News & Updates


July 02, 2020
Israel Startup Keeps Building Air Clean Using AI

A startup in Israel has found a new solution to the problem of indoor air pollution. According to a report published by Israel21c, Urecsys employs big data analytics and machine learning to monitor air pollution levels inside a building and immediately outside it. Only when the pollution levels are favourable does the system allow outdoor air to seep inside, hence keeping the air inside the building as clean as possible. The report added that about 40% of air pollution can hence be reduced inside buildings this way.



July 02, 2020
SECI Sees Lowest Ever Solar Tariff Bid in 2 GW Auction

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has received a tariff bid of INR 2.36/kWh, the lowest ever according to reports. The bid was made for a 2 GW ISTS solar project, which received several winning bids from first-time entrants in the India market. According to a report published by ET Energyworld, zero safeguard duty for developers was among the factors that may have led to such low tariff bids. Three winning bidders emerged from an oversubscription of 2.35 GW, beating major Indian developers such as Tata Power and NTPC.



July 02, 2020
Solar REC Trading Surges in June

Trading of solar Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) saw a spike in June, defying the gravity of the COVID-19 lockdown and related economic slump, Mercom India reported. On the other hand, trading of non-solar RECs fared slightly poorer than it did in May. The report noted that a total of 89,498 solar RECs were traded on the two exchanges, which marks a substantial 116% increase as compared to May figures. Last week, the CERC implemented revised ceiling and floor prices for both solar and non-solar RECs.



June 30, 2020
New SE Asia Climate Fund Aims for $2.5 B Investments

A new climate fund from an investment firm based in Singapore aims to raise about $2.5 billion in clean energy investments. According to Reuters, clean energy projects that are already ongoing in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam will stand to benefit first. The new fund is being called the South East Asia Clean Energy Facility, and is pitched as a first of its kind philanthropic enterprise that aims to boost climate action, prioritizing high-risk funding to get new projects off the ground.



June 30, 2020
New Report Throws Light on India’s Low Carbon Recovery

A report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance brings to light the post-COVID low-carbon recovery path that India has taken for its economic revival. According to PV Magazine, the report calls India’s new clean energy auction market the largest and most competitive in the world. The report also underlines India’s target of 450 GW RE by 2030, and how it is being enabled by the policies here. Michael Bloomberg was quoted by the report naming India as the top emerging market for clean energy investments. The sharp fall in tariffs for solar power as compared to previous years was highlighted by the report, which was launched in the presence of Power Minister RK Singh.



June 30, 2020
Clean Energy Major Driver for Post-COVID Growth: NITI Aayog

Clean energy will be a major driver of economic recovery in India, a report published by NITI Aayog and Rocky Mountain Institute said. NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant was quoted in a PTI press release saying that specific actions were recommended to the government for supporting the clean energy industry in India, with priority to be given to least cost energy solutions and environmental equity, among other factors. The report underlines that India’s transport and power sectors can emerge stronger while also stimulating the growth of the clean energy sector.



June 29, 2020
CERC Finalizes New Tariff Regulations for RE

The tariff regulations to be applicable to renewable energy projects in India from July 01, 2020, have now been finalized and announced by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), which had in May published the draft regulations. These new regulations will be in effect till March 31, 2023. Useful life period for wind energy, biomass, hybrid RE and MSW projects will be 25 years, while small hydro projects will have a useful life period of 40 years. The final notification of the CERC Regulations 2020 can be downloaded from the commission’s website.



June 29, 2020
US RE on Track for 50% Share by 2030: Report

The progress being made in renewable energy generation and the simultaneous decline in coal consumption is well on track in the US, according to a report published by Renew Economy. The report quotes latest data released in early June by American RE storage associations, which predict the milestone of 50% share of renewable energy to be accomplished by 2030, with wind and solar being the major sources of energy. The report added that coal consumption has been declining in the US for six years straight now, including 2019, when it fell about 15% as compared to 2018.



June 29, 2020
Haryana Govt Opens Bid for Solar Pumping Systems

The government of Haryana has invited applications for installation of solar water pumping systems, according to news agency UNI. The report said that Haryana’s Department of New and Renewable Energy will accept applications under the PM-KUSUM scheme, and only through the government portal called SARAL. The report also quotes officials warning against fake registration websites that have come up to dupe bidders. It is clarified that applications should be made only through www.saralharyana.gov.in.



June 25, 2020
Govt Mulls Import Duty on Solar Equipment

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has asked for imposition of customs duty on solar power equipment, according to reports quoting PIB. If the Centre accepts MNRE’s proposal, solar power cells, inverters and modules will be taxed on import from August. The development comes after the industry batted for it with Power Minister Raj Kumar Singh. The present safeguard duty on solar equipment imports from China is set to expire by August. The final decision on the proposed duty and its details will come in soon, the PIB statement said.



June 25, 2020
NTPC Bags 500 MW Solar Project in Mali

NTPC Limited has bagged a 500 MW solar power project in the Republic of Mali, ET Energyworld reported, quoting MNRE. The Indian PSU will be the project management consultancy for the 500 MW solar park proposed by the International Solar Alliance (ISA) for Mali. Power Minister Raj Kumar Singh chaired an event held by ISA in New Delhi and made the announcement in the presence of Mali Ambassador Sekou Kasse. NTPC was endorsed by ISA in 2019 as a project management consultant for member countries.



June 25, 2020
Nanoplastics Can Accumulate in Plants: Study

A new research report published by Phys.org shows that nanoplastics can accumulate in plants and affect agricultural sustainability as well as food safety. According to News18, scientists from the US and China have been studying the behavior of nanoplastics in agricultural soils, and were able to find evidence of accumulation of nanoplastics in plants, phenomenon they say can have direct and indirect ecological consequences. Accumulation of nanoplastics was found in their study all the way from ‘root to shoot’, the report added, quoting one of the researchers.



June 19, 2020
Govt of Canada Invests $41.8 Mn in Cleantech Startups

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) is investing about $41.8 million in cleantech startups, Canada NewsWire reported. SDTC is the Government of Canada’s foundation for promoting clean technology, and the investments were announced by Canada’s Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry. The investment will fund 10 startups, which will create high quality jobs and help the country and the world fight climate change with innovative and disruptive technologies, the report added.



June 19, 2020
New Project Development Cell by MNRE to Attract Investments

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has announced a new Project Development Cell to attract investments in clean energy projects. The new cell will create projects, identify issues, finalize investments, allocate land, and provide detailed project reports for investors. Final approvals will be made by an Empowered Group, ET Energyworld reported. The Empowered Group will be led by Secretaries of different Ministries and Departments so that coordination between Centre and States is smooth and efficient. The Project Development Cell will be headed by MNRE Jt Secretary Amitesh Kumar Sinha.



June 19, 2020
IEA Draws Up $3 Trillion Green Recovery Roadmap

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has drawn up a global economy recovery roadmap that it called ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity for governments to go green. The $3 trillion economic recovery plan laid out in the IEA’s Sustainable Recovery report for post-COVID investments and policy measures could be implemented from 2021 to 2023, CNBC reported. Implementation of this plan could help reduce GHG emissions of the Energy sector by 4.5 billion tons, and save or create 9 million jobs annually in those three years, the report added.



