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India Green News: Renewables Meet New Support and New Competition in India

Grace Gill

Posted March 29, 2013

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March 15-29, 2013

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

Climate Change

UK Keen on Ties with India to Tackle Climate Change

The United Kingdom is keen on forging partnerships with India, particularly Kerala, across various sectors as part of efforts to tackle climate change, and is moving ahead with attempts to attract more U.K. investment into Indian companies, Rachel Brass, First Secretary (Energy and Climate), British High Commission-Department for International Development (DFID) India, has said.

Addressing a discussion of State legislators on ‘Socio-economic causes and impact of climate change’ hosted by the commission here on Tuesday, Ms. Brass said Kerala’s model of decentralised government and devolution of power to local bodies was a global model, which was why the State was being invited to be part of pioneering action in the response to climate change.

(The Hindu, 03/27/2013)

Clean Energy

Green Lending to get special window at banks

The government is set to ask banks to carve out a special window for lending to renewable energy projects. The advisory may come as early as Monday when finance minister P Chidambaram meets state-run bank chiefs. While lending to the power sector has consistently increased, there is preference to finance conventional projects, resulting in a meager loan flow for the renewable energy sector, sources privy to the discussions said.

(The Times of India, 03/18/2013)

US Should 'Reconsider decision to drag India to WTO on solar energy'

A dozen odd eminent American and international organisations have asked the US to reconsider its decision to drag India to WTO over solar energy policy. In a letter to US Trade Representative (USTR) today, these organisations have said that dragging India to World Trade Organisation (WTO) related to local content in solar panels would not only undercut New Delhi's effort to reduce poverty, but also detrimental to developing a solar energy industry.

(Economic Times/Times of India, 03/19/2013)

India’s fourth largest energy consumer  

With its rising energy needs, India has emerged as the fourth largest energy consumer of the world after the US, China and Russia, but its per capita energy consumption remains lower than that of developed countries, says a report.

"India is the fourth largest energy consumer in the world after the United States, China, and Russia," the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its latest report (for 2011) on energy outlook for India released here yesterday.

According to the report, India was the fourth largest consumer of oil and petroleum products in the world in 2011, after the US, China, and Japan.

(Deccan Herald, 03/19/2013)

WellSpun India Commissions India’s largest Solar Project to date

Welspun Energy, part of the $3.5 billion Welspun Group, has commissioned the largest solar power plant in the India to date. The project is part of the first phase of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM). A total of 490 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity was allocated in the first phase of the National Solar Mission in two batches. Projects with combined capacity of 140 MW from the first batch have already been commissioned and the balance 350 MW, of the second batch, will be fully commissioned by the middle of the year.

(Clean Technica, 03/19/2013)

India to explore shale gas

India will unveil a shale gas exploration policy in next fortnight as it looks to exploit unconventional hydro-carbon resource to meet its growing energy needs.

“We will take a shale gas policy to the Cabinet (for approval) in couple of days,” Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily said at a function here organised to mark the beginning of natural gas sales from the predominantly oil-rich Rajasthan block.

(The Hindu, 03/23/2013)

India to miss renewable targets

The renewable energy sector in the country is likely to miss the capacity addition target for the current financial year on the back of economic slowdown as also due to lapse of an incentive scheme and uncertainties over reintroduction of a government support scheme for the wind sector.

During the first 11 months of current financial year, country has added only 2,380 mw of new capacity. However, the new capacity addition target from the renewable energy sources is 4,125 mw for the year. While almost all sectors are short of target, the major slip is likely to be in the wind sector, key driver of India’s clean energy capacity addition. Wind sector has added little over half of the targeted capacity during the first 11 months.

(Financial Chronicle, 03/24/2013)

Environmental Health and Governance

Environmental Woes Could Reverse Global Development

Climate change and other environmental disasters could put 3.1 billion people into extreme poverty by 2050, if no significant steps are taken, says an annual United Nations report on the state of global development.

“While environmental threats such as climate change, deforestation, air and water pollution, and natural disasters affect everyone, they hurt poor countries and poor communities most,” noted the report’s authors.

(International Herald Tribune, 03/18/2013)

APPCB has plenty of money, but not will to control pollution

HYDERABAD: The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was set up in 1974, to keep a 'developing' India 'healthy'. Two years later, Andhra Pradesh followed suit and constituted the AP Pollution Control Board (APPCB). And this is what's happened ever since: India's pollution levels have jumped by well over 100%. The air quality here, according to published reports, is the worst in the world with the country figuring at the bottom of the chart on 'Air rankings' (effects on human health). A United Nations' study indicates that at least 80% of India's urban waste ends up in its rivers and water bodies.

(The Times of India, 03/22/2013)

KSPCB Losing Pollution Battle

Various studies, both in India and abroad, have revealed that Bangalore is undoubtedly among the top cities with high levels of pollution. According to the Global Burden of Disease (GBD), an initiative involving the World Health Organisation, revealed air pollution as an emerging major killer and the levels of air pollution in Bangalore has been continuously rising. Speaking to City Express, B Nagappa, Scientific Officer at Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), said, “More than the dust, it is the unburned fuel from two-stroke engines that is a major contributor in polluting the air in city and it is rising, considering 1,200 new vehicles are being added to the city, every month.”

(The New Indian Express, 03/27/2013)

The Indian Express Energy Puts Africa on the Front Burner for India

Although West Asia has been India’s primary source of energy, the growing Indian demand for energy resources cannot be secured without diversification and Africa, with approximately 9% of the world’s proven oil and gas deposits.

At the 9th three-day CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership in New Delhi, the largest ever India-Africa business meet with a total of 900 overseas delegates, including 39 MPs, are collectively seeking ways to step up the cooperation in the development of green energy, such as, solar, wind, geo-thermal, biomass, etc.

(The Indian Express, 03/19/2013)

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

This compilation of the India Green News was authored by Kristina Johnson.

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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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