Low Carbon News in India in March 2016
Electric Autorickshaws launched in Bengaluru
RJMS-EV, a private company that is into manufacturing of electric vehicle and components in Bengaluru has a patent in their name for their innovation in switching a typical auto that runs on gas to a solar-run auto rickshaw. The rickshaw was launched officially in Bengaluru on Saturday. Umesh Chandra, one of the directors of the company says, “This is a pilot project that we have to spend money for Rs 4 crores. The government is giving the opportunities for entrepreneurs, solar power sector and mobility providers. Two stroke auto owners should be enabled to accommodate the technology in their autos to make the transition happen.”
ElecRic can go 110 km with five hours of charge if batteries are charged fully one time. Umesh suggested that if the government can create charging points underneath each metro stations or at government offices and banks, there will be two benefits—accessibility to charging points will be easier for all types of electric vehicles and secondly metro commuters can hop off the stations and find an EV to get home (serves last mile commute).
For details: Times of India
Science Express Train for Climate Change Awareness
An innovative mobile science exhibition ‘Science Express’, mounted on a 16-coach air-conditioned train custom-built for the Department of Science & Technology (DST) by Indian Railways, will be stationed at Ashokapuram railway station from March 30 to April 2. After seven tours across India, the Science Express has been redesigned on the theme ‘Climate change’ with collaboration from the department of science & technology, ministry of environment, forest & climate change, department of biotechnology and ministry of railways.
The Science Express Climate Action Special in its current phase covers a total of 19,800km halting at 64 locations in 20 states. The exhibition will convey message on climate change and will also allow for dialogue and discussion.
The state-of-the-art exhibition aims to create awareness among various sections of society, especially students on climate change.
The theme covered in each of the 16 coaches include an understanding on climate change and its impact, concepts of adaptation and mitigation, international negotiations on climate change, India’s research and development initiatives in the field of biotechnology, innovations in signal and telecommunication, science education, a kids zone and a hands-on Lab.
Details: Times of India
Climate change brings more rain
Blame the change in weather from bright and sunny to dark and windy through the course of a single day to climate change – the reason behind the increased intensity of rainfall. Experts feel urban flooding would become a norm rather than an exception unless measures are taken immediately. But Pune city remains unprepared to tackle the inundation caused by flooding. Dwelling on the issue of climate change, the reason for increased intensity of rainfall, the deputy director general of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) Chandra Bhushan explained that four major issues are perceptible: bad urban planning, encroachment of water bodies, increase in extreme weather events and lack of preparedness. Bhushan stated that the increased intensity of rainfall and urban flooding would become a common scenario and cities need to be prepared to tackle the problem. Susmita Sengupta, CSE’s expert on water, elaborated that since groundwater was not considered to be critical for water supply, recharge was neglected by urban planners as they valued land, not water. “There is no legal protection for city lakes, catchment, and drainage systems. Waterbodies and their catchment have been encroached upon or taken away for housing and other purposes,” said Sengupta. After the 2005 Mumbai floods, urban floods were recognized as a disaster for which separate guidelines have been laid out by the National Disaster Management Authority. Several studies have shown that devastating floods, waterlogging, caving of hillocks, depleting water-table and vanishing green cover have become common traits of cities that are increasingly facing the challenge of massive stress on urban ecology. Details: Times of India
With 3% emissions, India ready for climate change
Although India is responsible for only three per cent of the global carbon emissions, it is ready to combat climate change and the government’s commitment to sustainable development is full and final, said union environment minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday. Stating that climate change was “a reality”, he noted that the global temperature has risen by one degree owing to 150 years of uncontrolled carbon emission by the developed world without bothering about environmental impact. “While the cumulative contribution of the US, Europe, Canada is 30 per cent, other developed world accounted for 50 per cent, China 10 per cent where India is responsible for only three percent of carbon emissions. “Though India is not part of the problem, it wants to be part of the solution as it well aware of its responsibilities, committed to United Nations Goals on sustainable development,” said Javadekar, addressing the 11th National Convention on Sustainable Development Goals, organized by UN Global Compact Network here. Elaborating on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision on climate change, he said the government’s commitment is reflected in every programme being pursued by the country in this regard. Javadekar listed out the ambitious 175 GW renewable energy programme covering solar, wind, hydro-power and nuclear energy and other proactive measures to discourage use of fossil fuels to reduce carbon footprint, as a major step in promoting environment-friendly development. For details: Times of India
India Aims to Become 100 Percent Electric Vehicle Nation by 2030: Power Minister
The government is working on a scheme to provide electric cars on zero down payment for which people can pay out of their savings on expensive fossil fuels, with the aim of becoming 100 percent electric vehicle nation by 2030.