June 18, 2020
UP Govt Gives Green Signal for 2 GW RE Park

The Government of Uttar Pradesh has given the go-ahead for a renewable energy park being called ‘ultra-mega’ for its sheer scale. The 2 GW RE park will be established by a joint venture of the State government’s New and Renewable Energy Development Agency and Tehri Hydro Development Corporation, with the latter holding a larger share. In the first phase, a 600 MW solar power park will come up at a cost of INR 2,400 crore, PV Magazine reported. It added that this solar park will create 7,200 jobs.



June 18, 2020
Goldman Sachs Finds $16 T Investment Opportunity in Clean Energy

Analysts from Goldman Sachs have made a note to investors intimating them about a spike in clean energy spending in the near future. Clean Technica, quoting a report by Bloomberg, wrote that the analysts foresee investment opportunities to the tune of $16 trillion from the present up to 2030. In 2021 itself, spending on renewables, including biofuels, will make up a quarter (25%) of all spending on energy, the research shows. The analysts added that until 2030, the clean energy infrastructure could see annual investments ranging from $1 trillion to $2 trillion, creating up to 20 million jobs.



June 18, 2020
Global EV Outlook Study Sees Healthy Post-COVID Recovery

The Global Electric Vehicle Market Outlook 2020 report by the consulting and research firm Frost & Sullivan has a buoyant forecast for the sector in the second half of the year. The study acknowledged that the electric vehicle market suffered a severe loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also noted that from June onwards, sales could recover fast and even register a healthy 8.6% growth. The analysts expect new sales in 2020 to hit the 2.5 million mark, although that includes plug-in hybrid vehicles as well. While the global outlook is positive and China would remain at the top of the market, the European Union is likely to register a 10% year-on-year growth in sales, the report added.



June 16, 2020
Think Tank REN21 Bats for Immediate Switch to RE

A new report titled ‘Renewables 2020 Global Status Report’ released by Paris-based think tank REN21 bats for an immediate switch to renewable energy. The report places emphasis on heating, cooling, and transport and underlines that not much has been done over the last 10 years to mitigate climate change in these sectors of the ‘fossil economy’. Governments around the world need to show as much responsibility as they did for the COVID-19 crisis, the report notes, adding that all support to the fossil economy from governments should cease henceforth.



June 16, 2020
IIT-M Researchers Turn Biomass, Plastic Waste into Biofuel

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) have found a way to turn biomass and plastic waste into useful biofuel oils with high energy values. A simple microwave process was used for producing biofuel from plastic waste, sugarcane bagasse, wood chips and rice straw, a report published by News18 said. Using a microwave for quick and uniform heating, IIT-M researchers co-pyrolysed biomass and synthetic plastics, and succeeded in producing biofuel oils comparable to fossil fuels in chemical properties and calorific value, the report adds.



June 16, 2020
IEA All Praise for Kolkata e-Bus Program

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has recognized Kolkata’s efforts in e-mobility as commendable in its flagship report called ‘Global Electric Vehicle Outlook 2020’. The report features a case study about Kolkata’s e-buses and the energy efficiency and electric mobility vision that the government has, with 5,000 e-buses planned to ply on Kolkata roads by 2030. This would result in a cut of about 200,000 TCO2 annually, Business World reported. The report features case studies from cities in other countries, but Kolkata is the only Indian city featured.



June 15, 2020
DU to Start School of Climate Change & Sustainability

A School of Climate Change and Sustainability will be established by University of Delhi (DU) under the Institute of Eminence program of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), the university has said. The primary objective of the new institute is to train human resources in management of sustainable development technologies in order to aid sustainable development. Research and training will be carried out in coordination with departments of DU as well as other institutes from India and abroad. Prof CR Babu will be Honorary Director, DU said.



June 15, 2020
Kerala Govt & MNRE to Test Wave Energy Potential

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and Government of Kerala are working with a US-based firm to test the waters, in this case literally so, for wave energy potential off Vizinjham coast. ET Energyworld reported that the project is in its nascent stage and will see a 150 KW floating plant to harness power from waves in the sea, with a similar project having been started and shut in the early 1990s by the then Union Government at the same location. This time, if the project works out as per the plan, the Government of Kerala intends to set up a 1 MW wave energy plant near the Vizhinjam Seaport, the report quoted officials as saying.



June 15, 2020
Used Coffee Grounds Turn into Biofuel in UK

About 7,000 tons of used coffee grounds are being turned into biofuel annually by a start-up in the UK. News18 quoted a 2011 study that found GHG emissions from decomposing coffee grounds, and added that the start-up ‘Bio-bean’ initially wanted its technology to help supply biofuel for buses in London. According to the start-up, a successful use of used coffee grounds to supply biofuel for household and industry use can reduce GHG emissions coming from the used coffee grounds by up to 80%. Beginning in 2013, the start-up has already recycled 20,000 tons of used coffee grounds, its chief commercial officer said.



June 12, 2020
10,000 MW Solar Power Project Gets AP Nod

A massive renewable energy project got through with government nod in Andhra Pradesh, ET Energyworld reported. According to AP I&PR Minister, the projects will generate 10,000 MW of solar power, 1,200 MW of hydro power, and 550 MW of wind energy. The projects will provide nine hours of uninterrupted power for farmers in AP during the daytime. The projects will also add INR 32 crore to the State’s revenues, the report added.



June 12, 2020
Experts Push for Accelerated Govt Investment in RE Sector

The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), and the National Institute of Public Policy and Finance (NIPFP) are lobbying for accelerated investments in the renewable energy sector among others for a post-COVID economic recovery, Hindustan Times reported. Further, a report submitted to the Centre by these institutes underlines that economic recovery investments from the government henceforth need to take into account ways of reducing India’s coal imports, which in turn will help create millions of jobs here. If India achieves solar and wind power capacity of 160 GW by 2022, more than 1.3 million people can find full-time employment, the report noted.



June 12, 2020
Researchers Find 1,000 Metric Tons of Microplastics in US Study

Researchers studying the presence of microplastic particles in the atmosphere found more than 1,000 metric tons of microplastics in remote locations in the US, in what is being called ‘plastic spiraling’. That’s enough microplastic particles to make up 300 million plastic water bottles, The Guardian reported. The microplastics could have travelled any numbers of times over any distance, ascertaining which is difficult or impossible, the researchers were quoted as saying. The study adds to recent research that has found plastic materials do not decompose or degrade properly.



June 11, 2020
Crisil Sees 15,000 MW of Solar-Wind Capacity in 5 Years

Ratings agency Crisil has said that it expects solar-wind hybrid capacity to cross the 15,000 MW mark within the next five years in India. This positive development can be attributed to the government’s consistent focus on increasing the share of renewables, according to Crisil. In a PTI press release published by Outlook, Crisil director is quoted as saying that the support for renewable energy projects in the country has been strong from both the Centre’s SECI and State governments. Crisil also noted that hybrid energy tariffs could become more competitive if the co-locations mandate for these projects is done away with.



