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India Green News (October 3-9, 2012): Indian solar investments boost, MoEF clears Mahan coal block

Grace Gill

Posted October 16, 2012

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

Energy

Affordable power for all households in next five years: PM

“India plans to provide affordable electricity to all households in the next five years, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said today. "The Government of India aims to provide 24x7 electricity to all households in the country and affordable access to electricity in the next 5 years," he said inaugurating an International Seminar on Energy Access organised by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and CII here.”

(The Times of India, 10/09/2012)

Aditya Birla Group to invest Rs 6k crore in solar power business 

The Aditya Birla group plans to invest Rs 6,000 crore in solar power business over the next five years as demand for clean energy rises exponentially. The government has set a target of setting up 20 gigawatts of solar energy by 2022.  The $40-billion retail-to-telecom conglomerate has acquired a minority stake in a solar power venture promoted by Electrotherm in Gujarat's solar park and struck a long-term leasing agreement with Refex Energy in Rajasthan to operate a solar plant at Bithuja in Rajasthan. These units have a capacity to produce 1.55 million units of electricity per mw annually.

(The Economic Times, 10/05/2012)

India Can Meet Energy Needs Sans N-Power: Study

“India’s energy needs can be met entirely by solar and other renewable sources, says a new study by two professors at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore. Their report published in the journal Current Science may add ammunition to the anti-nuclear agitation in India.  The analysis by Hiremath Mitavachan and Jayaraman Srinivasan of IISc’s Divecha Centre for Climate Change overturns the argument that nuclear power is essential for India because the country does not have enough land to exploit the potential of solar energy in India.”

(The Hindu, 10/04/2012)

Environmental Governance and Compliance

India pitches for reform in structures of global governance

“United Nations: Making a case for urgent reform of structures of global governance, India has said that developing countries should be ensured due participation in the decision making mechanism of international economic and financial institutions.    
"The continuance of economic vulnerabilities and new and emerging challenges with intertwined complexities of globalisation demand an urgent reform of the structures of global governance," Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed said at the General Debate of the Second Committee here yesterday.”

(Jagran Post, 10/09/2012) 

Environment Ministry has cleared controversial Mahan coal block: Greenpeace

“NEW DELHI: The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has allegedly given forest clearance to controversial coal block in Mahan, Madhya Pradesh. Greenpeace, an environmental NGO said that the ministry has given a nod to the coal block despite it being in a prime forest area.”

(The Times of India, 10/05/2012)

U.S.-India Cooperation

No MOU with U.S. or emission cap: Montek 

“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 Times of India, 10/08/2012) 

U.S.-India energy dialogue forges on in Washington

“B. K. Chaturvedi, member of the Planning Commission of India, and Steven Chu, secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, co-chaired the India-U.S. Energy Dialogue on September 28 in Washington. Daniel Poneman, deputy secretary of U.S. DoE, Ranjan Mathai, foreign secretary of India, David Sandalow, acting under secretary of the U.S. DoE and other senior officials from both sides were present during the dialogue.”

The IndUS Business Journal online, 10/04/201 2)

For more news on the issues we care about, visit our IndiaNews 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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