Energy News


Ensuring energy availability is a crucial aspect of the Industrial growth of a nation. In this section, we will cover all the updates issues and concepts related to the energy sector of India

Energy efficiency needs behavioral change: Study

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Synopsis:

A study in Bangalore found that to improve Energy efficiency we need to improve behavioural change and start shifting towards energy-efficient appliances.

Introduction:

Recently, a study in Bengaluru examined the usage of thermal comfort services like space cooling and water heating and their impact on energy efficiency. The study highlighted the need for efficient appliances and behavioural change to improve energy efficiency.

About the Study:

A survey was conducted among 403 households in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The survey collected data related to various aspects of users such as their income, the appliances owned by them, household demographics and time and duration of use of appliances.

The report of the survey was published as “A Policy-driven approach to demand management from space cooling and water heating appliances: insights from a primary survey of urban Bengaluru” recently.

Key findings of the study:
  1. The study found that efficient electrical appliances in households form a major role in lowering the electricity demand.
  2. The study also found voluntary behaviour changes also play a key role in electricity demand.
  3. The study examined the use of fans and found out these are used approximately 12 hours a day. On average, a low-efficiency fan consumes approximately 75 watts (W), while five-star fans consume 50 W. So, an energy-efficient fan can save approximately 110 units per year per fan
Various initiatives towards energy efficiency:
  • Domestic Efficiency Lighting Programme (DELP): It is a Programme under the UJALA programme. The plan offers LED bulbs at 20-40 per cent of the market price and provides a monthly payment plan for low-income households
  • The India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP): India is the first country in the world to develop such a document (ICAP). It is launched by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
    • The plan aims to provide sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for all while securing environmental and socio-economic benefits for society.
    • The plan provides a 20-year roadmap (2017-18 to 2037-38) and recommendations, to address the cooling requirements across sectors
    • Objectives of the ICAP:
      • Reduction of cooling demand across sectors by 20% to 25 % by the year 2037-38.
      • Reducing the refrigerant demand by 25% to 30% by the year 2037-38.
      • Reduction of cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% by the year 2037-38.
  • Private power distribution companies like Tata Power Co Ltd and Reliance Energy in Mumbai provide schemes to exchange old fans for efficient ones.

Source: Down To Earth

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, PUBLICTagged

Problems with discoms need radical reforms

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Synopsis: To completely recover from problems with Discoms , India needs radical reforms in the Power sector. Financial aid packages from Centre to Discoms forms only a part of a solution.

Background
  • For long, the scenario has been that the Centre has to step in to aid Discoms and tackle the problems plaguing the distribution side of the power sector.
  • However, the results of such interventions have not yielded any significant improvements in the health of Discoms.
  • The analysis of the performance of Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) reveals the same.
Analysis of the performance of UDAY and Problems with Discoms
  • UDAY scheme was introduced by the centre to bring financial Turnaround, Operational improvement of Discoms. Further, it aims to reduce the cost of generation of power, to facilitate the development of Renewable Energy and Energy efficiency & conservation.
  • Though some states witnessed an improvement in their financial and operational indicators, it wasn’t sustained. There has been a sharp deterioration in several parameters after the UDAY scheme.
  • First, The UDAY scheme had envisaged bringing down these losses to 15% by 2019.
    • However, as per data on the UDAY dashboard, the (Aggregate Technical & Commercial) AT&C losses currently stand at 21.7% at the all-India level.
    • In the case of the low-income north and central-eastern states Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh the losses are considerably higher.
  • Second, The UDAY scheme had envisaged eliminating the gap between power costs and revenue by now.
    • However, the gap between power costs and revenue stands at Rs 0.49 per unit due to the absence of regular and commensurate tariff hikes.
    • In the high-income southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana, this gap between costs and revenues is significantly higher.
Also read: Problems faced by power sector in India
What are the reasons for the problems with discoms?
  • Lack of metering: Minimizing the AT&C losses is critical to improve the operational efficiency of Discoms.
    • However, even six years after UDAY was launched, various levels in the distribution chain (the feeder, the distribution transformer (DT) and the consumer) have not been fully metered.
    • As a result, it difficult to isolate and identify loss-making areas and take corrective action.
  • Decrease in revenue generation owing to the Pandemic
    • Revenue from industrial and commercial users is used to cross-subsidize other consumers.
    • However, owing to the Pandemic the demands from industrial and commercial users is falling. This leads to stress on discom finances.
  • Absence of political consensus at the state level to raise tariffs: Many states report losses as they could not eliminate the gap between power costs and revenue.
    • For instance, recently, Opposition parties in Karnataka recently protested against a tariff hike of 30 paise
  • The Centre’s “Electricity for all” programme have contributed to greater inefficiency.
    • Because, to support higher levels of electrification, cost structures need to be reworked. Similarly, the distribution network (transformers, wires, etc) need to be augmented. In the absence of such measures, losses are bound to rise.
Suggestions to address the problems with discoms
  • One, the creation of a national power distribution company to ensure procurement of electricity at competitive prices.
  • Two, deduct discom dues, owed to both public and private power generating companies, from state balances. After that, the RBI can force states to take the necessary steps to fix discom finances.
  • Three, linking additional state borrowings to the completion of distribution reforms.

Source: The Indian Express

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, PUBLICTagged ,

Energy Efficient homes are key to low Carbon Economy  

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Synopsis: The demand for cooling appliances is bound to grow in the future to keep citizens healthy and productive. Thus, Energy Efficient homes will be the key to make India a low carbon economy.

Background:
  • In the last three decades, India experienced 660 heat waves which caused 12,273 deaths.
  • These intense heat waves are expected to rise with a rise in global temperatures due to climate change.
  • This rising frequency and growing intensity of heat waves are resulting in increased demand for cooling in Indian homes.
  • The growing demand for cooling will make India the world’s largest energy user for cooling, but this area has not gained much significance in Indian homes.
Why India needs energy-efficient cooling in Indian homes?
  • Firstly, it is going to play a huge role in India’s adaptation to climate change.
  • Secondly, energy inefficiency in Indian homes cooling system will have disastrous effects on mitigation efforts taken by India to curb Greenhouse gas emissions.
    • The India Cooling Action Plan projects the number of room air conditioners to become about four times in the next 10 years, and about 10 times in the next 20 years.
  • Thirdly, large-scale adoption of efficient cooling appliances is essential to achieve a low carbon economy as per the Paris climate deal.

Read Also :-How to increase energy efficiency?

Why Energy efficiency in homes remains underexplored in India?

  1. Firstly, there is a lack of data regarding consumer’s preference for energy-efficient cooling systems.
    • For example, how and why people make their purchase decisions.
  2. Secondly, the implications of an increase in residential cooling demand have not been carefully examined by policymakers in India.
    • For instance, the factors which will determine the extent of future cooling demand have no empirical evidence.
  3. Thirdly, energy efficiency does not feature as a priority in the purchase of cooling appliances.
    • For instance, only 7% of the households have an energy-efficient (star-rated) fan, and 88% of the coolers are locally assembled.
  4. Fourthly, there is a lack of awareness about energy efficiency.
    • For example, one-third of the households are unaware of the Star Labelling program.
    • It is a government programme mandatory for refrigerators and air conditioners.
  5. Lastly, there is the higher upfront cost and low market availability for energy-efficient appliances.
Way forward:
  • Investment in cooling technologies, infrastructure is required to lock in energy-efficient consumption patterns.
  • Awareness campaigns should be conducted on energy efficiency.
  • Subsidies and financial incentives are needed to drive up the adoption of more efficient technologies.
  • Efficient building designs can also help in reducing dependence on energy-intensive cooling technologies.

Indian homes can play a major role to achieve net-zero emissions but along with the usage of energy-efficient technologies, there is a need to promote alternative cooling strategies.

Read Also :-Issue of Nuclear Waste pollution 

Source: The Hindu

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, CURRENT AFFAIRS, PUBLICTagged ,

Ethanol Blending of Petrol and its challenges: Explained, pointwise

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Introduction

Recently the Prime Minister announced to prepone the 20% ethanol blending of petrol to 2025. The government has also identified 11 sectors that can leverage resources by recycling them through modern technology.

Earlier, the government has set targets of 10% bioethanol blending of petrol by 2022 and to raise it to 20% by 2030 under the Ethanol Blended Programme (EBP). By the recent announcement, India’s EBP target of 20% will be achieved five years earlier.

About Ethanol

Ethanol is one of the principal biofuels. It is naturally produced by the fermentation of sugars by yeasts or via petrochemical processes such as ethylene hydration. Ethanol has medical applications as an antiseptic and disinfectant. It is used as a chemical solvent and in the synthesis of organic compounds, apart from being an alternative fuel source.

Why the world needs Ethanol Blending?

At present, the global transportation sector is facing three major challenges, namely

  • Depletion of fossil fuels,
  • Volatility in crude oil prices and
  • Stringent environmental regulations.

Alternative fuels specific to geographies can address these issues. Ethanol is considered to be one of the most suitable alternatives for blending, transportation fuel due to its better fuel quality (ethanol has a higher octane number) and environmental benefits.

Why India needs Ethanol Blending?

According to NITI Aayog, India’s net import of petroleum was 185 Mt at a cost of US $ 55 billion in 2020-21. Hence, a successful Ethanol Blended Programme can save the country US $4 billion per annum, i.e. Rs. 30,000 Crore.

  • Besides, ethanol is also a less polluting fuel and offers equivalent efficiency at a lower cost than petrol. But, achieving the target is not an easy one and India need drastic reforms to achieve that.
About 20% Ethanol blending of petrol

The National Policy on Biofuels – 2018, provides an indicative target of 20% ethanol blending (also called E20) under the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme by 2030.

  • According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Ethanol blending at present is 10%(E10). But, a sufficient quantity of ethanol is not available in India. Therefore, only around 50% of petrol sold in India is E10 blended, while the remaining is unblinded petrol (E0). The current level of average blending in the country is 5% (2019-20 data).
  • India at present has an ethanol production capacity of 426 crore ltr. For the targeted E20 by 2030, the country will need approximately 1,000-crore ltr capacity.
Government programs aimed to improve Ethanol Blending
  1. Ethanol Blended Petrol(EBP) programme:
    • It was launched in 2003 by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG).
    • Aim: To achieve a blending of Ethanol with Petrol. It was aimed to reduce pollution, conserve foreign exchange and benefits for farmers. It increases value addition in the sugar industry.
    • Implementation: The Government is implementing the programme through Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).
  2. National Policy on Biofuels (NBP) -2018This policy envisages an indicative target of blending 20% ethanol in petrol by 2030.
  3. Ethanol from Sugarcane: Government has allowed the production of ethanol from sugarcane and food grain-based raw materials.
  4. BS-VI emission norms are also applicable for E-20 Vehicles.
  5. Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) is the nodal department for the promotion of fuel-grade ethanol-producing distilleries in the country
  6. Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN (Jaiv Indhan- Vatavaran Anukool fasal awashesh Nivaran) Yojana: The scheme aims to create an ecosystem for setting up commercial projects and boost Research and Development in the 2G Ethanol sector.
Challenges in achieving 20% Ethanol Blending in India
  1. Less Production: Currently, domestic production of bioethanol is not sufficient to meet the demand for ethanol for blending with petrol at Indian Oil Market Companies.
  2. Inter-state movement of ethanol: The central government amended the Industries Development and Regulations Act to ensure smooth implementation and transportation of Ethanol across the country. But only 14 states have implemented the amended provisions. As a result, states that produce ethanol more than the requirement for blending cannot transport the Ethanol to other states.
  3. Non-uniform availability: Ethanol is not produced or available in some states for ethanol blending. About 50% of total pump nozzles in India are supplying only E0. This is especially in large fuel pumps in North-East states. 
  4. The transport of ethanol to different places for blending will increase the cost of logistics and transport-related emissions.
  5. Infrastructural challenges: Marketing places require an underground tank, pipes/hoses and dispensing units for ethanol-blended petroleum supply at retail outlets. This will create space constraint at various present retail outlets.
  6. Challenges to vehicle manufacturers: Even though, Vehicles made in India are material compatible with E10 and fuel-efficient compliant with E5 since 2008. There are certain inherent challenges. Such as,
    • With the proposed target of E20, the vehicles are now required to become both materials compatible and fuel-efficient compatible for E20 fuel.
    • The cost of E20 compatible vehicles is expected to be higher
Suggestion to achieve 20% Ethanol Blending in India
  1. Augmenting Ethanol producing capacity: According to NITI Aayog, to achieve 20% ethanol blending, India has to augment both the sugarcane-based and grain-based ethanol production capacities by 78% and 187% respectively.
  2. Uniform availability of ethanol blends: All the states have to implement the amended Industries Development and Regulations Act for facilitating the Inter-state movement of ethanol.
  3. Faster environmental clearances: Currently, ethanol production plants/distilleries fall under the “Red category” and require environmental clearance under the Air and Water Acts for new and expansion projects. The government can remove them from the red category. This will facilitate more ethanol production plants/distilleries
  4. Suggestions for Vehicle manufacturers: Once India achieves E20 the government will push towards E-85 fuel (85% ethanol by volume), E100 [pure ethanol] and ED95 [95% ethanol and 5% additives (co-solvent, corrosion inhibitors and ignition improvers)] for diesel vehicles. So, the vehicle manufacturers have to produce equipment future-ready.
  5. Pricing of Ethanol blended petrol: For better acceptability of higher ethanol blends in the country, the retail price of blended petrol should be lower than normal petrol. The government can consider providing tax breaks on ethanol.
    • To ensure predictability and to encourage investment by entrepreneurs, the government has to declare a floor price of ethanol for five years.
Conclusion

Ethanol blending of petrol is not only a national imperative but also an important strategic requirement. The government should make rapid moves to put in place a favorable regulatory and retail ecosystem for safe, and effective use of ethanol-blended petrol.

Posted in 7 PM, PUBLICTagged

IEA releases “World Energy Investment Report 2021”

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What is the News?
The International Energy Agency(IEA) has released the World Energy Investment Report 2021.

About the World Energy Investment Report 2021:
  • The report presents the latest data and analysis of how energy investment flows are recovering from the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes full-year outlook estimates for 2021. 
Key Findings of the World Energy Investment Report 2021:
  • Global energy investments are set to recover by nearly 10% in 2021 to $1.9 trillion reversing the decline in 2020.
    • However, the energy transition is moving more funds toward electricity and renewables and away from fossil fuels.
  • Power Sector: Global Power Sector which saw flat investments in 2020 is set to receive the highest ever funding i.e. up by about 5% to more than $820 billion. Among them, Renewables are forecast to account for 70% of the total.
  • Fossil Fuels: The technologies like Carbon Capture and Storage(CCS) are yet to attain commercial success. So, the investments in oil are expected to grow by about 10%.
  • Coal Sector: The approvals for coal-fired plants are some 80% below where they were five years ago. But coal is not out of the picture as there is a slight increase in coal-fired plants in 2020 driven by China and some other Asian economies.
  • The Energy efficiency sector will also see a substantial rise (10%) in investment. But the low fossil fuel price may act as a deterrent.
    • Energy Efficiency refers to a method of reducing energy consumption by using less energy to attain the same amount of useful output.
  • Increase in Emissions: The present scenarios will not deter the increase in carbon dioxide emission after the contraction in 2020. The Global emission is set to grow by 1.5 billion tonnes in 2021.
  • Net Zero Plan: The commitments to the Net Zero plan is gaining momentum, but its transition to actual action is not visible.
    • Net-zero emission is the method of balancing the greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere by the greenhouse gas absorption from the atmosphere.
Suggestions provided by the World Energy Investment Report 2021:
  • Clean energy investment would need to double in the coming years to maintain temperatures well below a 2 °C rise. It needs to be more than triple in order to keep the door open for a 1.5 °C stabilisation.
  • A democratic decision-making process and de-corporatisation of the energy sector is the need of the future for the survival of civilization on this planet.