June 11, 2020
COVID-19 Impact Can Aid Clean Energy Growth: UNEP

The impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns around the world, driving down costs of renewable energy installations drastically, can help catalyze the renewable energy movement and benefit nations in meeting their Paris Agreement targets, a research report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) noted. According to a press release published by UNEP, the report ‘Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2020’ found that global investments in terms of US Dollars are still not enough to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement goals, but that renewable energy has become highly cost-effective by now and should be integrated deeply into post-COVID economic recovery packages.



June 11, 2020
Investors Hold Companies Accountable for Environment

Investors are asking more than 1,000 companies from around the world to disclose data that would indicate their impact on the environment, a new report published by Forbes says. The non-profit CDP has asked for data from major brands too, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Imperial Oil, Berkshire Hathaway, Twitter & Facebook. According to Forbes, the CDP campaign is backed by more than 100 global investors, including noted names such as Trillium Asset Management and Legal & General. With growing evidence of climate change affecting business returns, the importance of this disclosure drive cannot be overstated, Forbes quoted a director at CDP as saying.



June 10, 2020
Rajasthan Nod for 10,000 MW Solar Power Parks

The government of Rajasthan has given its nod for what would be the largest solar power project ever in the State – solar power parks spanning 10,000 MW of capacity. A private Indian renewable energy firm has bagged the project and will be investing about INR 50,000 crore in the State, Hindustan Times reported. The mammoth investment will go towards establishing a ‘mega-scale’ solar panel manufacturing unit, and five solar power parks, creating employment for 7,500 people. According to Rajasthan’s Principal Secretary (Energy), the projects will be developed in a phased manner over the next 5-6 years. Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Jalore, Barmer, and Bikaner have been finalized as the locations for the five solar power parks, he added.



June 10, 2020
BHEL Opens Bid for 1.2 Crore Multi-Crystalline Solar Cells

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has issued a tender for 1.2 crore multi-crystalline solar cells. According to Saur Energy, the State-owned electricals major is seeking sealed quotations, and the last date for bid submissions is June 12, with techno-commercial bids opening on the same date. Manufacturers who meet the technical and commercial criteria will be intimated about the date and time for price bids later. Eligible bidders must have earlier supplied a minimum of 1 crore multi-crystalline solar cells of 156-157 mm.



June 10, 2020
Lockdown Catalyzes Britain’s RE Journey; Nation Coal-free for 2 Months

Britain has now gone a whole two months without burning coal for its electricity needs, BBC reported. The island nation, excluding Norther Ireland, has shut down all its coal-fired power plants thanks to an unprecedented plunge in power demand as a fallout of the coronavirus lockdown. The subdued power demand for Britain was met since April 9 by a mix of energy sources excluding coal. This is the longest that the country has met its power needs without coal-fired power plants. According to BBC, renewable energy accounted for 37% of power supplied to the grid so far in 2020, making renewable energy generation higher than fossil-fuel based power generation (35%), another first for the country.



April 07, 2020
Govt Loans for DISCOMs in the Pipeline

After directing DISCOMs to pay their dues to power plants and declaring force majeure invocations null and void, the Central government is reportedly in the process of working out loans for DISCOMs to make things easier for them, at least in the short term. ET Energyworld published a report quoting an unnamed but senior official from the Ministry of Power, with the official clarifying that the plan is only under proposal stage for now, and that it should not be construed as a bail-out package. The government instead intends to aid power plants so that they survive the present 2-3 month duration of cash crunch caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the official said.



April 07, 2020
CEL Extends Deadline for Solar EPC Empanelment EoIs

Solar EPC contractors now have more time to submit their Expression of Interest (EoI) for empanelment with Central Electronics Limited (CEL), with the latter granting an extension of deadline. PV Magazine India reported that CEL has notified April 30 as the new deadline for submitting EoIs for empanelment of contractors for timely completion of projects. Contractors will be empaneled based on turnover and experience as small, medium or large business, the report added.



April 07, 2020
SECI Invites Bids for 15 MW Floating Solar at SCCL

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has floated tenders for 15 MW of floating solar power projects to be installed at two sites of the Singareni Colleries Company Limited (SCCL) in Telangana. One of the two will be of 10 MW capacity and the other 5 MW. The tender comes as part of the March 4 tender for SCCL for projects totaling 81 MW in capacity, Mercom India said. 10 years of operational and maintenance services will be required of the bid winner, and eligible developers or contractors must have completed at least 8 MW of solar power projects over the last 7 years.



February 26, 2020
EESL Forays into Solar Power Generation

In a first, the Energy Efficiency Services Limited has made its foray into the field of generating solar power, ET Energyworld reported. Promoted by the Government of India through its Ministry of Power, EESL has been a facilitator of power services, rather than a producer. EESL managing director was quoted as saying that the organization will set up 1,500 MW of decentralized solar power projects within a year or two, spreading across the country.



February 26, 2020
14 More EV Charging Stations by Indian Oil in Kerala

In addition to the two electric vehicle charging stations set up by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) in Kerala, 14 more are to come up, The Times of India reported. According to the newspaper, IOC Chief General Manager VC Asokan said that the 14 new EV charging stations will be established soon. The idea is to have at least one EV charging station per district headquarters in Kerala, the report added.



February 26, 2020
Rajasthan Targets 30,000 MW Solar Power by 2024-25

Rajasthan will have a solar power capacity of 30,000 MW by the year 2024-25 if all goes according to plan. Outlook India reported that the State’s Energy Minister, BD Kalla, has provided this figure in the State Assembly during a discussion that touched upon Rajasthan’s Solar Energy Policy. Solar power projects connected to the grid would amount to 24,000 MW of this target figure, the report added.



February 07, 2020
Power Minister Positive about RE Share

Union Power Minister RK Singh is positive that the renewable energy power generation in the country will meet more than 1/5th of the total electricity demand by 2021. According to ET Energyworld, a statement from the Ministry quotes Mr Singh as saying that about 21% of the country’s power demand in the year 2021-22 will be addressed by the renewable energy sector. This share will further increase to 24% by 2026-27, the statement added.



February 07, 2020
CPCB Cracks the Whip on 14 Coal Plants

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued a stern warning to 14 coal-fired power plants in the country that did not meet its standards, several newspapers reported, quoting Reuters. In the notice, the plants were warned against possible closures and heavy penalties, according to the reports. While five of these 14 power plants are located in South India, nine are operating near New Delhi. According to Deccan Herald, most coal plants still do not have the equipment required to comply with emission standards.



February 07, 2020
MNRE May Axe Ceiling Tariff for Wind Energy Tenders

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is mulling the removal of ceiling tariffs on tenders for wind energy projects, according to a report published by ET Energyworld. If this strategy is implemented, bidding for wind power projects can improve significantly, the report added. The renewable energy industry has for long wanted the ceiling tariffs to go, since they were prohibitively low, and this move can boost investments in RE projects, the report added.



February 06, 2020
Suburban Train to Run on Hydrogen

A new suburban train would have hydrogen as its fuel, if all goes according to the plans underway at the Indian Railways. According to ET Energyworld, an expression of interest has been floated and the alternate fuel will be produced and provided by the successful bidder. The trains powered by hydrogen can serve suburban networks but may also serve across the country, if safe hydrogen technology is available in the near future, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said.



