oppn parties Ambitious Targets for Renewable Energy Without the Push

News Snippets

  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Ambitious Targets for Renewable Energy Without the Push

By Sampriti Sarkar

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Post graduate student of Calcutta University. Aspiring economist. Budding writer.
The concerns raised over carbon footprint issue over the last decade seems to have raised awareness globally, as reduction of carbon emission has been assigned one of the primary targets of many countries. All the countries contribute differently to green house gases (GHG) and Co2 emission (one of the main GHG). In terms of 2014 rankings, the largest carbon emitters included United States and the four members of the BRIC countries- Brazil, Russia, India and China among the top 10. India ranked 3rd after USA and China. The largest absolute emitters together constituted 60 percent of global population and 74 percent of global GDP in 2011. This shows that these countries have significant capacity to reduce GHG emissions.

It is evident from statistics that most of the developed nations and fast developing countries contribute more to carbon emission, since with industrialisation, carbon emission increases. India’s per capita carbon emission has increased from 0.3 metric tons in 1960 to 1.7 metric tons in 2011. In recent times, due to awareness and initiatives of some countries, the rate of total carbon emission has decreased only slightly globally, however, that of India has increased.

One of the major sources of carbon emission is electricity. The Low Carbon Economy Index 2015 shows carbon emissions from electricity generation from conventional sources in India rose by 8.2% in 2014, whereas the corresponding global figure was only 0.5%. On the other hand, a major priority of the government has been to provide electricity to all citizens. This increases the probability of more emissions unless non-conventional sources of energy generation are used. Hence, the government of India is putting a huge effort in attracting projects in wind, solar, nuclear and hydro power. While nuclear power generation is enmeshed in controversy, with NGO-led public protests over safety, the other sources do not attract investors due to low profitability.

In the 24th meeting of Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate in New York, India along with 16 other countries pledged to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emission further. The solar mission of India sets a target to install 20 Gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity by 2020 and 200 GW by 2050. This is by far the most ambitious solar plan any country has proposed. The government is establishing solar parks in all states of the country where land and other infrastructure is readily made available to entrepreneurs, but given the high project costs, there are few takers. The allotment is being done on the reverse auction basis. The government has pledged to cut carbon intensity by 20% before 2020, from 2005 levels. The Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) submitted by the government plans to increase electricity grid’s reliance on non-fossil fuels including solar, wind, nuclear and hydro-power from 28% to 40% by 2030. According to the government, the country will need $2.5 trillion by 2030 to achieve the proposed plans. Many critics are considering India’s plan to be over ambitious because of such high targets.

Even though there has been an increase in efforts to reduce carbon emission, the picture is far from perfect. The US Energy Information Administration projects worldwide energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will increase 46 percent by 2040, all things remaining same. The plans and measures taken by the Indian government are ambitious and there is still a long way to go. Just assigning targets is not enough, large campaign for proper awareness and implementation of the programmes are required while funding remains a major problem.