Source: Down To Earth

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly: Environment, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

National Mission on Use of Biomass in Thermal Power plants

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What is the News?

The Ministry of Power has decided to set up a National Mission on the use of Biomass in thermal power plants.

About National Mission on the use of Biomass in thermal power plants:
  • Aim of the mission: It aims to address the issue of air pollution by farm-stubble burning. Further, it will also reduce the carbon footprints of thermal power generation.
  • Objectives:
    • It will promote the use of Biomass in Thermal Power Plants to increase the present level of co-firing at 5% from biomass to a higher level.
    • Further, Research and Development in boiler design will be taken up so that it can handle the higher amount of alkalis and silica present in biomass pellets.
    • It will also sort out the constraints in the supply chain of biomass pellets and agro-residue to the power plants.
    • Lastly, it will consider regulatory issues in biomass co-firing.
    • Co-firing is a low-cost option for efficiently and cleanly converting biomass to electricity. It adds biomass as a partial substitute fuel in high-efficiency coal boilers.
  • Implementation of the Mission: The procedure to implement the Mission is under finalization process.
  • Duration: The duration of the proposed National Mission would be a minimum of 5 years.
  • Significance: The proposed National Mission on biomass will also contribute to the National Clean Air Programme(NCAP).
About Biomass:
  • Biomass is a renewable organic material that comes from plants and animals. It can be used as an energy source.
Biomass as an Energy Source in India:
  • Firstly, Biomass has always been an important energy source for India. It is a renewable, widely available, carbon-neutral source with the potential to provide significant employment in rural areas.
  • Secondly, about 32% of the total primary energy use in the country is still derived from biomass. Further, more than 70% of the country’s population depends upon it for its energy needs.
  • Thirdly, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is implementing the Biomass power & cogeneration programme with the main objective of promoting technologies for optimum use of the country’s biomass resources for grid power generation.

Source: PIB

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly - Indian Economy, PUBLICTagged

IREDA bags “Green Urja Award”

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What is the News?

Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency(IREDA) has been conferred with “Green Urja Award”.

About Green Urja Award:
  • The Indian Chamber of Commerce(ICC) has launched the Green Urja Award .
    • ICC was founded in 1925. It is a premier body of business and industry in Eastern and North-Eastern India.
  • The award has been conferred to the IREDA for being the Leading Public Institution in Financing Institution for Renewable Energy.
About IREDA:
  • Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency(IREDA) is a Mini Ratna Enterprise of the Government of India. It was founded in 1987.
  • Purpose: IREDA promotes, develops, and extends financial assistance for setting up projects relating to new and renewable sources of energy.
  • Nodal Ministry: It comes under the administrative control of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
  • Registered under: IREDA has been notified as a Public Financial Institution under Companies Act,1956. It is registered as Non-Banking Financial Company(NFBC) with Reserve Bank of India(RBI).
  • Motto: IREDA’s Motto is “Energy for Ever.”
  • Significance: It is the only dedicated institution for financing Renewable Energy (RE) & Energy Efficiency (EE) projects in India.

Source: PIB


 

Sustainable Development

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly - Indian Economy, PUBLICTagged

India’s Oil Imports From OPEC Down To 20-Year Low

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What is the News?

The share of India’s oil imports from OPEC countries dropped to its lowest in at least 20 years in the fiscal year ending March 2021.

India’s Oil Imports:
  • India’s overall oil imports fell by nearly 12% in the Fiscal Year 2021 compared to the previous fiscal year.
  • Of all those imports, the share of OPEC reduced to 72% from 80%. It is the lowest share of crude oil imports from OPEC since at least Fiscal Year(FY)-2002.
  • Further, India bought more US and Canadian oil. This was at the expense of the reduction from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries(OPEC) countries.
    • US and Canadian oil accounted for about 7% and 1.3% respectively of India’s imports compared to 4.5% and 0.60% a year earlier.
    • Moreover, the US has also emerged as the fifth-biggest oil supplier to India in FY21, up by two places from FY20.
Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries(OPEC):
  • It is a permanent, intergovernmental Organization created at the Baghdad Conference in 1960. Its founding members are Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
  • Purpose: The purpose is to manage the supply of oil in an effort to set the price of oil in the world market. Further, it also aims to manage price fluctuations that might affect the economies of both producing and purchasing countries.
  • Members: Algeria, Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela
  • Secretariat: Vienna, Austria.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly - Indian Economy, Factly: IR, PUBLICTagged ,

Natural Gas Can be India’s Alternative Road to Clean Energy

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Synopsis: India should not solely focus on the end goal of decarbonisation. First it must try to ‘green’ its fossil fuel energy bag by increasing the share of natural gas.

Introduction 
  • Policymakers, climate diplomats, academicians, corporates, and NGOs are currently focussed on the concept of net-zero carbon emissions. Also, they are looking for the suitable target year for achieving it. 
  • However, the book “The Next Stop: Natural Gas and India’s journey towards a Clean Energy Future” suggests that India must first green its fossil fuel energy bag. This can be done by increasing the share of natural gas. 
  • This is a practical view because increasing natural gas will avoid negative impacts that shutting down coal mines might produce. 
  • Also, It allows the government to meet its aim of giving affordable energy to everyone without harming the environment. It can be done through executive order. 
What policy changes in the natural gas supply chain are required to green its fossil fuel energy bag?

To explain the scale of the answers, here are four key policy suggestions:

  1. Firstly, the experts must highlight the significance of natural gas. They must identify its usefulness. It is a competitive fuel and is amply available in and within the Asian/ME subcontinent. It has multiple uses, and it is the greenest of all fossil fuels.
  2. Secondly, the authorities must correct the present deterrent policy biases. The taxation system is regressive. The tax rates increase as the gas flows from one zone to another. This means that consumers situated at a distance from the source of gas pay a higher price than those closer to the source. Gas is not under GST.
    • The price of natural gas is complex as there are multiple price formulae. 
      • One for gas produced from domestic fields by the public sector companies.
      • One for gas produced by private companies.
      • Furthermore, one for production from deep waters offshore under high temperature etc. 
  3. Thirdly, the authorities should refurbish the arrangement of the industry. The Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) is engaged in the production, transportation, and marketing of gas. This allows GAIL to influence its rights of the gas pipelines. 
    • They deny their competitors access to the market. There is a requirement of assured and common access to all marketers. 
    • Most countries have separated the production/import and marketing interests from transportation. GAIL’s business activities must limit to pipeline construction and transportation.
  4. Lastly, an institutional apparatus should be created to allow better coordination between the central and state governments. The Center and state have clashed over issues like land attainment, pipeline routing; and royalty payments. This is why India has not yet made a national pipeline grid.
    • Center-state alterations have also delayed the construction of import facilities and the creation of gas markets. The Centre and state should resolve these issues through an integrated decision-making process.
Conclusion
  • Every participant will come to COP26 later this year with hard evidence to back their longer-term commitments. Participants must also focus on other important alternatives to net-zero. 

Source: click here

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, CURRENT AFFAIRS, daily news, Daily News Updates, PUBLICTagged

Green Hydrogen – The Fuel of the Future

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Synopsis Green hydrogen is becoming a new alternative to fossil fuel. Currently, many countries are taking steps to move towards a hydrogen economy.

Introduction-
  • Hydrogen is an energy carrier. It is converted into electricity by fuel cells, which generate electricity by mixing hydrogen and oxygen atoms.
  • It will play an important role in delivering zero-emission transport. The pathway to use hydrogen economy includes hydrogen production, storage, transport, and utilization.
Importance of Hydrogen as a fuel
  1. Environment friendly- Hydrogen is a clean fuel that, when consumed in a fuel cell, releases only water as a by-product. Due to their high efficiency and zero-or near zero-emissions operation, hydrogen has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emission.
  2. Readily available –It is a basic earth element and is very abundant, but challenging to separate hydrogen gas from its companion substances.
  3. Alternative to fuel – It produces three times more energy than other fossil fuels.
  4. Hydrogen as an Energy Storage System-
  5. Future’ fuel – Fossil fuels can no longer be used to meet the world’s energy needs.

Concerns-

  1. Cost – The greatest challenge for hydrogen production, particularly from renewable resources, is providing hydrogen at lower cost.
  2. Storage- Moving even small amounts of Hydrogen is a very expensive matter. For that reason alone, the transport and storage of such a substance looks impractical.
  3. External energy source is required to isolate hydrogen – It does not occur naturally as a gas on the Earth. It is always in combination with other elements such as water (H2O).
  4. Lesser production of green hydrogen – Around 120 tons of hydrogen are produced annually and less than one per cent is green hydrogen.
  5. Low production of Electrolysers – There is currently no major Indian manufacturer of Electrolysers [splits water into hydrogen and oxygen]. As a result, India is reportedly importing electrolysers, which makes the cost uneconomical.
  6. Limited technology for compressing and storing hydrogen for automobiles.

Initiative taken by different nations and global companies in field of green hydrogen-

  • European Union-
      • In June 2020, EU announced to install 40GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers. It will produce up to 10 million tons of renewable hydrogen by 2030.
  • Saudi Arabia-
      • Saudi Arabia is setting up a $5 billion solar and wind energy plant to produce green hydrogen. On completion the plant will be the world’s largest green hydrogen facility, producing 650 tons of green hydrogen.
  • India-
      • During Budget 2021-22, FM launches the National Hydrogen Energy Mission (NHEM). The goal is to produce 175GW of green hydrogen by 2022. It has set aside Rs 1,500 crore for the mission.
  • 7 global companies launch Green Hydrogen catapult initiative-
      • World’s leading green hydrogen companies unite to drive 50-fold scale-up in six years. The New initiative aims to reduce costs to below $2 per Kg, to transform energy across most carbon intensive industries, speeding the race to zero emissions.
Way forward-
  • Green Hydrogen must be cost-competitive with conventional fuels. To reduce overall hydrogen cost, research must focus on improving technologies related to compressing and storing hydrogen for automobiles.
  • Electrolyser manufacturing and deployment must be scaled up from the current capacity of 0.3 GW to nearly 5,000 GW by 2050.
  • India should focus on pilot projects to get better understanding of the usage.

    Source – Down To Earth

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, PUBLICTagged ,

WEF Releases “Energy Transition Index 2021”

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What is the News?

The World Economic Forum(WEF) has released the Energy Transition Index, 2021.

About Energy Transition Index(ETI), 2021:

  • Energy Transition Index is an annual report by the World Economic Forum (WEF). It prepares the report in collaboration with Accenture.
  • Purpose: The ranking aims to enable policy-makers and businesses to plan for a successful energy transition.
  • ETI checks the readiness of countries for transition to secure, sustainable, affordable, and inclusive energy systems.
  • Parameters: The index ranks 115 countries on the basis following three dimensions:
    • Economic development and growth,
    • Environmental sustainability and
    • Lastly, Energy security and access;
Key Findings Related to India:
  • Firstly, India ranks at the 87th position among 115 countries in the Energy Transition Index (ETI).
  • Secondly, the report also says India improved in energy transition through the subsidy reforms and by increasing energy access with a regulatory environment and strong political commitment.

Other Key Takeaways:

  • Firstly, Sweden tops the index. It is followed by Norway and Denmark.
  • Further, China has been ranked 67th on the index. India and China collectively account for a third of global energy demand. However, their improvement level is strong over the past decade even though coal continues to play a significant role in their energy mix.

Source: Economic Times

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

National Hydrogen Energy Mission (NHEM)

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Synopsis
– Challenges and suggestion to enhance the commercial-scale operation of green hydrogen in India.

National Hydrogen Energy Mission NHEM-

Indian prepares to launch the National Hydrogen Energy Mission (NHEM).

    • The global target is to produce 1.45 million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2023.
    • India currently consumes approximately 5.5 million tonnes of hydrogen, which is mainly derived from imported fossil fuels. With NHEM, India will be able to reduce its reliance on fossil fuel imports.
    • Steel, chemical, and transportation industries are among the industries that will benefit from the NHEM. Owing to the amount of fossil fuels they consume, which can be directly substituted with hydrogen, they contribute to one-third of greenhouse gas emissions.
What is green hydrogen?

Green Hydrogen is pure hydrogen generated by using renewable energy such as solar power and wind energy. The by-products are water and water vapour.

Challenges-
  • Transportation cost – Majority of low-cost renewable energy resources are located far from potential demand centres. As a result, the cost of transportation from the plant to the demand centre rises.
  • High cost of production – The technology used in production of green hydrogen is still in its early stages and is costly, which raises the cost of production.
  • Storage related issues

Recommendations for scaling up commercial scale operation of green hydrogen in India-

  • Firstly, Decentralized hydrogen production – Decentralization must be promoted through open access of renewable power to an electrolyser (which splits water to form H2 and O2 using electricity).
        • This can be done by transporting renewable energy directly from the plant to the refinery, which will reduce transportation costs by 60% compared to shipping hydrogen through trucks.
  • Secondly, Continuous access to renewable energy for decentralized hydrogen production.
  • Thirdly, Need to blend green Hydrogen into existing conventional hydrogen process-
      • This would also aid in the development of a scientific understanding of the processes involved in large-scale hydrogen handling.
  • Fourthly, Investment for R&D on green Hydrogen technology is required– Green hydrogen processing technology is still in its early stages, requiring extensive research and development to advance.
      • This requires substantial investment in the research and development of hydrogen technologies. Policymakers need to facilitate investments.
  • Lastly, Focus on domestic manufacturing –
      • Need to establish an end-to-end electrolyser manufacturing facility.
      • Needs to secure supplies of raw materials.
      • Need manufacturing strategy that integrates with the global value chain and can maximize existing strengths.
Way forward-

With decentralized hydrogen production, continuous access to renewable energy, increased investment in R&D, capacity building, compatible legislation, and the ability to create demand among its vast population, India can be in a unique position to benefit from the green Hydrogen.

Source- The Hindu

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, PUBLICTagged ,

Challenges Posed by Phasing Out Coal Use in India

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Synopsis:

India is considering a proposal to adopt a net-zero emission target. This demands a Phasing out coal use which would pose numerous challenges. 