February 06, 2020
Plastic Ban in Maharashtra from May 1

Single-use plastics will be banned from use across Maharashtra from May 1, according to a report by Times Now. Maharashtra Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray has asked civic body heads and District Collectors to come up with an action plan in this regard by February 20. While in 2019 a similar ban on single-use plastics was effected in the urban areas under BMC, the ban this time would apply across the State.



February 06, 2020
India Needs 1 GW Solar Power to Substitute Coal Jobs

A complete phasing out of coal-based power would result in job losses to the tune of 500,000, with new jobs in the solar power and related sectors required for substitution, according to a new study. Mongabay quoted the study, reporting that 1 GW of solar capacity would be needed in the country in order to provide enough employment for people who presently depend on the coal sector for their livelihood. The study was published by Environment Research Letters and involved researchers from Canada and Sweden.



January 28, 2020
Global Warming Will Cost Global Economy: Study

Not achieving the targets set within the Paris Agreement, 2015, would result in not just a disaster for the environment but also for the global economy, a new research has found. The scientists, from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany, also found that the reverse holds true, i.e., limiting the planet’s temperature as per the Paris Agreement would save the environment from doom as well as save significant costs for governments and industries. The study made use of the Dynamic Integrated Climate-Economy model to reach its conclusions.



January 28, 2020
Wood in Buildings Great for Climate: Study

Scientists have suggested increased use of wood in building construction for two-fold benefits for the climate. The wood that replaces steel and cement will not only avoid carbon emissions but will also act as a carbon sink, the scientists said. Engineered timber can also be preserved after buildings using them are demolished, the researchers said, pitching for sustainable management of harvested forests. In the best case scenario, with 90% use of engineered timber in the construction of new buildings by 2050, a carbon sink of 700 million tons can be created, the study found.



January 28, 2020
BESCOM Sees 2,500 MW Rooftop Solar Potential in Bengaluru

Bengaluru’s DISCOM has found a potential of generating 2,500 MW of electricity by utilizing available rooftop space in the city, ET Energyworld reported. Employing aerial light detection and ranging, BESCOM identified 1.4 lakh buildings in the capital of Karnataka for potential solar power plants. As of now, the rooftop solar capacity in Bengaluru is not even 10% of the identified potential. This might change soon, however, with BESCOM recently allowing companies to use rooftops of domestic consumers for off-site solar power generation under applicable business models.



January 23, 2020
MNRE Bats for Basic Customs Duty on Chinese Solar Imports

Local manufacturing of solar equipment will not take off in a big way unless domestic manufacturers are protected from the onslaught of Chinese imports, MNRE Secretary Anand Kumar said at a business conference. Mr Kumar was speaking in the context of the Ministry’s support for a basic customs duty on Chinese solar imports. He said that the Ministry has asked the Ministries of Commerce and Finance to levy a basic customs duty on imported solar equipment so that local manufacturing can get a shot in the arm. The ‘safeguard duty’ on solar imports from China is set to expire in July this year.



January 23, 2020
New Buses to be Only Electric from 2022 in Bengaluru

New buses in Bengaluru will be only electric after two-three years, the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation has decided. The Times of India reported that BMTC managing director, while speaking at a business conference, said that only electric buses will be procured by BMTC from 2022, so that the corporation may eventually phase out older conventional fuel buses and have a complete EV fleet by 2030. In a related development, the city’s DISCOM is gearing up to inaugurate 126 charging stations soon, with 26 of them having quick charging units.



January 23, 2020
Developers Prefer Open Access Solar Projects

The open access model of solar power projects is being preferred by developers more than the regular option, ET Energyworld has reported. Grid-connected solar plants that are placed elsewhere and supply power to the consumer from outside are now being taken up on a par with rooftop solar projects that are built on the terraces of the consumers, the report said. The shift can be credited to easing of tariffs and approvals by State regulators, the report said, adding that 1,000 MW capacity in off-site open access solar plants may come up in 2020.



January 20, 2020
Climate Change a Major Threat to Global Industry: WEF

Climate change affects not just the well-being of animals and the preservation of our environment but also the health of the global industry, a new study by the World Economic Forum has stated. The study reveals that nearly half of the world’s gross domestic product is at risk from climate-related negative changes, with the industry’s dependence on nature and its ‘services’ being rather high. Business Standard quoted from the study that even the construction sector is at risk as one of the largest industries exposed to nature, with the health of soils and availability of clean water making quite a difference to it. The industry’s dependence on nature could be high, moderate, or ‘hidden’, the study noted, adding that many sectors are dependent on the health of the natural elements of our planet in unobvious ways.



January 20, 2020
Kadiyam Becomes First Energy Neutral Station in SCR

The South Central Railway now has another feather in its cap, with Kadiyam railway station in Rajahmundry district becoming its first energy neutral railway station. ET Enegyworld reported that a 10 KWp solar power plant at the station is generating enough electricity to meet the railway station’s requirement for both daytime and night time use, with night time energy being procured from the DISCOM and marked against the excess power supplied to it in the daytime. As a result, the running electricity bill for the railway station is now nil, with an additional carbon footprint reduction of 14.7 tons per annum.



January 20, 2020
India Leads World in Power Tenders in Q4 2019

The highest power generation capacity in tenders issued worldwide came from India in the last quarter (Q4) of the year gone by – 2019 – according to a report published by ET Energyworld. Of this, about 70% tenders were for solar power, and about 7% were for hydro power, while the remaining were for thermal power. SECI and NTPC emerged as among the biggest issuers of power plant tenders, with collective tenders for more than 5,500 MW in the quarter. The research quoted by ET Energyworld was carried out by GlobalData.



January 08, 2020
NGT Asks for Waste Management Reports

The National Green Tribunal has asked for reports explaining solid waste management measures taken by State governments across the country, a report by News18 said. The tribunal was not satisfied by the information submitted to it by the Central Pollution Control Board, and it has hence asked the board to gather more information from States regarding waste treatment, air pollution and water pollution. The tribunal order requires Chief Secretaries to submit further information on action plans executed by respective governments, the report added.



January 08, 2020
Safeguard Duty on Chinese Solar Imports Likely to Remain

The central government is likely to continue to charge the current safeguard duty on Chinese solar imports, a report by Hindustan Times suggested. The decision in favour of the local solar industry can be a result of the requests made to Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, as local manufacturers fear losing business to cheap Chinese imports. The safeguard duty announced in 2018 will expire this year, and Chinese solar products already dominate the Indian market. If the duty is not extended, Chinese solar equipment will flood the Indian market, local manufacturers fear.



January 08, 2020
FAME-II: Centre Gives Nod for 2,600 EV Charging Stations

The government has approved the installation of about 2,600 electric vehicle charging stations under FAME-II, with Maharashtra bagging the biggest number. According to ET Energyworld, Maharashtra will get 317 EV charging stations, while Andhra Pradesh will get the second-highest number: 266. The Union Territory of Delhi will get 72 charging stations while Tamil Nadu and Gujarat will get 256 and 228 stations respectively, the report added.