“India can become the first country of its size which will run 100 per cent of electric vehicles. We are trying to make this programme self financing. We don’t need one rupee support from the government. We don’t need one rupee investment from the people of India,” Power Minister Piyush Goyal said at an event organised by CII Young India.
For details: NDTV
Government to Get Rs 40,000 Cr by 2018 From Coal Cess
Proceeds from higher coal cess will be to the tune of Rs. 40,000 crore by 2018 which will be used for cleaning up the environment as well as research programmes. “We want to develop new technologies for Underground Coal Gasification… Coupled with ‘Namami Gange’ programme and clean river programme various initiatives of environment will be supported with this Rs. 400 cess which to my mind will give the government nearly Rs. 40,000 crore by next year or latest by a year after next,” Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters here. “All coal that is used in this country whether it is domestic or imported will have a levy of environment cess of Rs. 400 a tonne which will help us support clean environment… help us to support research and development for clean coal technologies,” Mr Goyal said. The government, he said, is very keen on enhancing the country’s renewable energy five-fold to 175 GW and cleaning the rivers of this country. For details: NDTV
India Could Be A Global Change Agent For Renewable Energy: US
India which has set an ambitious target of generating 175 gigawatts of clean energy, can be an agent of change for the world in the renewable sector, US has said. “India could really be a change agent for the rest of the world in the renewable energy sector if they get it right. So we have a vested interest in helping them get that right,” said Melanie Nakagawa, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Transformation in US. And as India embarks on the project which is likely to cost USD 1 trillion to build its infrastructure from road to ports, she said it is a great opportunity for the world, “to showcase” India as a country that gets the sustainability future right.
Noting that Indian government needs USD 100 billion in investment including USD 70 billion of debt financing to meet their 175 gigawatt target by 2022, the US official said those numbers can’t be met with public finance alone. And necessary reforms are needed to attract private investment. India and the US are working closely together in this field. The US-India Clean Energy Finance Task Force which was established in September 2015 has had three meetings so far. For details: NDTV
Gujarat state announces new policy for power generation from solid waste
To solve the issue of large amount of solid waste generated in cities, the Gujarat government on Wednesday announced a new policy to encourage business entities to utilise it for generating electricity by setting up power plants.
State Energy Minister announced the ‘Gujarat Waste to Energy Policy-2016’ during the Budget session of the Assembly.
The policy is also aimed at reducing pollution caused by untreated solid waste. Under the policy, urban local bodies (ULBs), such as municipal corporations, will provide land on lease at a token rate of Rs 1 to business entities who wish to set up their solid waste-based power generations units, the minister said.
Further, civic bodies will bear the stamp duty on the leased land given to the plant. The policy also barred ULBs from imposing any tax/cess/royalty on the power plants.
Such power plants are eligible to get these benefits from government for a period of 25 years. ULBs will provide it’s solid waste to the power plants for free. Further, it will be the responsibility of the civic bodies to deliver the waste to the power plants in their area. The Gujarat Energy Regulatory Commission (GERC) will take into account the benefits extended to these plants while fixing the tariff rates at which the electricity will be purchased by the government from them.
For details: India Today