Background:
  • The UN has urged wealthy nations to end Phasing Out Coal use by 2030. 
  • Similarly, a private member bill was introduced in Lok Sabha in March 2021. The bill aims to adopt a net-zero emission target by 2050.
  • A lot of debates after this, have given surety of a coal use phase-out in near future
    • As the conversation on net-zero emissions has almost always come after or gone hand-in-hand with a Phasing Out Coalphaseout plan.
Challenges posed by ending coal use:
  1. Firstly, Energy Security: As currently 70% of India’s energy needs are fulfilled by coal. In 2019-20, the country consumed approximately 942 million tonnes (MT) of coal. Out of this, 730 MT was produced domestically.
  2. Secondly, Social Challenges: There would be significant job losses post the phase-out. Coal India Limited and Singareni Collieries Company Limited employ 2.24 lakh workers. Their job loss will impact almost 9 lakh people considering a four-person household.
    • Further, a setback to workers in coal-consuming sectors like power, steel, sponge iron, etc. will also be seen.
  3. Thirdly, Economic Challenges:  In FY20, the Centre alone collected approximately Rs 29,200 crore in GST compensation cess from coal. The revenue from coal allows centre and states to undertake various development activities. 
    • Similarly, 40 percent of total freight revenues in railways are generated from coal. 
  4. Fourthly, Data Discrepancies: This will hinder prudent policy formulation and adaptation plans in the future.
    • For instance, robust data on contract employees working for mine development operators (MDOs) is not available. 
    • Similarly, there is a lack of data for statecraft coal and subsistence coal economies.
      • Statecraft Coal – non-legal small scale coal mines in the northeast
      • Subsistence Coal – small-scale collieries run on village commons usually bordering formal mines.
    • Data on workers’ skill set, education parameters, caste, and willingness to migrate is also not available.  
Way Forward:
  • India must ensure adequate support for people and communities dependent on the sector. It can learn from plans of other countries like:
    • German coal phaseout plan: It seeks to end coal burning by 2038. It also involves an investment of more than 50 billion euros for mining and plant operators, impacted regions, and employees.
    • US’s Interagency Working Group: It is supposed to deliver resources that will revitalize the coal, oil, and gas communities.
    • Canada’s Phasing Out Coal plan: As per the plan, the phase-out will happen by 2030. A Just Transition Task Force has been created for the welfare of dependent communities.
  • The phase-out plan should also ensure social, climate, economic and environmental justice.

Source: Indian Express

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, PUBLICTagged , ,

Phasing Out Coal in India – Explained, Pointwise

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Introduction

Coal is the largest source of electricity in the world. Recently, the UN Secretary-General urged wealthy nations to end coal use by 2030. But, about 30% of the primary energy supply of the G20 countries depends on coal. Further, only a negligible decrease in coal use(0.9%) is observed between 2012 and 2017 in G20 Countries. So phasing out coal is not an easy step despite setting Net Zero carbon emission by developed countries. Phasing out coal in India is a bigger challenge than in developed countries.

A few of the International Organisations and few developed countries are asking India to adopt a net-zero emissions target. But it is not an easy step. According to The Energy and Resources Institute(TERI), to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions India needs to phase out coal altogether by 2050. This is because coal is the most important and abundant fossil fuel in India.

According to the 2017 data, almost 94 GW of coal-based power plants are planned(announced, pre-permitted or permitted) or already under construction in India. Further, India also has the 2nd largest coal share in electricity generation globally. This underlines the challenge in phasing out coal in India.

Needs to phase out coal
  1. Climate change: Coal-fired electricity generation accounts for 30% of global
    carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2018.
    According to the IPCC’s Special Report Global Warming of 1.5 °C, a near-total reduction in the use of coal and other fossil fuels for electricity generation by 2050 is necessary to limit global warming to 1.5 °C. So to achieve the Paris climate deal reduction of coal is essential.
  2. Health benefits: Coal is a major and is often the leading contributor to air pollution. Estimates found that coal burning is responsible for more than 800,000 premature deaths per year globally. Further, coal is also the reason for many millions of cases of serious and minor illness. This also has economic implications, like increased healthcare costs and a higher number of lost working days.
  3. Costs: Renewable energy rapidly emerged as the lowest cost option of new power generation. By 2025, electricity generation from new renewable energy infrastructure will get cheaper than power generation from new coal infrastructure.
  4. Energy independence and fiscal benefits: Reducing coal imports promotes energy independence, improves the balance of payments. Further, it can also reduce geopolitical tensions in purchasing coal. For example, India can reduce importing coal and save Forex reserves.
Capacity of Coal usage around the world

China has the biggest energy supply from coal. China alone accounts for nearly half of the world’s coal consumption.

In 2017, the G20 countries accounted for 85% of global coal exports. The major exporters include Australia (37% of global coal exports), Indonesia (16%), Russia (12%). So phasing out coal will impact their coal export revenue and create associated job loss, etc.

However, countries like the UK, Italy, France, the European Union, the United States shows strong commitment and reduction in coal usage due to their policies. Such as pre-retiring coal plants, the introduction of the carbon tax, etc.

The following image shows the share of coal in electricity generation in 2017.

Capacity of Coal usage in India
  1. India holds the 5th biggest coal reserves in the world. Around 7% of the world’s proven coal reserves are located in India.
  2. According to the Ministry of renewable energy, the total installed capacity of renewable energy is 368.98 GW. But still this only accounts for 23.39% of India’s energy mix. On the other hand, the coal sector accounts for more than 60% of India’s energy mix. This shows the importance of Coal in India.
  3. In FY20, India consumed approximately 942 million tonnes (MT) of coal. Of that 730 MT was produced domestically.
  4. India is also the 3rd biggest coal importer among G20 countries. Further, India also accounts for 12% of global coal imports.
  5. According to the monthly production pattern of the Ministry of Coal, the Majority of Coal was used in Power production and Captive Power Plant(CPP).
Challenges in Phasing out coal in India

Phasing out the entire coal sector is not an easy task in India. There are many associate issues involve in phasing out coal. Such as,

  1. Depriving the geographic advantage of resource-rich state: According to the Geological Survey of India, India has 319.02 Billion tonnes(bt) cumulative coal reserves in India. Of these 219.65 bt(68% of total reserves) present in only 3 states.  Jharkhand, Orissa, and Chhattisgarh. The entire economy of these states depends upon coal for other developments. Phasing out coal will reduce their economic capacity.
  2. Reduction in Taxes: In FY20, the Centre alone collected approximately Rs 29,200 crore in GST compensation cess from coal. Phasing out coal will impact India’s tax collection
  3. The economic influence of coal in freight movement: Coal alone accounts for 40 percent of the total freight revenue in Indian Railways and trucks. So, phasing out coal will reduce the revenue of Railways in India.
  4. The impact of Job loss: Using different employment factors, one study has mentioned direct coal jobs at 7,44,984. This figure does not include contract employees, Captive mine workers, employees in coal transportation, coal consuming sectors like steel, power, etc. Phasing out coal in India will create a huge job loss across the sector.
  5. Stranded assets risk: Economic shifts and policy changes may turn coal-fired power plants into stranded assets(non-performing assets). This will rapidly decrease their value, or they may turn into liabilities. This process is already observed in some G20 countries.
  6. Economic Cost in phasing out: Phasing out coal is not an easy task considering the associated cost involved in the transition. For example, The German coal phaseout plan calls for an investment of more than 50 billion euros for mining and plant operators, impacted regions and employees. Similar investment is not feasible in India.
Suggestions to phase out Coal in India
  1. Deployment of clean energy on a mass scale: According to The Energy and Resources Institute(TERI), If India needs to achieve a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target, then the share of renewables in the power mix needs to climb to 90%(From 23.39% now). So India needs to deploy clean energy on a large scale.
  2. Adopting net-zero emissions target: Various environmentalist and even the CEO of NITI Aayog wants India to embrace the Net-Zero emission target. It is important to note that there is also a Private member bill submitted in Lok Sabha, urging the Indian government to commit a net-zero emissions target by 2050. So, India needs to adopt such a target.
  3. Focus on energy efficiency: Instead of phasing out coal immediately, India can move towards energy-efficient buildings, lighting, appliances, and industrial practices. This will help faster phase-out of coal in the future.
  4. The government has to encourage all states and UTs to make their respective carbon-neutral plan.
    • The UT of Ladakh and Sikkim state are already planning such a carbon-neutral plan.
    • Further, at the local level cities like  Bengaluru and Chennai, the Panchayat of Meenangadi in Wayanad, Kerala also planning such a carbon-neutral plan.
  5. Other initiatives like,
    • India also has to develop both natural and man-made Carbon Sequestration practices. 
    • Use of biofuels: Can help reduce emissions from light commercial vehicles, tractors in agriculture.
Conclusion

Phasing out coal is essential not only for India but for all countries. But developed countries that started their Industrialisation by burning coal has to adopt the Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC) for phasing out coal. This will not only provide adequate time for developing countries like India and Least Developed Countries but also fix their responsibility also.

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Niti Aayog launches Version 2.0 of “India Energy Dashboards”

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What is the News?

Niti Aayog launches the India Energy Dashboards Version 2.0. Version 1.0 of the Dashboard was launched in May 2017.

About India Energy Dashboards:
  • India Energy Dashboards(IED) aims to provide single-window access to the energy data for the country.
  • Purpose: The dashboard compiles Energy data published/provided by various sources. Like the Central Electricity Authority, Coal Controller’s Organisation and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Key Features of the India Energy Dashboards(IED):
  • Firstly, India Energy Dashboards(IED) provides time-series data from FY 2005-06 until FY 2019-20;
  • Secondly, The dashboard enables easy downloading of data into convenient spreadsheet formats in a cleaner way;
  • Thirdly, the dashboard provides data at sub-yearly frequencies as well. This includes monthly data and data from portals maintained by the government agencies. Such as Saubhagya, UJALA, PRAPTI and Vidyut PRAVAH.
  • Fourthly, it also has a ‘Feedback and Suggestions’ forum for the engagement of the energy data user community
  • Fifthly, a semi-automated workflow will manage periodic updates to the IED. The workflow system performs basic checks and data validation, helping to avoid incorrect data entry.
About PRAAPTI Portal:
  • PRAAPTI is a web portal, launched in 2018 by the Ministry of Power.
  • Full-Form: PRAAPTI stands for Payment ratification and analysis in power procurement for bringing transparency in invoicing of generators.
  • Aim: The portal aims at enhancing transparency and encouraging best practices in Power Purchase transactions.
About Vidyut PRAVAH:
  • Vidyut PRAVAH is a mobile application launched by the Ministry of Power.
  • Purpose: It aims to provide data pertaining to:
    • The market price of power from power exchange
    • Value of current all India demand in GW and
    • All India and State shortages including peak hour and total energy shortage.

Source: PIB


 

Defence technology : news and updates

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, PUBLICTagged

Global Wind Report 2021

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What is the News?

The Global Wind Energy Council(GWEC) has released the Global Wind Report,2021.

About Global Wind Report:

  • The Global Wind Report highlights the role of wind power on the road to net-zero emissions.

Key Findings of the report:

  • Firstly, Wind Energy: The world’s capacity to generate electricity from wind jumped 53% in 2020. A total of 93 gigawatts (GW) capacity was installed in the year.
    • However, this growth is not sufficient for the world to reach a ‘net zero’ emission status by 2050. The world needs to install a minimum of 180 GW of new wind energy capacity every year.
  • Secondly, Current Global Wind Energy Capacity: At present, the world has a total wind energy capacity of 743 GW. This has helped avoid an annual CO2 emission of over 1.1 billion tonnes which is equivalent to the volume of carbon South America emits in a year.
  • Thirdly, China and the United States accounted for 75% of the new installations and over half the world’s wind power capacity.

India’s Wind Power Capacity:

  • Wind power generation capacity in India has significantly increased in recent years.
  • As of February 2021, India’s total installed wind power capacity was 38GW, the fourth largest installed wind power capacity in the world.

About Global Wind Energy Council(GWEC):

  • The Global Wind Energy Council(GEWC) was established in 2005. It provides a credible and representative forum for the entire wind energy sector at an international level.
  • Aim: Its mission is to establish wind power as one of the world’s leading energy sources, providing substantial environmental and economic benefits.
  • Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium.

Source: Down To Earth

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Factly: IR, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged ,

Cost and Benefits of Adani’s Carmichael Coal Project in Australia

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Synopsis – Adani is making one of the world’s largest new coal investments in the Carmichael coal mine project in Queensland. This article analyzes the Costs and Benefits of the Project.

Introduction-

New investment in coal will be a major factor if India is not able to meet its commitment against Climate Change.

Recently the Adani’s $16.5 billion dollar investment in the Carmichael coal mine project in Queensland has sparked debate. Being a primary buyer of this project, India would also face its environmental consequences.

Proposed benefits of Adani’s Carmichael coal project-
  • Economic benefits – It would be the largest coal mine in Australia and one of the largest in the world. It will produce 60 million tonnes of coal per year at full capacity. The mine is expected to produce 2.3 billion tonnes over the next 60 years.
  • It will create employment opportunities and generate revenue for Australia’s economy.
  • Australian government’s subsidies- Despite the G20 commitment to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, the Queensland and Australian governments have proposed various forms of assistance to the Carmichael coal project.

Issues

  • Firstly, fnancial viability- With coal prices falling, the mine may not be able to produce enough income to cover its costs.
    • A number of major international banks ruled out financing the Carmichael Mine and Rail Project. It is due to its poor return on investment and environmental risks.
  • Secondly, environmental and climate impacts – The project is likely to emit 4.7 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. This is more than 0.5% of the remaining global carbon budget for limiting warming to 2 degrees C.
    • Climate change is already affecting Australia. The frequency and intensity of droughts and extreme weather events such as heat-waves, storms and flooding, and bushfires are increasing.
  • Thirdly, health Impact- Coal mining causes fine particle pollution, which contributes to heart diseases, lung diseases, and lung cancer.
    • In Australia, health damage due to CO2 emission alone costs $2.6 billion annually.
    • In India, coal is responsible for 100000 premature deaths each year.
Way forward-

Approval to Adani to mine and export coal to India can hamper India’s carbon-neutrality .

Therefore, to avoid dangerous climate change and increased risks to human health, it is required to keep the global temperature rise within 2°C. This means Australian and Indian coal reserves need to stay under the ground.

Source- The Hindu

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POWERGRID Launches E-Tendering Portal “PRANIT”

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What is the News?

Power Grid Corporation of India Limited(POWERGRID) launched a portal named “PRANIT”.

About PRANIT Portal:
  • PRANIT is an e-Tendering Portal. It aims to make the tendering process more transparent through less paperwork and ease of operation.
  • Significance: The portal is certified by Standardisation, Testing and Quality Certification Directorate(STQC), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
About POWERGRID:
  • Power Grid Corporation of India Limited(POWERGRID) is a central public sector unit. It is also a Maharatna company. The Ministry of Power owns this CPSU.
  • Objective: It is engaged mainly in the Transmission of Power. It transmits about 50% of the total power generated in India on its transmission network.
  • Headquarters: Gurugram, India.

Source: PIB

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Factly: Science and Technology, PUBLICTagged ,

Power Minister Launches “Energy Efficiency Enterprise(E3) Certifications Scheme”

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What is the news?

Minister for Power launches the “Energy Efficiency Enterprise(E3) Certifications Programme” for the Brick manufacturing Sector.