January 03, 2020
India has 70 GW Offshore Wind Energy Potential: MNRE

If the coastlines of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat are optimally used for offshore wind energy projects, India can generate about 70 GW of renewable energy. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy made this remark to a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy, while discussing initial studies done to identify the potential opportunities in this regard. A 1 GW wind energy project is being planned for the Gujarat coast, the report by ET Energyworld added.



January 03, 2020
MERC Rejects Net Billing Demand for Rooftop Solar

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission has rejected demands to make net billing mandatory for consumers of rooftop solar power, a report by Hindustan Times said. After hearing arguments for and against it, MERC decided that consumers should have the choice to go for net metering or net billing system, the report added. The net billing demand had come from the State’s DISCOM, but was opposed by consumers and manufacturers.



January 03, 2020
MNRE Readies Draft Policy for RTC Mixed Power Supply

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has prepared a draft policy for round-the-clock (RTC) supply of mixed power to DISCOMS, ET Energyworld reported. The move comes as part of the Ministry’s efforts to improve renewable energy uptake, since RE supply to grid comes with the drawback of inadequate quantity. According to MNRE, the new policy will help scale RE uptake via bundled power supply of thermal and clean energy, with 51% of annual energy supplying falling under the renewable category, the report added.



December 18, 2019
Indian Fisheries to go Eco-Friendly Soon

The National Fisheries Development Board has decided to green up fisheries across the country, ET Energyworld reported. The move comes as part of efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuel sources for power consumption, and fits into the Department’s targets for promotion of non-conventional energy and environment-friendly fishing practices. The board will install solar wind power generators for backup power across fisheries and fishermen cooperative societies.



December 18, 2019
Star Rating for Solar PV Panels Soon

Solar PV panels are likely to get star ratings from the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) soon, The Hindu Business Line reported. BEE and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) are wrapping up the mechanism of rating solar PV panels, the report said, quoting officials. Degradation resistance in the face of India’s varying climate, as well as efficient power output, will be the key parameters for star ratings, the report added.



December 18, 2019
Pollution Control Incentives Proposed for States

If the government agrees to a recommendation before it, Budget 2020 could offer incentives to State agencies for achieving pollution control targets. Business Standard reported that the Fifteenth Finance Commission has recommended the incentive of additional funding by the Centre to States that perform well on set pollution control targets. This would cover industrial, air, water, and noise pollution, according to the report. The commission’s interim report for FY 2020-21 has been handed over to President Ram Nath Kovind.



December 17, 2019
Chennai Launches India’s First Waste Exchange Website

The civic body of Chennai has launched what is being called India’s first waste exchange website. The Times of India reported that the Greater Chennai Corporation last week set in motion a new web platform where users can buy and sell waste. The aim of the civic body is to facilitate an accelerated exchange of waste between the residents and waste recyclers, to their mutual benefit and to the advantage of the environment as well. Presently, the website is launched on a pilot of three months.



December 17, 2019
Coal Insurance Retreat Doubles in 2019

The retreating of primary and reinsurance covers provided to coal mines and coal-based power plants around the world has more than doubled in 2019, dealing a heavy blow to the coal industry. Quoting Unfriend Coal, ET Energyworld reported that global insurance companies withdrew about USD 8.9 trillion from coal-related projects in this year alone. The report added that insurance companies were withdrawing their covers from coal projects even outside of Europe. About 18 of the biggest insurers have announced withdrawal of coal insurance policies, the report added.



December 17, 2019
Goa University Welcomes Solar Installations by Govt

The Goa University has opened up its spaces to the State Government for installation of solar power projects, the Times of India reported. Work is ongoing, and, if the proposed spaces are taken up by the State govt for installation of solar units, both the government and the university will stand to benefit. Power generated at the campus will be fed to the area grid and the university will get due concessions on its power bills, the report added.



December 16, 2019
Govt Readies Team to Certify Standard Solar Manufacturers

The Government of India has put in place a team of authorities to certify quality solar power equipment manufacturers here, Live Mint reported. From April 1, 2020, the new solar equipment procurement guidelines will come into play, and only certified manufacturers will be eligible for the benefits under government schemes. The objective of this move is to ensure that the Indian solar power market does not get bogged down by cheap and low-quality manufacturing, the report added.



December 16, 2019
New Solar Rooftop Policy in K’taka to Benefit Residents

The residents of Karnataka can now earn rent from third party investors if they allow the use of their rooftop space for installation of solar PV units. The owner of the solar unit can benefit from the sale of excess solar power to the grid, while the domestic consumer (residents) can benefit from rental income and buying solar power at retail rates without any investment. A gross metering system will be applied for non-residential consumers while net metering system will be applied to residential consumers, the report added.



December 16, 2019
Railways not Exempt from Environment Rules: NGT

The premises occupied by the Indian Railways, including its major railway stations, cannot be exempted from any of the environment rules applicable to establishments, the National Green Tribunal has stated. All pollution laws, including the Water and Air Pollution Acts, should be exercised at all railway stations, NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said. In deciding on a petition seeking to curb pollution on railway premises, the NGT bench directed the Indian Railways to implement all waste management and pollution control guidelines applicable to major establishments across in the country.



December 2, 2019
Solar Power Boost for 3 TN Railway Stations

Three railway stations in Tamil Nadu are saving electricity in the daytime thanks to solar power projects, ET Energyworld reported. The railways stations in Comibatore, Erode and Salem are using electricity from TANGEDCO at night and solar power comes in for electricity requirements between 10 am and 5:30 pm. Brushless motor fans and LED bulbs add to the power savings even at night, the report added. The report quoted a divisional manager as saying that the Railways authorities are satisfied with the rooftop solar power generation, with estimated cost savings amounting to INR 60 lakh.



December 2, 2019
100 Electric Buses for Assam in FAME-II

Assam State Transport Corporation has issued RfP for 100 electric buses under the second phase of FAME, Mercom India reported. The buses are to ply on the roads of Guwahati, Jorhat, and Silchar. The successful bidder is required to provide, operate and maintain the buses for eight (8) years or 600,000 km. EMD required is INR 1 crore, proposals must be submitted by December 7. The bidders are also required to have manufacturing facilities in India.



December 2, 2019
Govt to Identify 8 Plastic Items to Discontinue

The government of India is in the process of identifying about eight (8) items as ‘single-use plastics’ so that they can be discontinued from use, Economic Times reported. The list is likely to include Styrofoam items, plastic bags and plastic cutlery. The report added that MoEFCC is preparing the said list in order to ensure that the term ‘single-use plastic’ gets a clear and definite meaning, as requested by representatives of the Indian industry.



November 29, 2019
India Has 31,696 Solar Power Capacity Now: RK Singh

Minister for Power and Renewable Energy Mr RK Singh has told the Parliament that India has installed 31,696 MW of grid-connected solar power generation capacity by October end. Projects amounting to another 17,998 MW of solar power capacity are being installed, he added, and reiterated the government’s aim of installing 100,000 MW of solar power capacity by December 2022. Investment for the solar power projects is mostly coming from private firms, the Minister said, adding that tenders for projects amounting to 36,278 MW capacity have already been issued.



