolphins amid fears that toxic pollution has left them miserable. They are planning to use the popularity of the freshwater dolphins to revive the Ganges, the country's holiest river, and reduce chemical pollution in its waters. The number of dolphins in India has more than halved from 5000 in 1982 to just 2000 today. Up to 160 die every year because of fishing and pollution.”

(The Telegraph, 9/25/2012)

India Green News is a selective weekly collection of news summaries about environmental and energy issues in India.


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