About Energy Efficiency Enterprise(E3) Certification Programme:

  • Energy Efficiency Enterprise(E3) is a certification scheme. It aims to recognise burnt clay brick manufacturers for adopting energy-efficient manufacturing. Furthermore, it encourages customers to source bricks from such E3 certified manufacturing units.
  • Nodal Agency: Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) will provide certification.
How will the E3 certification be awarded?
  • Brick Manufacturing Enterprises need to meet the minimum Specific Energy Consumption performance criteria.
  • The criteria can be met by Brick Manufacturing Enterprises by adopting a combination of measures, such as:
    • improving energy efficiency in manufacturing
    • producing bricks having lower (bulk) densities e.g. porous, perforated and hollow bricks.
Significance of this programme:
  • The programme will help the brick industry shift towards more efficient technologies. Such energy-efficient bricks will be useful in complying with the requirements of the Energy Conservation Buildings Code (ECBC).
    • ECBC: launched in 2007 by the Ministry of Power, it sets minimum energy standards for new commercial buildings.
  • The adoption of the E3 certification programme may save energy of about 7 Million Tonnes of oil equivalent(MTOE) per year. The savings will be about 25 Million Tonnes by 2030.
Contribution of Bricks Sector in India:
  • India is the world’s second-largest producer of bricks. This demand is expected to multiply three to four times over the next 20 years.
  • Bricks Sector Contributes nearly 0.7% to the country’s GDP. Furthermore, it offers seasonal employment generation to over 1 crore workers and is important for sectors such as transportation and construction.
  • Brick manufacturing industry consumes about 45-50 million tonnes of coal equivalent annually. It amounts to 5-15% of the total energy consumption in the country.
    • However, the brick sector has the second-largest potential for energy efficiency amongst the Indian industrial sector after steel and more than cement.

Source: PIB

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Schemes and Programs, PUBLIC, SCHEMESTagged

‘Mobilising Electric Vehicle Financing in India’ – A report of NITI Aayog

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What is the News?

NITI Aayog and Rocky Mountain Institute(RMI) India jointly releases a new report titled ‘Mobilising Electric Vehicle Financing in India’.

Purpose of the Mobilising Electric Vehicle Financing in India report:
  • The report highlights the role of finance in India’s transition to electric vehicles(EVs). Further, the report also identifies solutions for capital and financing to aid in India’s EV transition.
What does the report say about Electric Vehicle Financing?

India’s Electric Vehicle ecosystem has so far focused on overcoming adoption hurdles. These hurdles are associated with technology cost, infrastructure availability, and consumer behaviour. However, financing is the next critical barrier that needs to be addressed to accelerate India’s electric mobility transition.

  • According to the report, the transition to Electric Vehicles(EVs) will require a capital investment of over 19 lakh crore rupees. This has to be spent on electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, and batteries over the next decade.
  • Moreover, India’s Electric Vehicle financing industry is projected to be Rs 3.7 lakh Crore in 2030. It is about 80% of the current size of India’s retail vehicle finance industry.

Suggestions: The report has provided several solutions that financial institutions can adopt in catalysing Electric Vehicle financing.

  • Inclusion of EVs in Priority sector lending (PSL): Reserve Bank of India(RBI) can include EVs in PSL guidelines. This would incentivise banks to increase lending towards the sector.
  • Interest rate subvention: Government can provide interest rate subventions to make loans affordable. This has already been enacted in other sectors and at a state level. For example in Delhi.
  • Product guarantees and warranties: The manufacturers of EVs can provide guarantees and warranties on the performance of their products. This would improve their bankability.
  • Risk-sharing mechanism (government and multilateral-led): Partly or entirely covering the possible losses associated with Electric Vehicle financing can build trust in the sector.
  • Secondary market development: Government can help develop a secondary market for electric vehicles. This will improve the resale value of EVs and improve their bankability.
  • Digital lending: The loans for EVs can be provided digitally. This will help in overcoming the operational and logistical challenges of Electric Vehicle financing.
  • Open data repository for EVs: Financial Institutions(FIs) need access to data on EV specifications, actual charging costs, and operating expenditures. This will help institutions accurately assess risk, determine appropriate interest rates, and design effective leasing programmes.

Source: PIB

Transport Minister launches ‘Go Electric Campaign’

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Science and Technology, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Issues in the Process of Decarbonization

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Synopsis- Grid failure in Texas and flash flood in Uttarakhand highlighted the issues in the process of decarbonization.

Introduction

Almost every major country has agreed to a time-bound, “net-zero” carbon emissions target. They are also in agreement over the steps required for decarbonization. However, it is not sufficient to just set the targets. There are certain legacy hurdles in the way of decarbonisation, such as:

    1. Poorly designed planning systems.
    2. Poor regulatory mechanism for the energy ecosystem and lack of decision-making.
    3. Lack of investment in energy infrastructure.

2 recent incidents, i.e. The Nanda Devi flash flood and electricity grid system failure in Texas highlights these issues.

What is decarbonization?

Decarbonization It is the process of eliminating or reducing the carbon emissions sent into the atmosphere. Reducing the amount of CO2 output is essential to meet global temperature standards set by the Paris Agreement [Net zero carbon emissions target by 2050]. The Following are some steps required for decarbonization;

  • Reduce– Reduce greenhouse gases and use renewable energy sources like solar power and wind power.
  • Use of Electric vehicles instead of combustion engines.
  • Energy conservation- Energy demand should be conserved by reducing wastage and losses and using it more efficiently.

How incidents of grid failure in Texas and flash floods in Uttarakhand highlight the issues in the decarbonization process?

  1. First, lack of preparedness- The planners had incorporated emergency response procedures for cold waves and floods. However, they didn’t prepare for such extremes of weather conditions.
    • For exampleIn Texas- The authorities planned a worst-case scenario based on a 15GW drop in generating power. However, they lost 30GW, which resulted in a total blackout.
    • One reason for this is experts presume every scenario based on historical data. Thus
  2. Second, poor regulatory and institutional mechanism. It is evident in both Grid Failure in Texas and Uttarakhand flash flood.
    • No umbrella authority was present to manage the disaster with responsibility for the entire system.
    • The recommendations made after the Kedarnath floods about land use and watershed management were not implemented.
  3. Third, lack of investment in energy infrastructure-
    • In Texas, the grid was not resilient enough to absorb the surge in the flow of intermittent renewable electrons.
    • India’s transmission system is also not capable of managing the energy transition. The Transmission issue slows down the adoption rate of solar power by failing to introduce green energy to the grid.

All of these factors have negative effects on the decarbonization process. They must be resolved in order to reach the Paris Agreement’s global temperature goals.

Way forward-

To ensure the sustainability of the decarbonisation process the following steps are required-

  • Policymakers need to create robust mechanisms. It will facilitate inter-ministerial and inter-state collaboration within the country and multilateral cooperation internationally.
  • Poorly designed planning systems, inadequate regulatory frameworks, and a lack of investment are all challenges that policymakers must tackle.

[Answered]Discuss the need and significance of NATGRID project? What are various concerns related to NATGRID?

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How to become Petroleum Independent?

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Synopsis: India first needs to manage the demand for petroleum Independent products, before expanding and diversifying the energy supply.

How government can reduce dependence on petroleum?

There are many things that the government can and should do to reduce dependence on petroleum.

  • Firstly, the government should introduce a zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) programme. It requires all vehicle manufacturers to produce a definite number of electric vehicles. For example, ZEV programmes are present in China, South Korea and Canada etc.
  • Secondly, the government should strengthen fuel efficiency requirements for new passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Two-wheelers are not subject to any fuel efficiency standards even when they consume two-third of the petrol used in India.
    • A target of 50% reduction in fuel consumption by 2-wheelers may result in innovations, such as increasing efficiency of internal combustion engine (ICE) efficiency and increase in electric driven two-wheelers.
  • Thirdly, similar steps should be applied to the passenger vehicle and heavy-duty commercial vehicle. Consumers who switch to electric vehicles will save even more money as electricity is cheaper compared to petrol and diesel.

What are the steps taken by the government?

  • The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) was launched. However, The NEMMP mainly focused on hybrid electric vehicles and most incentives went towards subsidizing mild hybrids instead of electric vehicles.
  • Heavy-duty vehicles, which consume nearly 60% diesel, are now subject to fuel efficiency standards.
  • The Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME-II) scheme now focuses largely on electric vehicles.
    • The FAME scheme focuses on two- and three-wheelers, taxis, and buses. It should be extended to all passenger cars, commercial vehicles and to agricultural tractors.
  • Introducing complementary policies like stepping up investments in charging infrastructure are essential. The GST rates for all passenger vehicles could be made proportional to their fuel efficiency level.

Conclusion

  • Adopting strict fuel efficiency standards and a ZEV programme by 2024 can result in India’s petroleum demand peaking by 2030. By that, the government can save money for the consumer while enhancing long-term energy security by wielding the regulatory tools at its disposal.
  • Thus, It is time for India to adopt stringent fuel efficiency standards and a zero-emissions vehicle programme.

 

Petroleum & Natural Gas Ministry launches “SAKSHAM campaign”

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, PUBLICTagged

Saksham campaign and the importance of fuel conservation – Explained Pointwise

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Introduction

Recently, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas launched the month-long fuel conservation awareness campaign Saksham. Fuel conservation has become highly important in the present scenario. On the one hand, the petrol prices are for the first time, touching Rs. 100. On the other hand, India’s oil imports are expected to rise to 90% by 2030 and 92% by 2040, as per the India Energy Outlook report, 2021. In this article, we are going to analyse the needs and ways of fuel conservation in India.

 

What is Saksham Campaign?

It is a month-long awareness campaign launched by the Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA). The Saksham campaign aims to create awareness about fossil fuels by highlighting the adverse health and environmental impacts of fossil fuels.

The Saksham campaign will mention the advantages of switching to cleaner fuels and bring in behavioural change to use fossil fuel more intelligently. The campaign will include various pan-India activities such as cyclothon, farmer workshops, seminars etc.

The awareness campaign was started as an Oil Conservation Week in 1991. Later in 1997, the program was converted into an Oil and Gas Conservation Fortnight. From 2017 onwards, it was renamed as “Saksham (Sanrakshan Kshamta Mahotsav)” and getting conducted for a month. This year the campaign launched on 16th January 2021.

Other government schemes aimed towards fuel conservation

The government introduced various policies aimed towards fuel conservation. Such as fuel efficiency norms for Heavy Commercial Vehicles and Light and Medium Commercial Vehicles.

  1. LPG Panchayats: This scheme aimed at encouraging rural communities to turn to clean fuels instead of fossil fuels
  2. In the transport sector various other initiatives such as introducing Bharat Stage (BS) standards, fixing the maximum speed of cars, improved road conditions will result in fuel conservation.
  3. Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme: The government in 2003 introduced the EBP program. The programme aims to promote the use of alternative and environment-friendly fuels and reduce import dependency. India has set a target of 10 per cent ethanol blending in petrol by 2022.

Level of fuel usage in India

According to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, India imported 270 Million Metric Ton of crude oil worth $120 billion in 2019-20 alone. The sectors such as transport, industry, household and agriculture are four major sectors that consume the bulk of petroleum.

  1. The transport sector is the largest consumer (50 per cent) of petroleum products in India. They mainly consume petrol and high-speed diesel. Road transport accounts for about 37 per cent of the total oil consumption.
  2. Industries: They consume about 16-20 per cent of the total oil products.
  3. Agriculture sector: High-speed diesel and light diesel oil are the main petroleum products consumed in the agriculture sector. Apart from that, Naphtha is primarily used to produce fertilizers.
  4. Kerosene and LPG are two major oil products used in the domestic sector. It is generally consumed for cooking and heating in urban and semi-urban areas.
High-Speed Diesel (HSD) and Light Diesel Oil (LDO)
HSD is normally used in high-speed diesel engines (runs above 750rpm). Such as commercial vehicles, stationary diesel engines, locomotives, and pumps etc. LDO is used in slow-speed diesel engines (below 750 rpm). Generally, it is used in Lift irrigation pump sets, Diesel Generator (DG) sets etc.

Why do we need to conserve fuel?

  1. Fuel conservation promotes environmental health.  Lower fuel usage will reduce nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, Sulfur dioxide, ozone, and other hydrocarbon emissions. Further fuel conservation will reduce the total energy demand and production,  reduce greenhouse gases, resulting in fewer oil spills, and fewer mining activities. Overall, fuel conservation will reduce the effects of climate change.
  2. Fuel conservation will save money and reduce the oil import bills of India. India Energy Outlook 2021 have mentioned India as the world’s second-biggest net oil importer after China. As per this report, India is currently importing about 76% of its crude oil needs. Fuel conservation will reduce the overall net crude oil imports and save India’s Forex reserves.
  3. Increase in energy sustainability: As fossil fuels like oil are non-renewable and depleting around the globe, its conservation will expand their availability for a longer period of time. Along with the research on alternative energy sources, we can ensure energy sustainability.
  4. Middle Eastern region at present holds 48.3% of global oil reserves. But the region is vulnerable to various conflicts such as the Sunni-Shia conflict, Israel and Arab nations conflict, etc. Fuel conservation will reduce India’s dependence on politically vulnerable Middle Eastern region.
  5. Fuel conservation will help in reducing peak oil demand. Apart from that, shifting towards clean energy alternatives can further reverse the end of the oil age theory.

The end of the oil age is the theory first formulated in 2005. According to it, oil age will end due to the fall in production of oil and its non-replacement along with skyrocketing prices. But the theory was reversed recently after the US Shale gas revolution and the emergence of Electric vehicles after Paris Climate Summit

Suggestions to improve fuel conservation

  1. The government can take numerous initiatives to reduce fuel demand but to see a real change people in India must be educated to reduce fuel consumption voluntarily. Such as
    • Promote use of bicycles for shorter distances
    • Switching off engines in signals
    • Following the sedate driving style and traffic rules etc.
    • Promoting carpooling etc.
  2. Apart from that, the Government has to introduce strict norms for the operation of transport vehicles at optimum speed, implement projects improving road conditions and remove traffic bottlenecks, especially in urban areas. According to a report, these measures alone can save about 30-35 per cent of the fuel.
  3. To reduce the demand for the industrial sector, the government has to encourage better energy management. For example, government initiatives in the iron and steel industry, petrochemicals industries have reduced 21 and 32 percent of their fuel demands.
  4. In the agriculture sector government has to promote better farm machinery, efficient foot valves for lift irrigation, use of agro-residues, and other non-commercial sources of energy. This will reduce the fuel demand in agriculture.
  5. The government has to build a reliable, well-connected, sophisticated public transport system. Such a system must have the potential to cater to the needs of all sections of the society.
  6. To get a complete solution, apart from fuel conservation we also need to shift to clean and green alternative energy sources. For example,

Conclusion

The recent India Energy Outlook report mentions “India’s energy future depends on buildings and factories that India is going to build and the vehicles and appliances India is going to buy”. So it is high time for India to act on fuel conservation and Green energy initiatives to make India’s energy requirements sustainable.

Posted in 7 PM, PUBLICTagged

What are findings of “India Energy Outlook 2021”?

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What is the News?

International Energy Agency(IEA) releases the India Energy Outlook 2021 Report.

About the India Energy Outlook 2021

  • This report aims to ensure reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy for a growing population. It explores the opportunities and challenges ahead for India.
  • It examines the long-term impacts of the pandemic on India’s energy supply, demand, and investment using the latest available energy data. Furthermore, it also suggests pathways out of the crisis.