November 29, 2019
All 11 REMCs to be Ready Soon

The 11 renewable energy management centres planned to be commissioned and integrated in 2018-19 are on track and will be completed soon, reports said. The Hindu Business Line quoted government officials were expected to be ready by the end of this year, and that presently, the 11 centres are either completed or are in the final stages of completion. The REMCs were envisaged to improve grid integration of RE projects across the country.



November 29, 2019
MH Pollution Control Board Bats for Clean Energy

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board has asked for a stronger push towards clean energy, emphasizing that India’s solar power potential is vast and must be tapped. ET Energyworld quoted MPCB chairman Mr Sudhir Shrivastava, who was speaking at an international conference in Nagpur, as having urged scientists to focus on GHG emissions reduction, especially from the power sector. Reliance on fossil fuels has to be reduced and India’s transition towards clean energy generation needs acceleration, he said.



November 26, 2019
W2E Plant Trial Run Begins in Delhi

The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has begun a trial run of a waste-to-energy plant in Geeta Colony in New Delhi, ET Energyworld reported. The biomethanation plant can take 5,000 kg of wet waste per day, creating up to 300 units of power and 750 kg of compost. The trial run will see the plant processing 700 kg of waste daily, and will lead to its inauguration in December. Later, EDMC plans to set up two more such W2E plants, one of 5,000 kg capacity and another of twice that.



November 26, 2019
Haryana Updates Rules for Rooftop Solar

The Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) has updated the rules and regulations for rooftop solar projects in the State, in response to net metering related requests raised by the Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency (HAREDA). Now, consumers with up to 500 MW total capacity, instead of 200 MW capacity, can seek net metering. The revisions also allow carrying forward of excess energy generated from one bill cycle to another, but only within the same financial year.



November 26, 2019
MNRE Seeks EoI for Evaluation of Biogas Programme

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is seeking expressions of interest (EoI) from organizations interested in evaluating the implementation of the government’s biogas and organic manure programme (NNBOMPP). MNRE is implementing the 3-year programme in 13 States, for the benefit of people in rural and semi-urban areas. Small biogas plants are set up to convert organic waste into clean energy and thus bring down both GHG emissions and health hazards. Registered consultancies with similar evaluation experience can submit their proposals to MNRE by December 16, 5:30 pm.



November 25, 2019
Howrah Leads Indian Railway Stations in Solar Power

Howrah Railway Station in Kolkata now has the distinction of leading Indian Railway stations in solar power capacity, according to a report published by ET Energyworld. The Howrah Station is set to flaunt a 3 MW rooftop solar power project, which is commissioned by the Eastern Railways arm of the Indian Railways. Quoting an Easter Railways official, the news website wrote that Indian Railways is actively working to adopt the maximum possible use of clean and renewable energy.



November 25, 2019
FAME Subsidies Benefit Nearly 3 Lakh Buyers

FAME India subsidies have reached about 285,000 buyers of electric and hybrid vehicles, Mercom India reported quoting the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises (MHIPE). The amount disbursed under the Government of India scheme for promoting electric and hybrid vehicles is about INR 360 crore. Under the programme, subsidies are given to buyers of electric and hybrid vehicles of all types: from heavy vehicles such as buses to three-wheelers and motorbikes. Thanks to the push from FAME India, about 138 million kilos of CO2 emissions were avoided and 55.5 million litres of fuel was saved, the report added.



November 25, 2019
Govt Preparing Environment Plan with Bottom-Up Approach

The Government of India is preparing a national environmental plan which will take a bottom-up approach, Hindustan Times reported. The NEP, presently on the anvil by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), could be completed by January next year, with 102 districts having submitted their plans of action already. The report mentioned that this is the first time a national environment action plan is taking a bottom-up approach, with a prime place given to suggestions from districts. This approach is well appreciated by environment experts, the report added.



November 15, 2019
Apex Court Bats for Hydrogen-based Alternate Fuel

Opportunities in exploiting the potential of alternate fuel based on Hydrogen should be explored in the interest of tackling air pollution, the Supreme Court has told the Government of India. The apex court was referring to the worsening air pollution situation in the North Indian region, including the national capital region (NCR). ET Energyworld reported that the government, in its response to the Supreme Court, said that it is working on the same, and is studying Japan’s methods of curbing air pollution.



November 15, 2019
529,000 Deaths in 2016 from Air Pollution

The Lancet Countdown 2019 report has presented a grim picture of climate change impacts in India, noting that at least 529,000 people died in 2016 due to outdoor air pollution. Out of the more than five lakh deaths, about 97,400 deaths were caused by air pollution from coal burning, the report added. For India to meet its Paris Agreement target, fossil CO2 emissions will have to reduce by 7.4% year-on-year from 2019 to 2050, the report underlined.



November 15, 2019
IEA Predicts Slowdown in Oil Demand Post 2030

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has made a prediction of oil demand slowing down significantly after 2025, and reaching a plateau post 2030. According to IEA, the present robust growth in demand for oil will continue till 2025, but will drop by about 90% after that. However, depleting reserves will still cause the price of oil to maintain its upward trajectory, at least until 2040, the IEA report said. The slowdown will be caused by the growth of electric vehicles and fuel-efficient cars, while oil demand will remain robust in the aviation sector, the report noted.



November 13, 2019
Only Green Buildings to Get Permit in Old Jaipur

Jaipur’s old and congested residential areas are set for a refreshing change as the authorities have decided to permit the construction of multi-storey buildings only if they meet the ‘green building’ criteria. This would mean that the buildings are energy efficient, sensitive to natural resources, have more space than conventional buildings, and consume less water. The Times of India reported that Rajasthan’s Urban Development and Housing Department has added this new requirement in its guidelines for construction of buildings in old areas such as Bapu Nagar and Tilak Nagar. The report added that developers will be required to earmark 20 percent of the area as green cover, and maximum ground coverage allowed will be 30 percent.



November 13, 2019
Environment Awareness Strong in Indian Cities: Report

If sustainable living is not a common lifestyle in urban India yet, lack of awareness cannot be blamed anymore, a new survey report finds. The Mahindra Alternativism Report 2019, conducted by Mahindra Group, concluded that 96 percent of urban Indians between the ages of 22 and 55 are aware of the importance of sustainable and eco-friendly living, but are either unhappy with the alternatives or find them unaffordable. Only 4 percent of the 2,000+ respondents of the survey showed no concern for the environment, Quartz India reported. The survey shows that focus now has to be pivoted toward spreading more awareness on existing sustainable alternatives, and also on increasing the number and accessibility of the alternatives, the report added.



November 13, 2019
Will Have 200 GW RE Capacity by 2022: RK Singh

India will meet as well as exceed its target of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, and will have 200 GW of RE capacity by then instead, Energy Minister RK Singh said in Brazil. Mr Singh, who heads the Power Ministry and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, was speaking at BRICS Energy Ministers Meet on Monday. He also highlighted that by 2030, 55 percent of the country’s installed power generation will come from RE sources. Speaking about India’s efforts in reducing carbon footprint, the Minister also made a mention of the PAT Scheme and the energy savings it has resulted in.



