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Renewable energy policies by the Government of India

Renewable energyRenewable energy sources are being used all over the world. Brilliant minds have devoted their lives to finding resources that do not leak greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, or cost large amounts of money. In the Video entitled “New Energy Revolution,” it shows some of the renewable energy sources being used all over the world. For example, wind energy, solar power, Hybrid cars and using methane gas for stove fuel. These are all excellent examples of renewable energy as they are all affordable and convenient as well as being efficient. The question is, will people use them, or stay with the atmosphere damaging fossil fuels of today?

Solar power is an excellent energy resource. The sun gives us free rays, so why not use them as a power source. The video shows Japan as a country which is educating their people about the risks of over use of natural resources and benefits of renewable energy sources, like solar power. Solar power is set out in a row of panels (Solar PV) which take in the sun’s energy and provides electricity for homes and other things. Cars can now be solely power by solar panels, creating huge possibilities for less or zero carbon intensive transportation. If solar energy was used worldwide, along with other renewable sources, the world would be cleaner and more pleasurable to live in, knowing that the greenhouse gases are under control.

Hybrid cars are the cars that run on both electricity and gasoline or CNG. The Hybrid car was invented to cut down the gaseous pollutants that are emitted by normal cars. The Hybrid car emits around 90% less greenhouse gases than the normal car and inventors want to make it 100% efficient. Toyota is leading in the production of usable and affordable Hybrid car. The car is charged at places similar to petrol stations with an electric charger that easily plugs into the front of the car. This marvelous invention can pick up the speed of 100 Km/h or more. It means, these cars are excellent for city use. If more people can invest in Hybrid cars, there would be less pollution than the conventional cars of today.

India has aggressive renewable energy targets and industrial energy efficiency policies, but facing significant infrastructure challenges which may derail the otherwise good policy, according to a new report by Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), a U.S.-based global policy effectiveness analysis and advisory organization.

The topic entitled ‘The Policy Climate’, which was released recently, says that despite the rapid economic growth, India represented eight per cent of the increase in global energy-related CO2 emissions between 2000 and 2010, while China’s contributed by 68 per cent.

The report finds that, in China, closure of inefficient coal-fired power plants saved the equivalent of more than 100 million tonnes of coal, while renewable electricity grew 661 per cent between 2000 and 2010. Still, renewable electricity sources in China only produced the equivalent of 0.68 per cent of the electricity from conventional sources by the end of 2010.

In India, as compared with China, most new energy generation since 2000 came from conventional sources (particularly coal), though the past decade saw exponential growth in renewable energy generation (especially wind, which grew 1,250 per cent from 2000-2010). The report says that implementation of policy relevant to climate change and its impact accelerated markedly over the last decade, despite the slow pace of international climate negotiations. The study presented three decades of evidence from five key economies — India, China, Brazil, the European Union (EU) and the U.S. which together house slightly more than half of the world’s population and account for nearly two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions.

In the U.S. and India, renewable energy targets have been given to the States, even as the national governments develop policies to incentivize it while China experiments with special economic zones, incentives, and regulation for its low carbon cities and low carbon provinces, according to the report. In India, both emissions and power generation have increased dramatically, more than doubling in 15 years, the report points out.

Recently, under the Electricity Act 2003, Government of India enforced Renewable Purchase Obligations –mandatory obligations to buy renewable energy by Electric utilities and other eligible entities in the states. As of 2010, these State-wide targets translated to an approximate 5.5 per cent nationwide target for renewable energy.

Since the early 1990s, industrial productivity has tripled, but emissions have gone up by about 70 per cent and while the Indian industry largely improved its efficiency, performance at a sectoral level was mixed. The steel industry emissions intensity increased due to an increase in primary steel production v/s scrap, the report notes.

The good news is that in 2012, India was the world’s fourth-largest market for new wind power projects, it has ambitious solar energy targets, and it has significant government programmes focused on energy efficiency (Global Wind Energy Council 2012). On the flip side, the report says that because it is also about improving energy security, reducing energy imports, improving the nation’s balance of payments, creating new and profitable industries, India also pursues the largest build-out of coal-fired power plants, coal mining, and related infrastructure anywhere outside of China.

The report says that India’s climate policy challenge, and one shared by the other rapidly developing countries in this study, is to ensure that it can realise the full long-term economic benefits of low-carbon development, without sacrificing short-term growth.

Outlining the challenges of low-carbon development in India, the report says that, the particulars of the Indian economy and frequent change in financial markets will transform the way policy will act and this could make low carbon investment more difficult.

The key sectors driving emissions in India are power, industry, and agriculture, the report says. Rapid growth in electricity demand mirrored rapid economic growth in China and India. In both countries, the most readily available source of indigenous fuel was coal. China was better at exploiting its coal resources, while India had to rely on imports.

As far as agriculture sector is concerned, the consolidated emissions have been increased, driven mainly by an increase in fertilizer use. For India as well as Brazil, exports might have driven increased cropland expansion or agricultural intensification. Despite rising fertilizer use, nitrous oxide emissions didn’t rise dramatically, the report adds. Regrettably, while agriculture and forestry are important emission sources in India, there is little policy focus on these sectors.

India’s renewable energy contributes around 11% of total installed capacity. Renewable sources of energy vary widely in their cost-effectiveness and in their availability across the world. Although water, wind, and other renewables may appear free, their cost comes in collecting, harnessing, and transporting the energy so that it can do useful work.

On the other side Renewables themselves are non-polluting, while the structures built to harness them can have positive or negative environmental impacts. For example, dams may affect fish migration but may also create wildlife habitat.

Author’s Bio:

Ram PrasadMr. Ram is a M.B.B.S third year student in the K.M C college, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh (India). He can be contacted at tddted[AT]gmail[DOT]com

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