Key Findings of the Report:

  • Energy Consumer: Currently, India is the fourth-largest global energy consumer behind China, the United States, and the European Union (EU). By 2030, India may overtake the EU as the world’s 3rd biggest energy consumer.
  • Natural Gas Demand: India will become the fastest-growing market for Natural gas with demand more than tripling by 2040. Natural gas import dependency will also increase from 20% in 2010 to almost 50% in 2019. It will grow further to more than 60% in 2040.
  • More Oil import: India is currently the world’s second-biggest net oil importer after China. It currently imports about 76% of its crude oil needs. That reliance on overseas oil is expected to rise to 90% by 2030 and 92% by 2040.
  • Renewable Energy: India’s share in the growth in renewable energy is the second-largest in the world after China.
  • Coal Demand: Over 80% of India’s energy needs are met by three fuels: coal, oil, and solid biomass. Among them, coal currently dominates India’s electricity sector. It accounts for over 70% of overall generation with only about 4% produced through solar energy.
  • Global Emitter: India is currently the 3rd-largest global emitter of CO2, despite low per capita CO2 emissions. By 2040, India’s emissions of carbon dioxide could rise as much as 50%. That would make India the second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, trailing only behind China.
  • Urban Population: By 2040, an estimated 270 million people are likely to be added to India’s urban population. However, even with such rapid urbanization, the share of India’s population living in urban areas in 2040 is still expected to be less than 50%.

Click Here to Read about IEA

 Source: IEA

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Clean energy is the key to COVID-19 recovery

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Synopsis – United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) report shows that energy demand reductions mainly impacted fossil fuels. But Renewable energy development continued to grow throughout 2020. This shows that clean energy is key to the COVID-19 recovery, not fossil fuels.

Introduction-

UN-ESCAP released the Regional Trends Report, 2021. The report titled ‘shaping a sustainable energy future in Asia and the Pacific – A greener, more resilient and inclusive energy system’. The report examines the ambitions and progress of ESCAP member states in achieving sustainable energy goals.

Importance of continuous energy supply during the pandemic-

  1. Hospitals and healthcare facilities require continuous energy supply to function 24X7.
  2. Allowing work from home, distance learning and, communication of essential health information status all required uninterrupted power.
  3. Support for cold chain systems and logistics also needs an uninterrupted power supply. This is essential for the proper transportation, distribution, and storage of the Covid-19 vaccine.

How to make society more resilient to future crises such as COVID-19?

  1. Governments should make meaningful progress on SDGs. The government can achieve this by addressing the systemic issues that made societies more vulnerable to COVID-19. Such as addressing issues in health, decent work, poverty and socio-economic inequalities,
  2. Fiscal stimulus packages focussed on investments that support SDGs. This can be achieved by not investing in Industries such as fossil fuels. At the same time focussing more on renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. This will create industries that are resilient to crisis.

What are the advantages of promoting clean energy?

  1. Clean energy will create more jobs. Evidence suggests that clean energy will create more jobs than fossil fuel projects for similar investments. For example, an increase in spending on clean cooking and electricity access will enhance economic activity in rural areas. Further, it will improve the health and well-being of women and children
  2. Low-carbon infrastructure and technologies reduce global warming. This will take a step closer towards achieving ambitious climate pledges, and the Paris Climate deal.
    It is also important to note that several countries have announced the carbon neutrality targets

Conclusion:

COVID-19 crisis has shown that we can restrict fossil fuels and can be more adaptive and resilient. But we should not waste the opportunities of the crisis to phase out fossil fuels.

 Read Also:-

Miscellaneous informations in news

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, PUBLICTagged ,

Petroleum & Natural Gas Ministry launches “SAKSHAM campaign”

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What is the News?

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has launched a month-long mass awareness campaign ‘SAKSHAM’.

About Saksham Campaign:

  • Saksham is a fuel conservation campaign. Petroleum Conservation Research Association(PCRA) organized it.
  • Aim: It will sensitize the masses about conservation and efficient use of petroleum products which will lead towards better health and environment.
  • Earlier this program was known as Oil and Gas Conservation Fortnight, which was renamed as “Saksham (Sanrakshan Kshamta Mahotsav)” from 2017 onwards

SAKSHAM 2021:

  • The campaign aims to convince consumers to switch to cleaner fuels and bring in behavioural change to use fossil fuel intelligently. The campaign will include various pan-India activities such as cyclothon, farmer workshops, seminars, etc.
  • It has also spread awareness about 7 key drivers that collectively would help India move towards cleaner energy. The key drivers include:
    1. Moving towards a gas-based economy
    2. Cleaner use of fossil fuels
    3. Greater reliance on domestic sources to drive biofuels
    4. Achieving renewable targets with the set deadlines
    5. Increased use of electric vehicles to decarbonize mobility
    6. Increased use of cleaner fuels like Hydrogen and
    7. Digital innovation across all energy systems.

Read more about Saksham portal launched by TIFAC

About PCRA:

  • It is a registered non-profit society under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. It was set up in 1978.
  • Functions:
    • It is a national government agency, promoting energy efficiency in various sectors of the economy.
    • Furthermore, it helps the government in proposing policies and strategies for petroleum conservation. It aims at reducing the excessive dependence of the country on oil requirements.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi

Source: AIR

 Read also:-

The “fishing cat” in India is under threat

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly - Indian Economy, PUBLICTagged

Why prices of Petrol and Diesel are rising?

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Synopsis: Retail prices of petrol and diesel have reached record highs in India. One major reason is a heavy tax on Petrol and diesel in India.

Introduction 

The price of petrol is touching Rs 89 per litre in Delhi and diesel reaching Rs 86.30 per litre in Mumbai. The government states that the reason behind this rise in price is an increase in global crude prices by more than 50 per cent. 

While retail prices of both fuels in other countries are just reaching pre-pandemic levels, Indian consumers are paying a lot more.

Why are consumers in India paying more for petrol and diesel?

Retail petrol and diesel prices are linked to global crude oil prices in theory. That means if crude prices fall, retails prices should come down too, and vice versa. However, this does not happen in reality especially in India.

  1. First, when global prices go up, the consumer has to pay the increase in price. But when the prices decrease, the government introduces fresh taxes to ensure that it collects extra revenues. 
    • For instance, the government hiked the central excise duty on petrol and diesel at the beginning of 2020 to boost revenues. The government did this to boost economic activity governmentThis resulted in the revenue gain to the government. 
    • Currently, state and central taxes amount to around 180 per cent of the base price of petrol and 141 per cent of the base price of diesel in Delhi. 
  2. Second, crude oil prices collapsed during the pandemic. But as economies have reduced travel restrictions, global demand has improved, and prices have been recovering.
  3. Third, the controlled production of crude amid rising demand has been another key factor in boosting oil prices.
  4. Fourth, Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) are free to set prices for petrol and diesel based on international prices on paper. Increase in central levies has meant that the consumer hasn’t benefited from low international prices and has ended up bearing the cost of rising crude oil prices.

Read How India should end oil age?

Conclusion 

  • Experts suggest that the impact of rising fuel inflation has been balanced by declining food inflation. However, the consumers with greater expenditure on travel are bearing the higher prices even though the overall inflation reduced down to 4.06 per cent in January.
Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, PUBLICTagged ,

Tapovan Vishnugad Hydropower Project

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What is the News?

The rescue operations are still undergoing in Uttarakhand from a Tapovam tunnel located at the Tapovan-Vishnugad hydro project.

 Facts:

  • Tapovan Vishnugad Hydropower Plant is a 520 MW run-of-river hydroelectric project(See image). It was constructed by National Thermal Power Corporation Limited(NTPC) on Dhauliganga River in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand.

  • The power plant is located on the downstream on the Alaknanda River (one of the two headstreams of the Ganges).
  • Damaged: It was severely damaged in February 2021 due to flash flood caused by Uttarakhand glacier burst.

Read more about Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF)

 Source: The Hindu

 

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Environment, PUBLICTagged ,

Green Energy Initiatives in Budget 2021- Explained

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Green energy initiatives are one of the most focused sectors in Budget 2021. India is already the 4th largest country in terms of total Renewable Energy installed capacity in the world. With the help of budgetary allocation and private participation, India has all the chances to be a global leader in green energy. But it is not an easy task as India is also facing many challenges in the implementation of its green energy initiatives.

What is Green Energy?

The power generated from natural sources is termed as green energy. For example, wind, water, sunlight etc. Green energy is clean, eco-friendly and sustainable. Green energy has a very minimal negative impact on the environment and also provides the highest environmental benefit.

Present installed capacity of India:

First, the economic survey mentions solar energy of cumulative capacity of 36.9 GW has commissioned till November 2020. Around 36 GW solar energy capacity is under installation, and an additional 19 GW capacity has been tendered.

Second, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) mentions 38.6GW of Wind energy power plants has commissioned till December 2020. The MNRE also mentions around 10 GW of Biomass-based power plants has commissioned.

On an average, the renewable energy installed capacity till December 2020 stands above 91GW.

Need to focus on Green Energy:

First, green energy will reduce India’s oil import bill. India currently imports 84% of its oil needs. If India enhances its green energy capacity then the oil import bill of India will come down drastically.

Second, green energy being clean and eco-friendly will reduce the level of Pollution in India. Air pollution is the third-highest cause of death if we consider all health risks.  Apart from that, India recorded the world’s highest annual average concentration of PM 2.5 exposure in its air in 2019

Third, India’s international commitments. India being a party to Paris Climate Agreement 2015, submitted its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). In this India promised to increase the share of non-fossil fuels-based electricity to 40 per cent by 2030. So the focus on green energy is much needed.

Fourth, the failure of global commitments. The year 2020 was supposed to be the year by which developed countries of Paris Agreement were about to fulfil the goal of jointly mobilizing US$ 100 billion a year for climate finance. But it has not materialized. So India has to invest on its own and not rely on the global community as India is one of the most vulnerable countries to Climate Change.

Fifth, current capacity is insufficient to meet India’s target of 450 GW renewable energy by 2030. India at present has the capacity to produce 2-3 GW solar PV(Photo Voltaic) per year. But to achieve the target of 450 GW, India needs to have at least 30 to 40 GW manufacturing capacity of renewable energy per year.

Budgetary allocation on green energy:

This year’s budget primarily focuses on spending on infrastructure development and also increasing the domestic capacity of green energy manufacturing in India.

First, the budget provided the target of 100% electrification of Broad Gauge Routes in Railways by 2023. At present  63 per cent of total broad-gauge routes are being electrified in India.

Second, the budget also has a proposal for the launch of the National Hydrogen Energy Mission in 2021-22. The government stressed on the green hydrogen (Hydrogen is obtained from clean and green sources).

Benefits of Hydrogen:

Department of Science and Technology has released a report ‘India Country Status Report on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells’. That report mentions, “Hydrogen has better combustion characteristics, high energy density, nonpolluting nature etc, and also has vast advantages as compared to the conventional fuels”.

Hydrogen can satisfy India’s mobility and energy security demands. Today, India produces around 6 tonnes of hydrogen. TERI estimates that it will increase to 5 times by 2050. Benefits of Hydrogen will be

    • It can be used as fuel for long-distance mobility. For example, Railways, shipping and trucks etc can use Hydrogen as a fuel.
    • It can co-exist with the Electric vehicle in long-distance travel. As the EVs require charging of vehicle which is not feasible for long-distance travel. For example, 1KG of hydrogen can give 100KM range for a car.
    • Hydrogen can also act as a carrier device to store energy.
    • Like Solar energy, Hydrogen is also cost-effective in long run. For example, the initial investment in solar was 17 Rs per unit in 2010. But today the cost was around 2 Rs per unit or even less than that.

Japan and Australia also focus on Hydrogen as future energy. On the other hand, Germany and Italy are planning to power trains with hydrogen.

The Department of Science and Technology under the hydrogen and fuel cell programme is currently supporting nearly 30 hydrogen research projects in India.

Third, the budget provided for more metro and community transport initiatives to reduce the carbon footprints of private transport. For example, Private financing of Rs. 80,000 crores for 20000 new busses in India and Innovative financing with Public-Private Partnership (PPP) models for the transport sector.

Fourth, the budget also provided for Voluntary Vehicle Scrapping Policy in India. This is applicable for private vehicles older than 20 years and commercial vehicles older than 15 years.

Fifth, more focus on the capacity building of solar energy. For example, duty on the solar inverter, solar lanterns were raised from 5 to 20 and 15% respectively. This will boost domestic manufacturing and deter imports.

Sixth, the government has earmarked Rs 2,217 crore for 42 urban centres with a million-plus population to focus on clean air. The overall focus will be on segregated waste management, handling of construction and demolition debris, stress on public transportation and emphasis on renewable energy.

Challenges faced by green energy initiatives:

First, currently, India imports the majority of its solar equipment from China. The domestic solar equipment manufacturing needs a boost to reduce India’s dependence.

Second, weather-dependent: Green energy sources like solar, wind, etc., are primarily dependent on weather conditions. If the favourable weather conditions are not available, it becomes inefficient and inconvenient.

Third, location and occupation of space: Most green energy plants occupy large areas. Land acquisition in India to implement projects is one of the worst-ranked factors in Ease of Doing Business Report of the World Bank. Apart from that, there is also an issue of the cost of the vast land area.

Fourth, high initial cost: The coal-based power plants require an initial investment of about Rs. 4 crores per MW, the investments required for solar and wind energy plants are even much higher.

Fifth, acceptance of green energy in society: Despite government’s incentives like installation of solar water heaters at home and solar pumps under KUSUM scheme, etc, the penetration of EVs, solar and other green energy initiatives are very low.

Suggestions to improve green energy in India:

First, India needs to promote consumer awareness. The government has to use the techniques like green labelling of products, allow more tax incentives and discouraging consumers from using conventional energy devices etc. The government can also launch a mass awareness campaign in rural India to improve penetration level.

Second, India needs to build the capacity of Green technology and associated industries. But it is only possible with proper land leasing and land acquisition policy, faster environmental clearance of projects etc.

Third, India also has to focus on research capacities. Not only we need to start manufacturing, but also we need to build research capacities in relevant technologies. So that India can be self-sufficient in long run and also avoid staying dependent on other countries like India was depending on China on solar and PV equipment.

Fourth, India has to frame an integrated approach. It should focus on the domestic and international front to get the necessary resources, market access to sell the green products and other essentials required for the improvement of green technology.

Fifth, the collaboration of states is also needed. There are 11 states that have rolled out E-mobility plans. Other states also have to release their individual State plans to support India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).

In conclusion, an estimate suggests that India has the capacity to extract 900 GW energy from commercially available sources like wind energy, solar energy etc. The estimate can turn into reality only when all the stakeholders (government, private and public) work and contribute towards it.

Posted in 7 PM, PUBLICTagged , ,

Initiatives to promote “Ethanol as an alternate fuel”

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What is the News?

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas has informed Lok Sabha about the initiatives taken to promote ethanol as an alternate fuel.

Ethanol:

  • Ethanol or ethyl alcohol is a liquid that has several uses. At 95% purity, it is called rectified spirit and is used as the intoxicating ingredient in alcoholic beverages. At 99%-plus purity, ethanol is used for blending with petrol.
  • In India, ethanol is mainly produced from sugarcane molasses by fermentation process.

