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India Green News : India braces for climate change, responds with increased investment in renewable energy

Grace Gill

Posted November 15, 2012

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

October 31 – November 6, 2012

Climate

Indian monsoons may fail more often due to climate change - study

OSLO (Reuters) - The Indian monsoon is likely to fail more often in the next 200 years threatening food supplies, unless governments agree how to limit climate change, a study showed on Tuesday.  India's monsoon, which lasts from June to September, is vital for India's 1.2 billion people to grow crops such as rice, wheat and corn. India last faced a severe widespread drought in 2009 and had to import sugar, pushing global prices to 30-year highs.

(The Chicago Tribune, 11/05/2012)

Pollution level up, visibility dips

NEW DELHI: The city experienced shallow fog for the third consecutive day on Wednesday as still air and high moisture levels arising from Cyclone Nilam resulted in low visibility conditions almost through the day. Between 11am and 4pm, the average visibility was 600m at Palam and 500m at Safdarjung. The environment department also officially announced winter after pollution levels showed a rise due to low temperatures.

The rise in air pollution, which is most severely felt in the winter months, is a significant contributor to the increase in fog hours. Met officials say the average fog duration per day has increased by eight hours since 1989, and Delhi is especially affected as high pollution and aerosol levels impact visibility.

(The Times of India, 11/01/2012)

Energy

TATA Power Eyes Renewable Energy for Growth

NEW DELHI--Tata Power Co. plans to expand its renewable power capacity to 6,000 megawatts by 2020, a senior company executive said.  India's top private power utility by capacity is also in talks to acquire renewable assets in India to fuel its expansion, Rahul Shah, Chief Business Development-India Business and Renewables, said.

Faced with a shortage of coal, which fires more than half of the country's installed power generation capacity, Indian utilities are looking at tapping alternative electricity sources to maintain growth.  The government offers various tax incentives to encourage the development of renewable energy. It has targeted increasing the share of renewables to 15% of total installed capacity by 2020 from 6% now.

(Wall Street Journal, 11/05/2012)

Welspun Energy to invest Rs 1,000 cr on 100 MW solar project

NEW DELHI: Welspun Energy, India's biggest developer of solar projects, said it will invest Rs 1,000 crore in setting up a 100 mega-watt solar power project in Chhattisgarh. Welspun Renewables Energy Ltd (WREL), a subsidiary of Welspun Energy, has inked an MoU with Chattisgarh government for installing 100 MW Solar Power project, the company said in a press statement here.

The MoU was signed in Raipur. "The project is to be commenced in 2015, entailing an estimated investment of Rs 1,000 crore," the company said. With this project the company will achieve an annual CO2 emission reduction of 158,118 tonnes. The project will de- carbonise state's energy portfolio by 2015.

(The Economic Times, 11/05/2012)

India invites investment from ASEAN in renewable energy sector

NEW DELHI: Aiming to scale up production of renewable energy in the country, India today invited investors from ASEAN countries to invest in the sector.

"India is encouraging foreign investors to set up renewable power projects on 'build own operate' basis with 100 per cent foreign direct investment and the county invited the investors from the ASEAN member countries to invest in renewable energy sector," New and Renewable Energy secretary Gireesh Pradhan said.

Inaugurating a two-day 'ASEAN-India Workshop on Cooperation in Renewable Energy', he said at present renewable power with over 26,000 MW installed capacity represents about 12.5 per cent of the total installed power generation capacity in India and the aim is to achieve about 55,000 MW of renewable power by 2017.

(The Economic Times, 11/05/2012)

Nissan, Daimler plan solar power projects

Nissan Automotive India Pvt Ltd and Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt Ltd have said they planned to use solar energy to power some of their requirements in future. This comes on the back of the state government’s new Solar Energy Policy, which it announced on October 21 envisaging generation of around 3,000 Mw of solar power within 2015 in the state.

“We are going for solar energy model to power our main office,” said Biju Balendran, vice president, plant engineering, Nissan. He said the company was into various activities to reduce usage of water, and emission of carbon dioxide as part of its efforts to save the environment.

(Business Standard, 11/01/2012)

Environmental Governance and Compliance

Renewable Energy ministry seeks changes in Electricity Act

To ensure that both private and state-run power distributors abide by the renewable purchase obligations (RPOs), the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has called for amendments to the Electricity Act.

"We have realised that some private companies and state discoms are not complying with the RPO. To make it mandatory, we have proposed an amendment to the Electricity Act," joint secretary Tarun Kapoor told reporters on the sidelines of a Solar Energy Summit here.

(Business Standard, 11/05/2012)

Online petition against proposed National Investment Board

PUNE: Greenpeace India has started a campaign to stop government's proposal to set up a National Investment Board (NIB).

According to Greenpeace India, one can sign an online petition in support of this cause. The proposed National Investment Board (NIB), if formed, will be an undemocratic authority that can overrule the decisions of India's environment ministry - putting India's wildlife, our forests and the lives of people who depend on them in great danger,'' states the petition.

(The Times of India, 11/02/2012)

Essar Power secures forest clearance for Mahan coal block” 10/31/2012

MUMBAI: Essar Power today said it has received 'stage 1' forest clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests for its Mahan coal block in Madhya Pradesh.

"Essar Power, pursuant to group of minister's recommendation, has secured stage 1 forest clearance from the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) for its Mahan coal block," the company said in its statement.

This stage 1 clearance of Mahan coal block will help expedite supply of fuel to Essar Energy's nearby 1,200 MW Mahan phase I power project, which is due to be commissioned shortly, it said.

(The Economic Times, 10/31/2012)

For more news on the issues we care about, visit our India News archive or read our other International blogs.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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