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India Green News: Indian government pushes renewable energy directives

Grace Gill

Posted September 12, 2013

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September 4 – 11

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

Clean Energy

Govt directive to use solar energy in colleges

GUWAHATI: The state education department has asked all government and provincialized colleges (government supported) in the state to tap solar energy to bring down their dependence on conventional energy.

The director of higher education, Assam, Phanindra Jidung, told TOI that the authorities have recently written to principals of all government and provincialized colleges of the state to go for solar energy to fulfill their power requirements. However, the directorate is yet to get a clear picture about the use of solar energy in the colleges. A source said many colleges are yet to send a feedback to the directive which was issued by the directorate on August 7.

(The Times of India, 09/08/2013)

'Energy efficient technology can cut oil imports'

India should focus on development and adoption of energy-efficient technologies in order to cut dependence on oil, gas and coal imports, experts say.

"We need to take cognisance of the escalating costs of energy and thereby work towards adopting technologies which will reduce energy consumption and also reduce our dependence on other countries for energy sources such as oil, gas, and coal," said Krishan Dhawan, chief executive officer, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation.

Dhawan said energy security and access to energy were among the two major challenges facing the country and focus must be on technologies that could enhance efficiency.

India imports nearly 80 percent of its oil needs. The rising oil imports bill is among the major factors behind the high current account deficit, which hit a record $88.2 billion in the financial year 2012-13.

Shakti Foundation that promotes clean energy recently commissioned an activity to develop a series of compendiums that provide comprehensive information on energy savings options, techno-economic feasibility, future technologies, possible reduction in energy consumption and emissions, and marginal cost abatement curves.

(Business Standard, 09/09/2013)

India, UK exploring collaboration in energy efficiency

NEW DELHI: India and the UK are exploring areas of cooperation in the energy efficiency sector, a top British government official said today.

"We are discussing a lot of possibilities of how we can work together, we are not on anything specific at the moment, we want to explore what could be done for UK and for India," said Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department of Energy UK.

She also announced the launch of Indo-UK clean energy forum.

"It will be a very good vehicle in bringing together the engagement of policymakers, researchers and think tanks," Verma said while addressing CII Energy efficiency conference.

The objective of the Indo-UK clean energy forum is to enhance and experiment Indo-UK activities.

(The Economic Times, 09/06/13)

New solar energy research institute for India

India’s ministry of new and renewable energy announced the approval of a new solar research and technology institute.

The union cabinet approved plans for the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) to work alongside the ministry to advance solar technology capabilities in India, as proposed in the 2010 national solar strategy, Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).

The announcement surfaces amid tensions with India’s solar developers at loggerheads with domestic manufacturers over international dumping accusations, with the outcome of the investigation pending.

(PVtech.org, 09/04/13)

Environmental Governance and Health

MPs want to fast track suggestions on wind energy

Expressing serious concern over the sluggish growth rate in the wind power sector, a group of MPs on Monday urged the Centre to constitute a joint committee of the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the Union Minister of Finance (MoF)to fast track the Parliamentarians’ recommendations on wind energy.

Climate Parliament India Group had submitted key recommendations on Wind Energy to both Environment Minister Farooq Abdullah and Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

According to Sanjay Jaiswal, MP and convener of Climate Parliament India Group, the key recommendations of the Parliamentarians from wind-rich states need to be taken up as immediate measures by the Government, for mitigating the various issues of wind energy sector and for reviving a sustainable growth of the sector. MP Jhansi Lakshmi Botcha said, “Renewable energy in general and wind energy in specific shows great potential for augmenting the energy resources in India. Wind energy is one of the most successful renewable energy technologies globally and wind energy contributes to nearly 70 percent renewable energy installations in our country today.”

She added that the 12th plan envisages plans for renewable energy development in general and wind energy in specific. “The Government should work towards ensuring that these targets are met,” she said.

(The New Indian Express, 09/10/13)

Cabinet nod likely for renewable energy agreement

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet is likely to clear this week a key agreement on renewable energy which is expected to be signed between the ministry of renewable energy and the US department of energy to give "energy access" to thousands of rural households via solar power.

India and the US have already been collaborating on a number of renewable energy projects with surprising success. Officials said while India and the US remain far apart on climate change, on renewable energy there is almost a meeting of minds. For example, since 2009, DoE and India's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have been collaborating on solar resource assessment and mapping, on photovoltaic modules and developing mini-grids.

India and the US had resolved to promote renewable energy in their umbrella agreement in November 2009. The two countries have development two programmes called PACE -- which has a research component and a deployment component. While the two countries work together on wind energy and bio-fuels, the promise of solar energy is the greatest in a country like India.

According to official figures, around 400 million people in India have no access to commercial electricity. According to current rates of growth, even by 2030, there will be several millions in India without access to electricity. The idea therefore is to look for leap-frogging solutions with renewable energy sources.

(The Times of India, 09/10/13)

Goa state pollution control board cracks whip

PANAJI: The Goa state pollution control board (GSPCB) on Friday issued show-cause notices to 12 hotels as to why the consent to operate issued to them by the board should not be cancelled. The board stated that hotels are operating without a facility to convert biodegradable waste generated by them.

In the first week of August, the board issued notices to 48 starred hotels to stop supplying food waste to piggeries, failing which necessary action would be initiated. The board had directed hotels to maintain machinery for converting biodegradable waste generated by them to a compost.

After issuing the notices, the board conducted a surprise visit at 48 hotels and found that three hotels have fully complied with the direction, 33 hotels installed the machinery but were not composting waste and 12 hotels did not comply.

(The Times of India, 09/01/13)

Kerosene lamp which cooks food without polluting

KOLKATA: A lamp which produces high quality light and doubles up as a device to cook food without causing pollution has been invented by a team of engineers in Maharashtra.

Suitable particularly for rural households which lack clean cooking fuel and electricity, the device, aptly named Lanstove (lantern combined with cook stove), has been developed by researchers from Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) in Maharashtra's Phaltan.

IIT graduate Anil Rajvanshi, who led the team. says the clean-combustion kerosene lanstove provides excellent light equivalent to that from a 200-300 W electric bulb and cooks a complete meal for a family of five just like an LPG stove.

"To our knowledge this is the first such device where both lighting and cooking are combined together resulting in tremendous energy efficiency and saving of fuel," he says in a research report published by the institute.

(The Times of India, 09/03/13)

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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