Facts about Ethanol as a Fuel:

  • Ethanol is also considered a renewable fuel. It is produced from plants that harness the power of the sun.
  • Ethanol molecule contains oxygen. It allows the engine to combust the fuel efficiently, resulting in lower emission. Thereby, it reduces environmental pollution.
  • Ethanol-blended fuel keeps the fuel system clean for optimal performance. It is because it does not leave gummy deposits.
  • Ethanol helps prevent wintertime problems by acting as a gas-line antifreeze.

Government Initiatives to Promote Ethanol as an alternate Fuel:

  • Ethanol Blended Petrol(EBP) programme:
    • It was launched in 2003 by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG).
    • Aim: To achieve a blending of Ethanol with Petrol. It was aimed to reduce pollution, conserve foreign exchange and benefits for farmers. It increases value addition in the sugar industry.
    • Implementation: The Government is implementing the programme through Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).
  • National Policy on Biofuels (NBP) -2018: This policy envisages an indicative target of blending 20% ethanol in petrol by 2030.
  • Ethanol from Sugarcane: Government has allowed the production of ethanol from sugarcane and food grain-based raw-materials.
  • Interest Subvention Scheme: Government, in order to increase the production of ethanol, has notified interest subvention schemes for setting up of molasses and grain-based new distilleries or expansion of existing distilleries, setting up of dual-feed distilleries, installation of zero liquid discharge system among others.

Source: PIB

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, PUBLICTagged

“Reform-based and result-linked scheme” to revive discoms

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Why in News?
The Finance Minister proposed a plan to revive discoms. It will include a reform-based and result-linked scheme for electricity distribution companies(discoms).

The Minister also announced a framework to provide electricity consumers, an option to choose from among more than one distribution company. This will end the monopoly of discoms and promote competition in the power sector.

About the Scheme:

  • Duration: Five Years
  • At present, discoms are facing a fund’s crunch. Thus, they are not able to purchase power from production companies. Their total outstanding amount is over ₹1.35 lakh crore as of December.
  • Purpose: The scheme will assist discoms in infrastructure creation and financial improvements. It will include providing prepaid smart metering, feeder separation, and upgrading systems.

UDAY (Ujjwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana) scheme

  • It was launched in 2015 with the aim of revival of the debt-laden discoms.
  • Under the scheme, discoms were envisaged to turn around financially within three years from signing agreements.

Source: The Hindu

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, PUBLICTagged ,

A comparison of CBG (Compressed Bio Gas) and CNG

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Why in News?
Verbio AG, a German company is setting up compressed biogas(CBG) plant in  Bhutal Kalan village in Punjab. Increasing CBG production is much more beneficial compared to the Production of CNG.

Facts:

  • Compressed Biogas(CBG): It is a purified form of biogas. It can be produced from waste including municipal solid waste, sludge from wastewater treatment plants, market residues, agricultural residues, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud among others.

Process of Producing CBG: CBG from biomass involves a two-pronged approach.

  1. First Step: Biogas is produced through the anaerobic decomposition of biomass.
    • Anaerobic Process: In this process, microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. The process is used for industrial or domestic purposes to manage waste or to produce fuels.
  2. Second Step: Biogas contains 55 to 60% methane, 40 to 45% carbon dioxide (CO2) and trace amounts of hydrogen sulphide. The second process involves purifying the gas to remove carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide gases to prepare CBG.

How is CBG different from Compressed Natural Gas(CNG)?

  1. Chemically, CBG is the same as CNG — both are compressed methane — and have the same calorific value.
  2. But, CNG is a by-product of petroleum, and CBG can be produced from any biomass, be it crop residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, municipal wet waste, or effluents from a sewage treatment plant.
  3. Hence, this makes CBG a commercially viable option as it can be directly used to replace CNG in transportation fuel. Just like CNG, CBG too can be transported through cylinders or pipelines to retail outlets.

Other advantages of CBG:

  1. Compressed biogas has the potential to minimize India’s need to import fuel.
  2. The solid by-products of CBG can be used as bio-manure. According to experts, bio-manure produced using paddy straw can result in a 20% increase in crop yield.
  3. The other by-product from CBG is CO2. It is used to produce a liquid or solid CO2. It has a high demand for food preservation or to be used in fire extinguishers.

Government Initiative to promote CBG:

  1. Sustainable Alternative to Affordable Transport(SATAT) Initiative: It was launched in October 2018 to promote the Compressed Biogas (CBG)
  2. The scheme targeted the production of 15 million metric tonnes (MMT) of CBG by 2023.
  3. Public sector undertakings oil marketing companies(OMCs) including IOCL partnered with potential entrepreneurs under this initiative to set up plants and supply CBG to them for sale as automotive and industrial fuels.

Source: Down To Earth

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly: Science and Technology, PUBLICTagged ,

Ensuring accountability in the new Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020

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  • Synopsis: the consumer protection rules will not guarantee better power supply quality without strong accountability provisions. 

Background 

  • Many states in India are not able to provide a quality supply of electricityspecifically to rural and small consumers. 
  • To resolve this issue, recently, the Union Ministry of Power has promulgated the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020. The rules provide the consumer with the rights of power. 
  • It is expected that the new Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 will protect and empower electricity consumers’ rights. 

Read more – Electricity Rules 2020 |ForumIAS Blog 

 What are the limitations of the Rules?  

The following issues highlight the need for implementation of existing provisions in letter and spirit along with strong accountability provisions. 

  • First, Discoms are unable to provide quality supply. Reason for this is not a lack of rules or regulations but the lack of accountability mechanism to enforce them. For instance,  
  • Many rights provided in rules 2020 already exists in Standards of Performance (SoP) of various State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs). 
  • Second, the past efforts such as the draft National Tariff Policy, the proposed Electricity Act amendments, or various committee processes did not address the accountability concerns. 
  • Third, it is also doubtful that how Discoms will automatically compensate its consumers in the event of failure of power supply. Because, till now the availability of power supply is not monitored properly. 
  • Fourth, compensating consumers in the event of failure of power supply has serious financial implications. For example, 
  • In August 2020 rural areas received only 20 hours of supply. If existing regulations are followed it would cost hundreds of crores to discoms. 
  • Fifth, the new rules dilute the progressive mechanisms that exist in a few States. For example, 
    • As per the new rules faulty meters should be tested within 30 days of receipt of a complaint. 
    • However, states such as Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh have rules that mandate that such testing needs to be conducted within 7 days. 
  • Sixth, the rules that the Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum should be headed by a senior officer of the DISCOMS company is a regressive provision.  
  • Because it will reduce the number of cases that are decided in favour of consumers.  
  • It also questions the credibility of the new Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020. 
  • Seventh, some provisions are confusing and requires clarity. For example,  
  • The rules guarantee net metering for a solar rooftop unit less than 10 kW. But it is not clear whether solar rooftop unit above 10 kW can also avail net metering.  
  • This confusion will lead to unnecessary litigation which will increase investments costs in rooftop solar units. 
  • It will discourage medium and large consumers from opting an environment-friendly, cost-effective option. 

What steps are required? 

To ensure accountability, we need to consider implementing the following solutions, 

  • SERCs needs to be tasked to assess the SoP reports of DISCOMs and revise their regulations more frequently. Also, SERCs should be assisted in setting up public grievance mechanisms, to help consumers raise their concerns. 
  • Further, DISCOMs should be directed to ensure automatic metering at least at the 11 kV feeder level. This information should be available online. 
  • Apart from this, The Central Electricity Authority of India can also be directed to collect supply quality data from DISCOMs, publish data in the public domain and prepare analysis reports. 
  • Finally, the Central agencies too can support in independent surveys and nudge State agencies to enforce existing SoP regulations. 

The enactment of the new Rules will not change the status quo. Governments, DISCOMs and regulators should demonstrate the commitment and the will power to implement existing regulations to make the new Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 successful.  

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, acts, bills and regulations, PUBLICTagged

Only discoms are allowed to install solar plants under Grid-connected Roof top Solar Scheme: Centre

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News: Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has cautioned consumers against rooftop solar companies that are claiming to be authorised vendors for the implementation of the Grid-connected Rooftop Solar Scheme. The scheme is being implemented only by power distribution companies(DISCOMS).

Facts:

    • Grid-connected Rooftop Solar Scheme(Phase-II): The scheme aims to generate solar power by installing solar panels on the roof of the houses.
    • Objective: To achieve the cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from Rooftop Solar(RTS) Projects by the year 2022.
    • Subsidy: Under this scheme, the Ministry is providing 40% subsidy for the first 3 kW and 20% subsidy beyond 3 kW and up to 10 kW.
    • Implementation: The scheme is being implemented in the state only by DISCOMs.The DISCOMs have empaneled vendors through the bidding process and have decided rates for setting up a rooftop solar plant.
    • Condition: Subsidy will be available for the residential sector only and for availing the benefit of subsidy, indigenously manufactured PV Modules and Cells are to be used.
    • Incentives to Discoms: Performance-based incentives are provided to DISCOMs based on Rooftop Solar capacity achieved in a financial year over and above the base capacity i.e. cumulative capacity achieved at the end of previous financial year.

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Posted in PUBLIC, SCHEMESTagged

Grid-connected Rooftop Solar Scheme

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News: Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has cautioned consumers against rooftop solar companies that are claiming to be authorised vendors for the implementation of the Grid-connected Rooftop Solar Scheme. The scheme is being implemented only by power distribution companies(DISCOMS).

Facts:

    • Grid-connected Rooftop Solar Scheme(Phase-II): The scheme aims to generate solar power by installing solar panels on the roof of the houses.
    • Objective: To achieve the cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from Rooftop Solar(RTS) Projects by the year 2022.
    • Subsidy: Under this scheme, the Ministry is providing 40% subsidy for the first 3 kW and 20% subsidy beyond 3 kW and up to 10 kW.
    • Implementation: The scheme is being implemented in the state only by DISCOMs.The DISCOMs have empaneled vendors through the bidding process and have decided rates for setting up a rooftop solar plant.
    • Condition: Subsidy will be available for the residential sector only and for availing the benefit of subsidy, indigenously manufactured PV Modules and Cells are to be used.
    • Incentives to Discoms: Performance-based incentives are provided to DISCOMs based on Rooftop Solar capacity achieved in a financial year over and above the base capacity i.e. cumulative capacity achieved at the end of previous financial year.

Article Source

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Factly: Schemes and Programs, SCHEMESTagged

BEE Launches SAATHEE Portal to Track State Energy Efficiency Targets

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News: Bureau of Energy Efficiency(BEE) has launched SATHEE Portal and Standards and Labelling Programme for Air Compressors and Ultra High Definition(UHD) TV during the 30th National Energy Conservation Awards(NECA).

Facts:

SATHEE Portal:

  • SAATHEE stands for State-wise Actions on Annual Targets and Headways on Energy Efficiency.
  • Purpose: It is a Management Information System (MIS) portal which will facilitate real-time monitoring of the progress of implementation of various Energy Conservation endeavours at State level.

Standards and Labelling Programme for Air Compressors and Ultra High Definition(UHD) TV

  • It has been launched on a voluntary basis and the energy consumption standards will be effective from 01st January 2021.
  • This initiative is expected to save around 8.41 Billion Units of electricity for Air Compressors and 9.75 Billion Units for UHD TV till 2030.

Additional Facts:

Read Also :upsc syllabus pdf

  • Standards and Labelling Programme: It was launched in 2006 by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency(BEE).
  • Objective: To provide the consumer an informed choice about the energy-saving and thereby the cost-saving potential of the relevant marketed product.
  • Targets: The scheme targets display of energy performance labels on high energy end-use equipment & appliances and lays down minimum energy performance standards.
  • Appliances covered: Presently, the programme covers around 27 equipment/appliances including 10 for which it is mandatory.

Article Source

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly - Indian Economy, Factly: Science and Technology, PUBLICTagged ,

National Energy Conservation awards 2020

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News:  Indian Railways has bagged 13 awards at the ‘National Energy Conservation awards 2020’.

Facts:

  • National Energy Conservation Awards: The awards are organised by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of Power.
  • Instituted in: The awards were given for the first time on 14th December, 1991 which is celebrated as National Energy Conservation Day throughout the country.
  • Objective: These Awards are given by eminent dignitaries of the Government of India to Industries, Buildings, Transport and Institutions sectors along with Energy Efficient Manufacturers to recognize innovation and achievements made by them in energy conservation.

Additional Facts:

  • Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE): It is a statutory body established in 2002 under the provisions of the Energy Conservation Act, 2001 under the Ministry of Power, Government of India.
  • Objective: To assist in developing policies and strategies with a thrust on self-regulation and market principles within the overall framework of the Energy Conservation Act,2001 with the primary objective of reducing energy intensity of the Indian economy.
  • Role of BEE: BEE coordinates with designated consumers, designated agencies and other organizations and recognizes, identifies and utilizes the existing resources and infrastructure, in performing the functions assigned to it under the Energy Conservation Act.

Article Source

Read Also :upsc current affairs

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly - Indian Economy, Index | Reports | Summits, PUBLICTagged

Government launches Single Window Clearance Portal of Ministry of Coal

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News: Union Home Minister has launched a Single Window Clearance Portal of the Ministry of Coal.

Facts:

  • Single Window Clearance Portal: The portal aims to allow successful bidders for coal blocks to be able to obtain all required clearances, including environmental and forest clearances, from a single portal with progress monitoring, instead of having to go to multiple authorities.
  • Significance: The portal is in the spirit of Minimum Government and Maximum Governance. It would be a milestone for Ease of Doing Business in the Indian Coal Sector.

Read Also :upsc current affairs

What was the need of the Portal?

  • Presently, about 19 major approval or clearances are required to be obtained before starting a coal mine in the country.
  • Some of them include approval of Mining Plan and Mine Closure Plan, Grant of Mining Lease, Environment and Forest Clearances among others. These approvals or clearances are granted either by central or state governments.
  • Hence, in the absence of a unified platform for grant of clearances/ approvals for starting of a coal mine, the project proponents are required to approach different administrative ministries and Government departments separately to apply for the requisite clearances leading to delay in operationalization of coal mines.

Article Source

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly - Indian Economy, PUBLICTagged , ,

Efforts to increase Electric mobility in India

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Synopsis: Significance of shifting towards electric vehicles for India and how the government has actively facilitated this process

What are the significances of shifting to electric vehicles for India? 

Transition to electric vehicles is important for India as not only it will save public money but also the environment. 

    • The progression to electric vehicles will make India sustainable as it has the potential to reduce carbon emissions and build self-reliant domestic energy sector. 
    • it can reduce dependence on crude oil and help to save government money especially the FOREX. For example, India is the third-largest oil importer in the world in terms of value. In 2018–19, India imported 228.6 MT of crude oil worth $120 billion. 
    • Besides being an economically and environmentally viable option, India’s transition to electric vehicles will also allow us to improve our infrastructure 
    • This will also have a significant impact on our foreign policy as our energy security dependence will shift from West Asia to Latin America. 

Sourcing Lithium  

In India, In the last two years, lithium imports have tripled from $384 mn to $1.2 bn and its demands are being fulfilled by imports from China, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. 

