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India Climate Change and Energy News - Week of August 3, 2010 to August 9, 2010

Shravya Reddy

Posted August 12, 2010

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Climate Change and Environment 

Jairam Ramesh on New UN Climate Panel  

“United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon has set up a high-level panel on global sustainability with the objective of formulating a new vision for sustainable growth and prosperity, along with the mechanisms for achieving it. The creation of this panel, to be jointly headed by South African President Jacob Zuma and Finnish President Tarja Halonen, was announced on Monday. Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has been selected as one of the 21 members on the panel.”

(Indian Express, 8/10/10) 

India to Launch Dedicated Forest Satellite in 2013: Govt 

“India will launch a dedicated forest satellite in 2013 which will monitor the country's forest cover on a daily basis, Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh informed Rajya Sabha today. ‘India is adding to its green cover. We do our own satellite imaging and as per the 2007 information, when the imaging was done last, we have added three million hectares of forest cover in the last 10 years. In fact we will be launching a dedicated forest satellite in 2013 which would monitor our forest cover on a daily basis,’ he said.”

(Business Standard, 8/9/10) 

PM to Get Blueprint of National Mission for Green India  

“A blueprint of the national mission for green India, which aims to increase forest cover across the country, will be submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh next week for his approval, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh Friday said. He said the environment ministry, which held a series of consultations on the matter, is almost in the last stage of its finalization.”

(Sify, 8/6/10) 

Maharashtra to Levy Green Tax on Old Vehicles 

“The Maharashtra government on Wednesday decided to levy environment tax on commercial vehicles which are over eight years old and private vehicles which are over 15 years. Given that there are over 6 lakh commercial and 15 lakh private vehicles in the specified age category, around 21 lakh vehicles are set to pay the ‘green tax.’”

(The Hindu, 8/5/10) 

Set up Special Fund to Help Climate Fight  

“Economist and Janata Dal (United) MP, N. K. Singh on Friday demanded setting-up of a special fund to meet the challenges of global warming and climate change. “The Environment Adaptation and Mitigation Fund (EAMF) could be constituted by innovative fiscal policies,” Singh said, moving a resolution in the Rajya Sabha. The fund could be used to finance the cost of technology and promote research and development or renewable energy to meet situations arising out of global warming and climate change, he said.”

(Hindustan Times, 8.6.10)  

Cloudbursts an Indicator of Climate Change: Experts  

“The two cloudbursts that lashed the Leh are of Ladakh with unprecedented fury on Thursday and Friday, could be another sign that rising temperatures in the cold desert were leading to climate change, experts said…. M P Sah of the Dehradun based Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology said cloudbursts in this cold desert was a recent phenomenon. ‘We see a rising trend of cloudbursts since the late 1990’s. These weather events aren’t expected in this dry and cold region.”

(Times of India, 8/7/10)



Energy Efficiency Practices Reduce Power Shortages  

“New Delhi, Aug 5: Energy efficient practices are the only way to deal with shortage of power supply and energy conservation in India, suggested Haryana energy renewal agency director B S Yadav in New Delhi on Aug 4. Yadav stated that Haryana had established the State Energy Conservation Fund for the purposes of promotion of efficient use of energy and its conservation within the State. He suggested to use solar water heating systems, CFLs and T-5 tube lights and ISI marked pump sets for the savings of extra power energy.”

(One India, 8/5/10) 

Residential Apartments May Soon Get Rated for Energy Efficiency  

“The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), a statutory body under the power ministry that looks at energy conservation measures, is planning to extend its so-called star labeling system—currently used to grade consumer appliances—to apartments. ‘We are considering a labeling system in (new) high-rise apartment complexes. We are now at the stage of collecting data, deciding where the benchmarks should be, talking to developers and builders,’ said Sanjay Seth, energy economist at BEE. ‘Although we don’t have the mandate (to rate houses) under the (Energy Conservation) Act, it would be worthwhile to target this sector.’”

(LiveMint, 8/3/10)  

Solar Power Gets its Day in the Sun with National Mission Support  

 “After the recent release of the guidelines to operationalise the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, the solar energy industry is shining bright with optimism. As new players scramble to make the first moves, the incumbents are determined to stay ahead. While some industry players are scouting overseas for technology, others are hunting for land back home. Every company seems keen to stake a claim to its share of the limelight. All eyes are on the first grid-connected 5-mw solar thermal plant by Acme Tele Power, expected to come up in Rajasthan by September.”

(Financial Express, 8/7/10) 

Myth and Reality: Nuclear Energy Costlier Than Solar Power  

“Solar photovoltaic systems have long been painted as a clean way to generate electricity, but expensive compared with other alternatives to oil, like nuclear power.  No longer. In a ‘historic crossover,’ the costs of solar photovoltaic systems have declined to the point where they are lower than the rising projected costs of new nuclear plants, according to a scientific paper.‘Solar photovoltaics have joined the ranks of lower-cost alternatives to new nuclear plants,’ John O Blackburn, a professor of economics at Duke University, in North Carolina, and Sam Cunningham, a graduate student, wrote in the paper, “Solar and nuclear costs — the historic crossover.” This crossover occurred at 16 cents per kilowatt hour, they said.”

(Deccan Herald, 8/4/10)  

Coal-Starved India Could Spur Acquisitions  

“The recent Adani coal deal may just be the beginning, as severe coal shortages could compel Indian power companies to purchase coal mines or forge joint ventures with major coal exporters such as Australia, Indonesia and South Africa. India plans to augment power generation capacity to 62,000MW by 2012 from the current 159,000MW. Although India is the world's third-largest producer of coal, domestic supplies and transportation networks are yet to keep pace with demand growth. The country will continue to rely on imports to cap the supply-demand gap, as the bulk of new power projects will be largely coal-based.”

(The Street, 8/4/10) 

Oil Spill Contained, But Cleaning Will Take Time  

“The oil spill is under control but salvage operations off the Mumbai coast are expected to last a month, Maharashtra Environment Minister Suresh Shetty told journalists here on Monday. Mr. Shetty said 31 containers carried sodium hydroxide and organophosphorus pesticides, among other hazardous material. He said if the spread of oil reached the coast or the mangroves, the administration would have to take measures to physically clean it in a time-bound manner.”

(The Hindu, 8/10/10) 

Obama Eyes India-US Clean Energy Fight  

Raising the rhetoric of outsourcing again, US President Barack Obama said countries like India, China, Germany and others from Europe are competing with America for clean energy jobs. The US President stressed that his administration would not allow America to be relegated to second position in respect to these countries in the clean energy sector jobs.”

(Indian Express, 8/5/10)


(Prepared by Andy Gupta, Program Assistant)

Note: The links and article summaries in this post are provided for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the India Initiative or of the Natural Resources Defense Council. 


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