India Green News: Solar & Renewables get a big push; India teams up with China, Israel, Switzerland
India Green News is a selection of weekly news highlights about environmental and energy issues in India.
October 17 - 23, 2012
NEW DELHI: In what could change the contours of climate change negotiations, India and China have successfully brought together a disparate group of developing countries to take on the EU and its new-found friends — small and least developed countries. The developing countries fought back to ensure that all future decisions, whether for the pre-2020 period or post-2020 era, are taken under the existing convention's principles which maintain the firewall between rich and poor countries.
(The Times of India, 10/23/2012)
The threat of climate change has galvanised the Indian government and industry into action. Every corporate worth its salt is proclaiming that it is doing something to fight climate change. A cursory glance at corporate web pages gives us an idea of its importance. The Tata page says: “The Tata group is facing up to the challenge of climate change and making it integral to its processes,” while Infosys claims that it is “one of the top 25 performers in Caring for Climate Initiative.” On the sustainability review page of Mahindra, climate change is linked to productivity and competitiveness. The Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change created the National Action Plan on Climate Change which has eight missions, everything from energy to agriculture to water and Himalayan ecosystems. Besides the initiatives of the private sector and the government are those undertaken by non-governmental organisations.
(The Hindu, 10/19/2012)
A new synthesis report (pdf) about the challenges posed by climate change in India has found that changes in temperature and rainfall will have a serious effect on already fragile farming communities. The report is part of a joint project by the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests to better understand the potential impacts of climate change in India. The research focused on the regions Orissa and Madhya Pradesh which are particularly vulnerable to climate change. It looked at national level socio-economic impacts of climate change on extreme weather events, water resources and agriculture.In the highly vulnerable state of Orissa, it focuses on cyclones and flooding. In Madhya Pradesh it focuses on the interaction between water resources and agriculture.
(Institute of Development Studies, 10/19/2012)
A recent report released by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), an independent policy research institution in collaboration with the U.S. based Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC), has shown that concentrated solar power could play an essential role in achieving a secure and diversified energy future for India, especially to deal with the issues of energy blackouts. The report titled “Concentrated Solar Power: Heating up India’s Solar Thermal Market under the National Solar Mission” states that India has jump started its solar energy industry in just over two years, thanks to Phase-I of the National Solar Mission. A major contributor to this growth is solar thermal power, including seven large-scale concentrated solar power (CSP) projects now underway in India.
(The Hindu, 10/19/2012)
Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Saturday unveiled an ambitious Solar Energy Policy 2012, aimed at generating 3,000 mw in next the three years from 2013 (1,000 mw per year). The policy also aims to achieve reduced carbon emissions and grid parity by 2015, thereby projecting Tamil Nadu as a solar hub.
(The New Indian Express, 10/21/2012)
NEW DELHI: India and Switzerland have agreed to explore avenues to increase cooperation in the field of renewable energy with the European country appearing keen to invest in the sector. In an hour long meeting between Swiss Head of Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication Doris Leuthard and New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah here, the two sides agreed to assist each other in meeting their renewable energy requirements.
(The Economic Times, 10/19/2012)
Tel Aviv: India has sought Israel's expertise in renewable energy sector to meet its ambitious target of 30,000 megawatts of power in the next five years. "India is a very vast country and like all vast countries has very vast problems. Energy is one of the most crucial issues which we feel can do wonders to our growth. When you look at the fact that 40 per cent of the population in India doesn't have access to energy, we think it is a situation we need to immediately correct," said Gireesh Pradhan, the Secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
Due to limited energy reserves and ever growing pressure on them, nuclear energy is the only option left before the country, Vice President M Hamid Ansari today said. In an interactive session with the students of the Doon School here, on the occasion of the famed institution's 77th Founder's Day, Ansari said, "Given the country's energy requirements in the years to come and our limited resources, nuclear energy is of high priority."
(Business Standard, 10/20/2012)
Environmental Governance and Compliance
NEW DELHI: India on Monday claimed a "huge" achievement with nations agreeing to increase funding for halting rate of biodiversity loss, despite economic downturn, at a UN conference it hosted and said it would have bearing on climate change and other international negotiations. Government said developed countries have agreed to double funding to support efforts in developing states towards meeting the internationally-agreed Biodiversity Targets, and the main goals of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.
(The Times of India, 10/22/2012)
Stressing on the importance of country's energy security, former President APJ Abdul Kalam on Wednesday suggested setting up of a National Energy Commission. The Commission, according to Kalam, would help in co-ordinating efforts to meet the rising energy needs of the country's growing population. Speaking at the conference on India's Energy Future organised by the Economist magazine, Kalam said highest priority should be given to energy efficiency.
(Hindustan Times, 10/17/2012)