  • Latin America’s famous lithium triangle Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia, encompasses about 80% of the explored lithium of the world.  
  • Currently, India’s majority of trade from Latin America is concentrated on crude oil which includes 14%-20% of India’s total crude oil imports which is likely to change towards Lithium and cobalt. 
  • government is looking to buy overseas lithium reserves to develop domestic battery manufacturing capacity.  
      • In 2019, a joint venture agreement was signed between three Indian CPSE’s (National Aluminium Company (NALCO), Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (MECL)) to form Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL) that has the objective to explore strategic mineral assets like lithium and cobalt abroad for commercial use and to meet the domestic requirement for battery manufacturers. 

What were the steps taken by government to facilitate the shift towards electric vehicles? 

With the vision to have 30% electric vehicles plying the roads by 2030 the government of India has taken up the following initiatives.  

    • First, under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles and Fame 2.0, the government has allocated $1.3 billion in incentives for electric buses, three-wheelers and four-wheelers to be used for commercial purposes till 2022, and earmarked another $135 million for charging stations.  
    • Second, NITI Aayog has proposed for a $4.6 billion subsidy for battery makers to facilitate domestic manufacturing of Lithium batteries. 
    • Third, In September 2019, government gave its nod to set up a manufacturing unit in Gujarat by Japanese consortium (Suzuki Motor+ Denso+ Toshiba) to venture into the production of lithium-ion batteries and electrodes.  

The Indian government’s pre-emptive policy action will not only help the lithium and cobalt industry to grow domestically but also help India to chalk out a long-term solution to clean our cities, build new markets, and skill people for new jobs towards an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

Read Also : current affairs for upsc

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, PUBLIC, SCHEMESTagged

World’s largest floating solar energy project in Omkareshwar Dam

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News: The Government of India has announced the construction of the World’s largest floating solar energy project.

Facts:

  • Floating Solar Energy Project: The world’s largest floating 600 MW solar energy project is to be constructed at Omkareshwar dam on Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Funding: The International Finance Corporation, World Bank and Power Grid have granted in-principle consent for providing aid for the project development.
  • Completion of Project: The project is likely to begin power generation by year 2022-23.
  • Key Features of the Project:
      • The project is to have floating solar panels of 600 megawatts of power generation capacity.
      • The solar panels are to be installed over the backwaters of the Omkareshwar Dam.
      • Solar panels will float on the surface of the water in the reservoir. It will automatically adjust upward and downward based on the water level of the Dam. The floods and strong waves will not have any effect on the solar panels.

Additional Facts:

  • Floating solar: It refers to a solar power production installation mounted on a structure that floats on a body of water, typically an artificial basin or a lake.
  • Types: Two types of Floating Solar can be distinguished:
      • FPV or Floating photovoltaic, that uses photovoltaic panels mounted on the platform
      • Floating Concentrated solar power that uses mirrors that redirect the solar power to a tower.
  • Advantages: a) No land Occupancy b) Higher efficiency than ground mounted solar systems c) Helps in reducing water evaporation among others.

Article Source

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Factly: Science and Technology, PUBLICTagged ,

Prime Minister inaugurates Kochi-Mangalore natural gas pipeline

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News: Prime Minister of India has inaugurated the Kochi-Mangalore LNG (liquified natural gas) pipeline.

Facts:

energy boost

  • Kochi-Mangalore Gas Pipeline: It is a 450 km long pipeline being built by GAIL (India) Ltd.
  • Purpose: It will carry natural gas from the Liquefied Natural Gas(LNG) Regasification Terminal at Kochi (Kerala) to Mangalore (Dakshina Kannada district, Karnataka).
  • Pass through: The gas pipeline will pass through Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod districts.
  • Significance of Pipeline:
      • The pipeline marks an important milestone towards the creation of ‘One Nation One Gas Grid’.
      • The pipeline will supply environment-friendly and affordable fuel in the form of Piped Natural Gas (PNG) to households and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to the transportation sector.
      • It will also supply Natural Gas to commercial and industrial units across the districts along the pipeline.
      • Consumption of cleaner fuel will help in improving air quality by curbing air pollution.

Additional Facts:

  • Natural gas: It is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane. It is formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure under the surface of the Earth over millions of years.
  • Uses: Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel among the available fossil fuels. It is used as
      • Feedstock in the manufacture of fertilizers, plastics and other commercially important organic chemicals.
      • It is used as a fuel for electricity generation, heating purpose in industrial and commercial units.
      • Natural gas is also used for cooking in domestic households and a transportation fuel for vehicles.
  • Contribution: Natural gas currently constitutes 6.2% of all energy consumption in the country. The target is to double the share of natural gas in its energy base to 15% by 2030.

Article Source

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Factly - Indian Economy, PUBLICTagged

Increasing energy efficiency among consumers

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Synopsis: Recently released electricity rules should also focus on the problem faced by DIscoms that can be sorted out by increasing energy efficiency.

Introduction

Recently published Electricity Rules, 2020 lay down uniform performance standards for discoms and makes them liable to consumer compensation in case of violations of their rights.

Rules have been framed keeping in mind the decreasing payment rates for electricity bills due to rising consumption and limited finances.

Electricity Rules, 2020

Challenges faced by Discoms

  1. Firstly, by 2030, residential electricity consumption in India is expected to double. Moreover, the increase in electric appliances is creating doubts around the discom’s ability to provide reliable supply at affordable rates.
  2. Secondly, some of the daily use appliances are not Energy Efficient.
    • Out of the 90% households using fans, only 3% are using energy-efficient fans,
    • 60% of T.V.  are energy-guzzling CRT (cathode ray tube) models and
    • desert coolers are not even covered under the labelling programme.
  3. Third, Indian Discoms are facing difficulties in managing their finances that required govt. to sanction liquidity relief to help discoms. But it is only temporary relief.

How to increase energy efficiency?

As mentioned above, discoms might not be able to keep up with the demands of consumers in the long run. Thus, the following steps are required to reduce the energy demand;

  1. Firstly, the availability and affordability of energy-efficient appliances need to be improved.
    • Although BEE is planning to bring ceiling fans under mandatory labelling from 2022, it would double the costing, which would create a barrier.
    • Manufacturers should be provided with lucrative offers to produce efficient technology at scale and bring it within purchasing capacity.
  1. Secondly, the nationwide consumer awareness campaign should be launched for energy efficiency.
    • Awareness level among small towns and rural areas is very low compared to residents of metros and tier-1 cities.
    • Thus, a consumer-centric engagement strategy with the cooperation of State governments, discoms and retailers should be evolved to create mass awareness.
  1. Third, supply quality and changing consumption pattern should be monitored on real-time basis.
    • Smart metering should be used to monitor actual saving by the consumer due to energy-efficient appliances.
    • It would create confidence among people and would also be crucial for enforcing consumer rights rules.

India has many examples of success in creating awareness of energy-efficient appliances. UJALA scheme transformed the market for LED bulbs. Now, 90% of Indian homes use LED lamps or tubes resulting in the reduction of carbon emission equivalent to 82 million tonnes.

More such programs are required to be fast-tracked.

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, PUBLICTagged

Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020

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Indian Electricity Rules

Source: PIB

News: Union Government has for the first time laid down Rights to the Electricity Consumers through “Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020”.

Facts:

  • The Ministry of Power framed the proposed rules under Section 176 of the Electricity Act 2003.
  • Objective: To empower consumers with rights that would allow them to access continuous supply of quality, reliable electricity.
  • Note: Electricity is a concurrent subject and the Centre has the power to make rules to be implemented in each state.

Key Provisions of the Rules:

Key Provisions

Source: eqmagpro.com

  • Rights and Obligations:
    • Distributor: It is the duty of every distribution licensee to supply electricity on request made by an owner or occupier of any premises in line with the provisions of Act.
    • Consumer: Whereas, consumers have a right to have minimum standards of service for supply of electricity from the distribution licensee.
  • Release of new connection and modification in existing connection: Maximum time period of 7 days in metro cities and 15 days in other municipal areas and 30 days in rural areas, has been fixed to provide new connection and modify an existing connection.
  • Metering: No connection shall be given without a meter that shall be a smart prepayment meter or prepayment meter.
  • Billing and Payment: There should be transparency applicable consumer tariff and bills, with the option to pay advance bills.
  • Reliability of supply: The distribution licensee shall supply 24×7 power to all consumers. However, the Commission may specify lower hours of supply for some categories of consumers like agriculture.
  • Consumer as prosumer: While the prosumers will maintain consumer status and have the same rights as the general consumer, they will also have the right to set up Renewable Energy (RE) generation units including roof top solar photovoltaic (PV) systems – either by himself or through a service provider.
    • Prosumer: It means a person who consumes electricity from the grid and can also inject electricity into the grid for distribution licensees using the same point of supply.
  • Compensation mechanism: Automatic compensation shall be paid to consumers for which parameters on standards of performance can be monitored remotely.
  • Call Centre for Consumer Services: Distribution licensee shall establish a centralized 24×7 toll-free call center.
  • Grievance redressal mechanism: Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum (CGRF) to include consumer and prosumer representatives. Though Maximum timeline of 45 days has been specified for grievance redressal, licensee shall specify the time within which various types of grievances will be resolved.
Posted in PUBLICTagged

North Eastern Region Power System Improvement Project

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Source: PIB

News: Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the Revised Cost Estimate (RCE) for the North Eastern Region Power System Improvement Project (NERPSIP).

Facts:

  • NERPSIP Scheme: The Scheme was initially approved in 2014 as a Central Sector Plan Scheme of the Ministry of Power.
  • Funding: The scheme is being funded with the assistance of the World Bank fund and by the Government of India through the Budget support of the Ministry of Power on a 50:50 basis.
  • Objective: Government’s commitment for the total economic development of the North Eastern Region and to strengthen the Intra-State Transmission & Distribution Infrastructure in the North East Region.
  • Implementation: The scheme is being implemented through Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID).
  • Beneficiary States: Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura and is targeted to be commissioned by December 2021.
Posted in SCHEMESTagged

Transport Ministry invites comments for introducing adoption of E20 fuel

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Source: Click here

News: Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has published a notification seeking comments from the public for adoption of E20 fuel to promote green fuel like ethanol.

Facts:

  • E20 Fuel: It means blending 20% of ethanol with gasoline as an automotive fuel.
  • Significance: The blending will help in reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons and will also help in reducing the oil import bill, thereby saving foreign exchange and boosting energy security.

Additional Facts:

  • Ethanol: Ethanol having chemical formula of C2H5OH can be produced from crops like sugarcane, maize, wheat which have high starch content. In India, ethanol is mainly produced from sugarcane molasses by the fermentation process,Hence, since ethanol is produced from plants that harness the power of the sun, ethanol is also considered as green fuel.

 

Posted in PUBLICTagged ,

Coal sector reforms to reduce CO2 emissions

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News: Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has conducted a webinar titled “Reducing CO2 footprints of India’s coal-based power sector”.

Facts:

Coal Sector:

  • Coal Sector Emissions: India’s coal-based thermal power sector is one of the country’s biggest emitters of CO2.It emits 1.1 giga-tonne of CO2 every year; this is 2.5% of global GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emissions, one-third of India’s GHG emissions and around 50% of India’s fuel-related CO2 emissions.
  • Future of Coal Sector: Coal will continue to be the mainstay of India’s power generation till at least 2030.It will contribute around 50% of electricity generation mix even in 2030.

Measures to reduce emissions:

  • Improving fleet technology and efficiency, renovating and modernising: India has one of the youngest coal-based thermal plants in the world, with around 64% of the capacity (132 GW) less than a decade old.The government’s renovation and modernisation policies need to play a key role in maintaining the efficiency of this fleet.
  • Planning for the Old Capacity: In 2015, over 34 GW capacity in India was more than 25 years old, and 60% of it was highly inefficient. Increasing India’s renewable electricity generation can help further the cause to accelerate the retirement of old and inefficient plants.
  • Propagate biomass co-firing: It is a low-cost option for efficiently and cleanly converting biomass to electricity by adding biomass as a partial substitute fuel in high-efficiency coal boilers.
  • Invest in Carbon Capture and Storage(CCS): It is the process of capturing waste carbon dioxide, transporting it to a storage site, and depositing it where it will not enter the atmosphere.
  • Promote Coal beneficiation: It is a process by which the quality of raw coal is improved by either reducing the extraneous matter that gets extracted along with the mined coal or reducing the associated ash or both.
Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, PUBLICTagged , ,

USD 60 billion investment coming in gas infrastructure: Union Minister

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Source: Click here

News: The Union Minister has said that India is investing over USD 60 billion in developing a Natural gas supply and distribution infrastructure.

Facts:

Natural gas supply

  • Natural gas: It is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane.It is formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure under the surface of the Earth over millions of years.
  • Contribution: Natural gas currently constitutes 6.2% of all energy consumption in the country.The target is to double the share of natural gas in its energy base to 15% by 2030.
  • Key Challenges Confronting the energy sector:
    • Energy Trilemma: It is about providing — sustainably, securely, and affordably-sufficient energy to our growing population.
    • Uncertainty and Challenges in Global Energy Markets such as US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, attacks on Saudi oil processing units, volatile conditions in Strait of Hormuz, unrest in the Middle-East and US-China trade war.
Posted in PUBLICTagged

Qrious Project: Why petrol price is increasing in India? How and why should India achieve “End of oil-age”?

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Adding to the already high stress on the economy due to technical recession and inflation, OIL MARKETING companies have hiked the prices of petrol and diesel by over Rs. 2 and by nearly Rs. 3.50, respectively, since November 19, after a period of 59 days when prices were held static.  But why the petrol price is increasing in India all of a sudden?        

The present surge in oil prices is driven by the hope that COVID vaccines would lead to demand recovery and OPEC+ will delay a planned rise in oil output. 

Though this price rise may be a temporary phenomenon, but for India, the high oil price is a persistent problem. 

Why petrol price is increasing in India?

There are many reasons for the petrol price increase. The retail price of oil in India is made up of multiple components i.e., Global crude oil prices + Margin of transportation and refining + Central Excise Duty + Dealer’s Commission + State VAT (Value Added Tax). Fluctuation in the final price of oil in India can be caused by any of these components.  

However, India’s retail fuel price is one of the highest among its neighbouring countries. Following are some of the factors contributing to high prices in India: 

Firstly, India is heavily dependent upon imports for its oil requirements. India is the third-largest oil consumer in the entire world, with 84% of it being imported. Any major fluctuation in the international Crude prices due to events like Iran sanctions or the Syria war directly impacts oil prices in India. 

Secondly, high excise duty by center and VAT by states on petrol and diesel is the most important factor behind high oil prices in India. Taxes make up for nearly two-thirds of the retail selling price. During lockdown even though International crude oil prices crashed sharply but oil prices kept on increasing as the government imposed additional duties and cesses on oil to generate additional tax revenues. In Short, the tax rate on fuel in India is highest compared to any other country in the world.  

Thirdly, Under the present dynamic fuel pricing system fuel prices are getting revised on a daily basis. Thus, any hike in the international market is getting reflected immediately. 

