India Green News: Surat named among 100 climate resilient cities, while Tata gives $400 million boost to Cleantech.
November 28th-December 4th
India Green News is a selection of news highlights about environmental and energy issues in India
SURAT: The Diamond City's preparedness to tackle natural disasters and effects of climate change has got a fillip with the Rockefeller Foundation identifying Surat as one of the 100 "resilient" cities.
The Rockefeller Foundation on Tuesday released the first list of 33 cities to provide technical and financial support to identify and create urban indicators that will make the city resilient to the disasters. The cities have been selected from 400 applicants, including five other cities of India, across six continents. The cities have been selected on the recommendation of a panel of judges from around the world, including former US President Bill Clinton.
(India Times, 12/4/2013)
HYDERABAD: The AP pollution control board has sent notices to four manufacturers of pollution monitoring equipment for colluding with industries in downplaying emissions.
The PCB had introduced the online live monitoring system to make industrial air quality monitoring transparent, but it has now come to light that monitoring systems supplied by third-parties and installed at industries are under-reporting the pollution data.
(The Times of India, 12/1/2013)
Tata Cleantech Capital Ltd. may fund as much as 25 billion rupees ($401 million) of renewable and energy-efficiency projects in India as costs for coal-based power prompt companies to turn to alternatives.
“The combined cost of grid power and diesel generators that many companies use today is higher than solar,” Avijit Bhattacharya, chief executive officer of the lender set up jointly by Tata Capital Ltd. and International Finance Corp., said in an interview in Mumbai.
That’s creating an opportunity to fund clean-technology projects that help companies reduce their power bills without relying on subsidies, he said. Solar power can be produced for as low as 8 rupees (13 cents) per kilowatt-hour compared to the 11 rupees that some commercial buildings outside Mumbai pay for electricity, he said.
Demand for renewable-energy credits in India doubled in November as regulators enforce clean-power targets for companies and state-run utilities.
There were 308,928 bids to buy wind, hydro and biomass credits, after 150,640 the previous month, according to data from trader REConnect Energy Solutions Pvt.
Demand has surged more than sevenfold since a low in August as regulators in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Goa have begun to crack down on companies flouting rules.
Poor financial health of power distribution companies and funding issues pose challenges to India's plan of having 20,000 MW solar energy capacity by 2022, according to a senior government official.
The ambitious Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, launched in 2010, has set a target 20,000 MW installed solar power capacity by 2022.
"We believe the 20,000 MW target is achievable. But it will not be easy as there are several challenges like inadequate transmission network, financial ability of discoms, among others," Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) Joint Secretary Tarun Kapoor told PTI over the phone here.
The poor financial position of state electricity boards is a matter of concern for project developers even though the government has introduced debt restructuring package for distressed power distribution companies (discoms).
(Business Standard, 12/1/2013)
Power sector in the State is facing a piquant situation that holds the potential of turning into a crisis in the coming months thanks to the local agitations and transport problems in Odisha.
Power generation from the 2000 MW (4X500 MW) NTPC Simhadri power plant in Visakhapatnam has almost stopped for want of coal from the Talcher coal fields in Odisha.
The State gets dedicated supply of 1,000 MW from the central generating station while a portion of the balance power would be allocated depending on the need.
While a shortfall of 800 MW is already being experienced, senior officials are apprehensive that the Central Government may shut down operations of one unit (500 MW) if the situation continues in the coming days.
(The Hindu, 12/2/2013)
Environmental Health & Governance
LUCKNOW: The heavily polluted Ganga flowing through Uttar Pradesh is in for cleansing with the state government allocating its share of funds for the flagship National Ganga River Basin Authority programme. Responding to the Centre's call for giving out 30% of the total amount under the programme, the state government has allocated over Rs 10 crore for sewerage work to be done in Allahabad.
In a recent government order issued on November 21, the state urban development department said the Centre had allocated over Rs 23.5 crore for the project. In support of it, the state government has allocated its share of Rs 10.8 crore which is 30% of the total allocated funds in the beginning of the project.
(Times of India, 12/2/2013)
The exposure atlas for household air pollution (HAP) in India, put together by a collective of global experts and led by investigators at Sri Ramachandra University (SRU), Chennai, shows that even States that fare better in terms of HAP concentration are way beyond the safe limits recommended by the World Health Organisation. For instance, a relatively well off Tamil Nadu had a HAP exposure of 150-200 micrograms of PM 2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometres and which is respirable) per cubic metre of air — almost five times the WHO’s guideline range of 10-35 micrograms per cubic metre.
For other States, the HAP exposure, measured over a 24-hour concentration of particulate matter in households using solid cook fuels, ranged from values of 163 (in living areas) to 609 g/m3 pf PM 2.5 in the kitchen area.
(Times of India, 12/1/2013)
This compilation of the India Green News was authored by Kristina Johnson.