November 12, 2019
MNRE Issues PM-KUSUM Solar Pump Guidelines

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued the norms for the solarization of 10 lakh agricultural pumps of 7.5 hp each. The project comes under the Component-C of the PM-KUSUM programme of the Government of India, and is supposed to be completed by 2022. The pilot will cover solarisation of 1 lakh grid-connected pumps. According to ET Energyworld, MNRE will establish a central monitoring portal and data from state portals under the scheme will be monitored live. It will be mandatory for implementing agencies to set up remote monitoring systems to collect post-installation data, the guidelines mention. The final guidelines, dated November 8, are available on the MNRE website.



November 12, 2019
Revised Solid Waste Management Bylaws Approved in Chennai

Chennai’s civic body has approved the revised Solid Waste Management Bylaws 2019, which will be applicable to all residents and commercial establishments under the Chennai Corporation limits. Residents and commercial establishments will be levied separate fines for dumping garbage in public places and/or burning garbage. Dumping of construction debris will attract fines as high as INR 5,000. For solid waste management, residents will have to pay fees (user charges) to the Corporation, as the Corporation moves towards disposal of segregated waste in a sanitary landfill from the current practice of dumping mixed waste, a report published by The Hindu said. The waste management fees will apply to places of worship, schools, colleges, and premium hotels as well.



November 12, 2019
CIL Invites Bids for 100 MW Solar Project

Coal India Limited (CIL) has tendered a 100 MW (AC) solar power project to be developed in Chhattisgarh. The deadline for submission of bids is November 25, 3 pm. Details of the tender are published on the CIL eTenders Portal. The project will be awarded to the successful bidder for 25 years, including operation and maintenance for the same period. Select bidders will get a meeting opportunity at CIL headquarters in Kolkata, three days after the bid deadline.



November 11, 2019
Crop Stubble to Feed Ethanol, Bio-CNG Production Soon

Four commercial-scale bio-refineries are coming up in Punjab and Haryana, and crop stubble will be used as feed in these plants, ET Energyworld reported. Crop stubble amounting to 30 million tonnes is produced every Kharif season in the two Northern states, with a lot of it going up in flames. The plants are being set up by Indian Oil and Hindustan Petroleum, and can consume about 5,00,000 tonnes of crop stubble to produce 110 million litres of ethanol, the report added. It may take two more years for the plants to start operations.



November 11, 2019
Waste Management Plant Replaces Dump Yard in Coonoor

Coonoor District Collector Ms. J. Innocent Divya last week inaugurated a waste management facility and park that replaces the dump yard in Ottupattarai. The Hindu reported that the new facility can process nearly all of the municipal town’s dry waste. At the new facility, plastic can be turned into bales, fish and chicken waste can be shredded, and even large dry waste materials such as mattresses can be disposed of.



November 11, 2019
GHMC to Install Outdoor Air Purifiers

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) will set up outdoor air purifiers in certain parts of the city, The News Minute reported. The civic body’s efforts to tackle air pollution could see up to 500 purifiers installed in the first phase, covering Panjagutta, Jubilee Hills, and Gachibowli areas. The number of purifiers, however, is unconfirmed. Depending on the capacity, the air purifiers cost anywhere between INR 50,000 and INR 12 lakh, the report added. The report also quoted the technology supplier as saying that the air purifiers can be cleaned once every three months, and the technology was approved by the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India.



November 6, 2019
CREDA Opens Bidding for Solar Pumps and Trees

Chhattisgarh State Renewable Energy Development Agency (CREDA) has invited separate bids for 700 solar trees and 5,000 solar pumps. The deadline set for bids for pumps is November 21, while that for the trees is December 11. Mercom India reported that the small irrigation solar pumps would have to be warranted for five years, and capacities should be 0.5 hp and 1 hp AC & DC surface. Startups and JVs are not eligible to bid for solar trees, which should also come with five years of onsite warranty.



November 6, 2019
This is a Climate Emergency, 11,000 Scientists Say

More than 11,000 scientists issued a joint statement declaring that the planet is presently going through a climate emergency, media reports said on Wednesday. The statement was published in BioScience and it underlined that the current rate of global warming will result in extreme suffering. The statement also noted that there was enough evidence for the last three decades for the world to act upon, but necessary action was not taken. In a separate statement, the European Union highlighted that October 2019 was the hottest October ever recorded.



November 6, 2019
GHG Emissions in India Spike 6.3% in 2018

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in India rose 6.3% in 2018, as opposed to 2.3% in China, 3.4% in the US, and 2% globally, the World Energy Markets Observatory report published by Capgemini showed. Global energy consumption increased by 2.3%, the report noted, which is substantially higher than the average increase in recent years. Energy consumption in India went up 4% in 2018, while clean energy investments increased 10% in the first half of 2019 as compared to the first half of 2018, The Print quoted from the report. In the European Union, GHG emissions reduced by 2.5% in 2018.



November 4, 2019
No Odd-Even Curb for EVs in Delhi

The restriction on movement of vehicles in Delhi will not apply to electric vehicles (EVs), a government statement said. The odd-even scheme will restrict the movement of cars in alternate days for about two weeks from Monday, but EVs will neither contribute to congestion significantly and nor to pollution, and are hence exempted from the rule, the Office of Transport Minister said. The restrictions will be in place for other cars, excluding cars driven by women and for certain government officials, from November 4 to November 15, 8 am to 8 pm. The odd-even restrictions are relaxed on Sundays for all vehicles.



November 4, 2019
GHMC Goes on Scrap Collection Drive

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is collecting scrap in a special drive until November 12, The News Minute reported. The drive is aimed at reducing disposal of scrap and waste material into Nalas and drains by residents, which would in turn help prevent clogging and flooding, the report added. Scrap materials such as damaged furniture and mattresses can be given to GHMC staff and volunteers, including members of residential welfare societies and self-help groups. The drive was given leverage by Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister KT Rama Rao, who tweeted about the ‘Recyclothon’, encouraging Hyderabad residents to hand over their scrap materials, including e-waste materials, to local collection centers.



November 4, 2019
8 MoUs Inked at 8th Indo-German Energy Forum

Eight Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between India and Germany at the 8th Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF) held in the national capital last week, ET Energyworld reported. The forum was co-chaired by Secretaries representing India and Germany, and concluded with a roadmap for further collaboration between the two countries. The areas of collaboration under the eight MoUs signed by MNRE include promoting niche markets for solar power, promoting energy efficiency in buildings, and improving evacuation of renewable energy.



November 1, 2019
Northern Plains Pollution Levels Up 72%

The pollution levels in the northern plains of India have shot up 72% in the last 18 years, a new study has found. The expanse covered under the study is home to about 40% of the country’s population, and the sharp spike in the pollution levels here has the grave consequence of cutting short the lifespan of residents by seven years, the study noted. The research was carried out by the Energy Policy Institute of the University of Chicago and covered the Indo-Gangetic plains stretching from West Bengal to Punjab. Air quality data from 1988 to 2016 was analyzed for this study, and the study concluded that the pollution in this region is double that of the rest of India.