Fourthly, As mentioned above too, India is import-dependent for its fuel requirements, thus the exchange rate also plays an important role in determining the fuel prices. Depreciation of the Rupee against the Dollar will increase the volume of Rupee required to make payment in terms of Dollars. 

How India can end the oil age? 

The oil age is over a hundred years now since 1911 when Winston Churchill as minister of the navy decided to convert the British naval fleet from coal to oil.  

End of Oil age is the theory first formulized in 2005 that said oil age will end due to the fall in production of oil and non-replacement of it along with skyrocketing prices. But the theory was reversed recently after the US Shale gas revolution and the emergence of Electric vehicles after Paris Climate Summit, and now advocates that all these developments will make oil obsolete(due to falling demand) within few decades of Peak Oil demand.  

There is no consensus on the timing of peak demand. For instance, While BP believes, it has already peaked; the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects it will peak by 2028. 

However, India needs to create its own strategy to bring an end to Oil age in the country. Following suggestions can be adopted for the same; 

  • India must develop its own world-scale, competitive, manufacturing systems for photovoltaics (PVs) and battery storage to provide affordable solar units and reduce dependence upon countries like China.  
  • India must prepare a clean energy technology strategy to identify relevant “breakthrough technologies”, establish the funding mechanisms and create the ecosystem for International and domestic partnerships.  
  • Speedy migration to electric mobility as the transport sector accounts for around 70% of the total diesel consumption. This would require effective incentives in the form of subsidies and infrastructure to promote electric buses. Dedicated electric corridors for trucks could be planned. 

Why India should end the oil age? 

Firstly, Vehicular pollution caused by Petrol and diesel-based vehicle account for 40-80% of total air pollution, it is also one of the reasons behind high NCR air pollution, for which initiatives like odd-even scheme and BS-VI were implemented. India has been at the forefront of environmental protection initiatives like the Paris Agreement to shift the global energy system away from fossil fuels. thus, phasing out fossil fuel is the need of the hour.  

Secondly, Oil is one of the heaviest burdens on India’s exchequer. India spent USD 111.9 billion on oil imports in 2018-19, up from USD 87.8 billion in the previous fiscal year. 

Third, over-dependence on imports for crude oil is also weakening Indian currency. Since oil is procured by making payment in US dollars, in case of price rise, India needs to ensure sufficient availability of Dollars in exchange of Rupees, which results in depreciation of Rupee. 1991 balance-of-payments crisis in India was caused by Oil prices increase and unavailability of Dollars in sufficient amount.  

Fourth, the depreciation of the rupee together with rising oil prices leads to high prices of commodities, which results in inflation.  

Fifth, over-dependence on imports also affects India’s foreign policies to maintain a sufficient supply of oil. India’s foreign policy towards Middle-East and West Asia is largely affected by oil requirements.  

For countries like India moving away from oil is not going to be easy like its developed counterpart. India needs some time and decreases in global fuel prices in the near future so that this transition becomes easier for India. 

Posted in 7 PM, QuriousTagged

A new roadmap for end of oil age

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Context: The latest book The New road Map: Energy, Climate and the Clash of Nations, provides some pointers on how should India navigate future energy transitions.

Explain the key pointers on navigating future energy transitions.
  • Future pathway: It pulls together the transformative occurrences and technologies that have shaped the energy world in recent years into a clear framework.
  • Six broad themes define The New road  Map:
    • The first is the US shale revolution, which transformed the US from a major importer of oil and gas to a significant exporter.
    • The second is the leveraging of gas exports by Russia to compel former members of the Soviet Union to stay within its sphere of influence and to embrace China into an energy partnership.
    • The third is China’s assertion of its rights over the South China Seas which is a critical maritime route for its energy imports and the Belt and Road initiative.
    • The fourth is sectarian strife (Sunni/Shia) in the Middle East which, compounded by volatile and falling oil prices, has brought the region to the edge.
    • The fifth is the Paris climate summit and its impact on public sentiment, investment decisions, corporate governance and regulatory norms.
    • The last is the consequential impact of the manifold and impressive advancement of clean energy technologies.
  • Energy transition: Energy transition will unfold in different ways in different countries and over different time periods. This is because they will be influenced not just by economics and technology, but also by politics and public activism.
  • Peak oil demand: They bring out one development that plays to India’s advantage i.e. the onset of “peak oil demand”. The earlier concern was “peak supply” (supplies are finite and the market will face a shortfall).
    • There is no consensus, however, on the timing of peak demand.
      • BP believes, for instance, it has already peaked;
      • the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects it will peak by 2028;
      • IHS Markit’s “rivalry” scenario puts the date around the mid-2030s.
What are the policy initiatives for future energy transitions?
  • A framework for considering policy options
    • On the fossil fuel axis: The book suggests the government leverage its buyer (“monopsonist”) strength to secure “most favoured” terms of trade for crude supplies.
    • Battery storage: One, India must develop its own world-scale, competitive, manufacturing systems for photovoltaics (PVs) and battery storage.
      • If not, it will not be able to provide affordable solar units unless it accepts the further deepening of dependence on Chinese imports.
      • Currently, China manufactures 75 per cent of the world’s lithium batteries; 70 per cent of solar cells; 95 per cent of solar wafers and it controls 60 per cent of the production of poly silica.
    • Strategy: India must prepare a clean energy technology strategy.
      • The India strategy should identify relevant “breakthrough technologies”, establish the funding mechanisms and create the ecosystem for partnerships (domestic and international).

Conclusion

  • No disagreement over the fact that the oil market does face a structural supply overhang. In regard with India, clean energy technology offers an early and mutually beneficial platform for charting out a new roadmap for the end of oil age.

WEF Releases “Energy Transition Index 2021”

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, daily news, Daily News UpdatesTagged ,

Energy Efficiency Report 2020

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Source: Click here

News: International Energy Agency(IEA) has released the annual Energy Efficiency Report 2020.

Facts:

Key Takeaways:

  • The slow pace of global progress on energy efficiency is set to slow further in 2020 as a result of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Global primary energy intensity – a key indicator of how efficiently the world’s economic activity uses energy – is expected to improve by less than 1% in 2020, the weakest rate since 2010
  • Investments in energy-efficient buildings, equipment and vehicles are also expected to decline by 9% in 2020.
  • Shifts in urban transport from public transport to cars were also witnessed due to pandemic as people remained fearful of infection risk.

Additional Facts:

  • International Energy Agency(IEA): It was established in 1974 as an autonomous intergovernmental organization under the OECD framework.
    • Headquarters: Paris, France.
    • Members: It has 30 member countries and eight association countries.India became an associate member in 2017.
Posted in Index | Reports | SummitsTagged

Draft Electricity Act (Amendment) Bill 2020

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Draft Electricity Act (Amendment) Bill 2020

  • Bill has been framed to ensure that renewable energy tariffs are not changed by the states after the execution of contracts, and electricity regulatory commissions have more teeth to enforce power purchase agreements between projects and distribution companies (discom).
  • It seeks privatisation of discoms (distribution companies) by way of sub-licensing & franchisees.
  • According to the draft, state commissions will determine tariff for retail sale of electricity without any subsidy under Section 65 of the Act and the tariff should reflect the cost of supply of electricity and cross-subsidies to be reduced.
  • It seeks to eliminate  the cross-subsidies in retail power tariff.
  • The State governments will directly subsidise whichever category they want to, through direct benefit transfers.
  • State regulators will henceforth be appointed by a central selection committee.
  • The establishment of a centralised Electricity Contract Enforcement Authority whose members and chairman will again be selected by the same selection committee referred to above.
  • It proposes that the ECEA would adjudicate on matters regarding performance of obligations under a contract related to sale, purchase or transmission of electricity.
  • It proposes to empower load dispatch centres to oversee the payment security mechanism before scheduling dispatch of electricity, and suggested a National Renewable Energy Policy for the promotion of generation of electricity from renewable sources.
  • It seeks to set up National Selection Committee instead of the separate Selection Committee (for appointment of Chairperson and members of State Electricity Regulatory Commissions-SERCs).
  • It is proposed to increase the strength of APTEL to at least seven to facilitate quick disposal of cases.
  • To improve quality of supply, an option is proposed to be provided to Discoms to authorise another person as a sub-license to supply electricity in any particular part of its area, with the permission of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission.
Posted in EconomyTagged

What is UDAY scheme?

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UDAY scheme

  • UDAY scheme was launched in November 2015, the Ujjwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) was designed to turn around the precarious financial position of state distribution companies (DISCOMS).
  • The state governments took over 75 % of the debt of their DISCOMS, issuing lower-interest bonds to service the rest of the debt.
  • In return, DISCOMS were given target dates (2017-19) to meet efficiency parameters like reduction in power lost through transmission, theft and faulty metering.
  • It empowers DISCOMs with the opportunity to break even in the next 2-3 years. This is through four initiatives.
    • Improving operational efficiencies of DISCOMs;
    • Reduction of cost of power;
    • Reduction in interest cost of DISCOMs;
    • Enforcing financial discipline on DISCOMs through alignment with State finances
  • Successes of the scheme:
    • Of the 28 states that implemented it, 10 have shown either reduced losses or profits in FY ’19.
    • Most of the states registered an improvement in reducing the ACS-ARR gap and in bringing down AT&C losses.
Posted in PUBLICTagged

Commercialization of coal mining

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Source- Live Mint

Syllabus- GS 3- Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

Context– Centre was all set to allow commercial and even foreign players to mine coal from 19th October, with the aim of making India among the biggest exporters of the dry fuel, but announced yet another delay in the process.

Government in March allowed commercial mining operations i.e. mined coal can be sold anywhere and to anyone in the world. It also allowed 100% FDI. But still, the process of bidding has not completed yet.

What provisions does coal Ordinance contain?

  1. It allows Coal mining by any Company.
  • Earlier: Only those in Power, Iron & Steel and Coal washery Business could bid for Mines.
  1. It also does away with captive end-use criteria i.e. Coal can be commercially mined and sold to any buyer in an open market.
  • Earlier: The Coal mined by a licensee could be used for only specified purpose like for its own Thermal power plant i.e. they could not be sold in Open market like that of Coal India Ltd (Public Sector Enterprise).

What are the advantages accruing from this changed regulatory regime?

  1. Expands the pool of Potential bidders-This will lead to better competition during auctions thus fetching better revenues for the government.
  • Foreign Direct Investment– The move will promote FDI in the sector.
  1. Fixed royalty- Previously, the floor price was a fixed royalty of ₹150 per tonne, and bidders contested by bidding upwards of this. This time around, the floor price is fixed at 4% of the annual revenue realized from the coal mine.
  • This change from fixed royalty to variable royalty gives miners protection from fluctuations in prices.
  1. Import Substitution– The move will boost both production and mining efficiency besides substituting import of coal worth Rs 30,000 crore.

What are the challenges?

  1. Underwhelming response– No bids have been received for 15 of the 38 coal blocks that are up for auction, continuing the trend of tepid participation.
  • None of the big foreign miners like BHP, Glencore and Peabody are participating, and domestic companies dominate the list of bidders.
  1. Lower royalty revenue– Muted demand for coal due to an economic slump means that auction prices may be depressed. States are already complaining about a possible drop in royalty revenue.
  2. Federal Challenges– In a writ petition to the SC, Jharkhand has said the Centre’s decision to commence commercial mining process flouts Schedule-V of the Indian Constitution, which refers to the ‘scheduled areas’ falling under the state government.
  • The suit argued that depressed demand for coal due to the ongoing economic slowdown would lead to lower prices accruing to the state.
  1. Monopoly- The Adani Group, which includes its four subsidiaries, accounts for nearly one-sixth of all bids submitted and has bid for 11 of the 23 mines up for auction, if all Adani Group companies secure their respective blocks, a significant number of new mines will be under the ambit of one conglomerate.
  2. Climatic Concerns– When countries across the world are moving away from fossil fuel resources this step to enhance Coal production is criticized by environmentalists.
  3. Health Concerns– Coal burning releases Carbon dioxide, particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury- thus damaging the health of many people around the region.
  4. Environmental Challenges– One of the proposed auctions of a mine site is near Maharashtra’s Tadoba- Andhari Tiger Reserve. The State government has raised concerns that mining at the site can lead to destruction of wildlife corridors.

Way forward-

  • Government needs to balance its commitments towards Climate Change and its imperative to push the developmental agenda. Promotion of Clean Coal Technology which is at present Cost prohibitive is the way to move ahead.
  • As the new auctions usher in a new regime in India’s complex history of coal mining, the full implications on both production and revenues realized will be keenly watched.
Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, EconomyTagged , ,

Power sector in India

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Source- The Indian Express

Syllabus- GS 3- Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Context– The financial hole into which the DISCOMS have fallen will deepen in light of COVID.

What is UDAY scheme?

  • Launched in November 2015, the Ujjwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) was designed to turn around the precarious financial position of state distribution companies (DISCOMS).
  • The state governments took over 75 % of the debt of their DISCOMS, issuing lower-interest bonds to service the rest of the debt.
  • In return, DISCOMS were given target dates (2017-19) to meet efficiency parameters like reduction in power lost through transmission, theft and faulty metering.

What is the current situation of State Electricity Distribution Companies DISCOMS in India?

DISCOMS today are facing unprecedented cash flow problems-

  1. Loss
  • The losses of DISCOMS, which had reduced in 2016-18, have nearly doubled in 2019 to INR 28,036 crore.
  • DISCOMS have also missed the FY 2019 UDAY target to bring down their aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses to 15 %.
  1. The finance minister allocated Rs 1.25 lakh crore to DISCOMS in her Rs 20-lakh crore stimulus package. This is roughly the amount the government portal, PRAAPTI, indicates are the dues owed by DISCOMS to the power generators.

What were the reasons for failure of UDAY scheme?

  1. While the ACS-ARR gap was supposed to be eliminated by FY19, it remains as high as Rs 0.25 per unit.
    1. Part of the problem can be traced to inadequate tariff hikes. Currently, only four states — Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka — had recorded an ACS-ARR below 0.
  1. The issue of whether the power subsidy released by state governments is adequate.
  2. Dues by state DISCOMS to power generators have risen.

What are the fundamental problems in DISCOM sector in India and it’s possible Solutions?

  1. Cross- subsidy– Electricity price for certain segments such as agriculture and the domestic category is cross-subsidized by the industries and the commercial sector. This affects the competiveness of industry.
  2. Led behind in eliminating the electricity cost gap– There is the problem of AT&C, which is a technical term that stands for the gap between the cost of the electricity that DISCOMS gets from the generating company, the bills that it raises and the final realization from the collection process from end-consumers.

Solution-

  1. Clearing dues– The stakeholders involved in the electricity value chain (generators, transmission companies, DISCOMS, consumers, regulators and state governments) to clear their dues to each other, the DISCOMS would look much stronger.
  2. Efficiency– The AT&C (aggregate transmission and distribution losses) losses need to go down, and billing and collection efficiencies should go up.

Way forward

Need of an hour is a multi-pronged and networked overhaul of the DISCOM sector and, in particular, the regulatory structure and deliverables. All stakeholders will have to take a haircut. COVID will introduce a new pressure point (i.e. Generation Z and the millennial) on governments that would compel them to look at the inherited structural problems through a different angle.

Posted in 9 PM Daily ArticlesTagged