November 1, 2019
AMU Students Call for Climate Action

Students from Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh joined the growing chorus of climate activism among students in India, with a street campaign and a street play organized for awareness. Hindustan Times reported that the students that the street play by the students focused on the importance of reducing plastic waste, and that the students even made a sketch of what actions could be taken to reduce the impact of climate change on the planet. For their part, the students made a pledge to protect the environment from further degradation, the report added.



November 1, 2019
BHEL Seeks O&M Bids for 50 MW Solar Project

BHEL is seeking bids for the operations and maintenance of a 50 MW block of solar power projects in Madhya Pradesh, Mercom India reported. The project, located at Mandsaur Solar Park, was commissioned by NTPC for 250 MW. BHEL has set November 4 as the deadline for submission of bids. The report added that bidders are required to submit an EMD of INR 442,000. The successful bidder will be responsible to complete the O&M of the project within 38 months.



October 31, 2019
Maharashtra RPO to be 25% in 2024-25

In a draft policy for renewable purchase obligation (RPO) from 2020 to 2025, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission has set a target of 25% for the year 2024-25. The RPO target for the first year, i.e. 2020-21, is 16%, of which 4.5% will be from the solar sector, and remaining 11.5% from other renewable energy projects. The solar RPO for the fifth year, i.e. 2024-25, is set at 13.5%. Mercom India reported that obligated companies that achieve the Central government’s RPO targets will be rewarded with an incentive of INR 0.25/kWh.



October 31, 2019
GUVNL Seeks to Purchase Surplus Solar Power from MSMEs

The Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) has sought tariff approval for purchasing surplus solar energy produced by MSMEs at INR 1.75/kWh. Mercom India reported that GUVNL has sent a petition to the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) for the same. The move follows the State government’s September provision that made it possible for MSMEs to install solar power projects that exceed their sanctioned load. The report added that energy accounting will be done on the basis of time blocks of 15 minutes each, and that electricity duty will apply to consumers.



October 31, 2019
PNGRB Mulls Entry-Exit Tariff Model for Gas Transmission

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) is discussing the viability of adopting the entry-exit tariff model for transmission of gas, a report published by ET Energyworld said. The model is implemented in Europe and the US already, and may be implemented in India by March, if approved. Under the model, pricing is decided separately for the entry and exit points, regardless of the distance of transmission, unlike the present model. Another model under consideration is of unified tariffs, which also will eliminate the distance parameter, if implemented.



October 30, 2019
Millions More to Face Coastal Flooding by 2050: Study

Many more millions of people would be at risk of annual coastal flooding from climate change-related rise in sea levels than were previously estimated, a new study has revealed. Climate Central said 237 million people in Asia and 36 million people in India would be affected by annual coastal flooding by 2050 if GHG emissions are not reigned in. The study used a new digital elevation model called CoastalDEM, which threw up more than four times the numbers previously estimated. Worldwide, the study noted, about 420 million people could be displaced from their coastal lands by 2100.



October 30, 2019
Indian Railways Issues RfS for Hybrid RE

The Indian Railways will be procuring an unspecified amount of power wind-solar projects, according to a Request for Selection (RfS) issued by the Railway Energy Management Company Ltd (REMCL). The developers can declare the rated capacity, which will be taken as the project capacity, while the tariff payable is capped at INR 2.93/kWh, with no increments over the entire 25-year agreement period. The EMD required is INR 5 Lakh, and the bidder must have a net worth of at least INR 1.5 crore. The hybrid projects will be developed under BOO model.



October 30, 2019
Jal Shakti Ministry May Set Up 8K Plastic Waste Management Units

The Jal Shakti Ministry of the Government of India is planning to set up 8,000 plastic waste management units at block level, a report published by ET Energyworld said. The report quotes unnamed government officials as saying that the long-term move is aimed at collecting single-use plastic waste and sending it to aggregators for recycling. The waste will be converted into bales and will solve the problem of waste collectors and aggregators not segregating single-use plastics, the report noted. Once the units are set up, residents of all villages in the country will be asked to segregate their waste and send the plastic waste to the units, the report added.



October 29, 2019
MNRE Eases Solar Bidding Norms

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has introduced its fourth set of revisions to bidding guidelines for solar power projects in the country. The Financial Express reported that the new move comes after several deliberations with the industry and will serve to provide more flexibility for solar power developers. Key among the revisions is the relaxation of the 12-month deadline for submission of land documents, which can now be submitted on or before the commissioning scheduled date. The penalty for DISCOMS for not purchasing power from the solar power projects has been increased from 50% of the price of power to 100% now, and curtailment will not be allowed without written instructions explaining the justification for the same. Also, in case of State electricity regulators not ratifying tariffs agreed upon within 60 days of submission of documents, the tariffs will be considered as having been approved.



October 29, 2019
SECI Issues First Tenders for 24/7 RE Supply

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has, for the first time, issued a tender for 24/7 renewable energy power supply, for 400 MW capacity. Manufacturers can bid for full capacity or at least 200 MW, and no tariff cap has been mentioned. The tariff will go up at the rate of 4% every year for the first 15 years and thereon remain the same. Clean Technica reported that buyers of the power from this project have already been identified: the regions of New Delhi Municipal Corporation, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli, all three of which are administered by the Central government. Bidders also have no restrictions on choosing storage capacity.



October 29, 2019
100% Jump in RE Sector Jobs in India: Report

In the outgoing financial year, the renewable energy sector in India has seen a 100% spike in jobs, a report by ET Energyworld said. The report underlines that while overall hiring has doubled, there has been a 20% jump in executive positions, with pay packages ranging from INR 80 Lakh p.a. to INR 2 crore p.a. Hiring is going on at an aggressive pace in both start-ups and leading organizations in the RE sector, the report said, quoting industry and HR professionals. Job roles across several professions in the industry are in high demand, the report noted, highlighting in specific the domains of supply chain management, technology management, strategy building, engineering, manufacturing, cloud computing, and sales. Senior business leaders with experience in government affairs are also in demand, the report said.



October 28, 2019
1 MW Solar Rooftop Project for Hyd Police Academy

The SVP National Police Academy in Hyderabad has invited bids for a 1 MW rooftop solar project for its Site-B in Shivrampally. The project will come under the RESCO model and the lowest tariff bidders will win the contract, Mercom India reported. The tariff is capped at INR 5.59/kWh, and the winning bidder must complete the project within six months of the award of contract. The winning bidder will also be responsible for maintenance of the project for 25 years. According to the tender guidelines, crystalline solar modules of 250-300 W should be used in the project. Bidders should have a net worth of INR 6 crore, and the bids must be submitted by November 8.



October 28, 2019
VAT on Natural Gas Cut Down to 3% in Punjab

The government of Punjab has announced a major reduction in the value-added tax (VAT) on natural gas, from 14.3% to 3%, as part of its efforts to tackle pollution and also increase revenues. ET Energyworld reported that this makes Punjab the top North Indian State for low VAT on natural gas. The news website also quoted a government official as saying that the move will serve as an incentive to plants in Punjab for shifting to natural gas, which is softer on the environment as opposed to coal and fossil fuel.



October 28, 2019
Kerala Seeks to Install EV Charging Stations at Govt Offices

The Transport Department of the Government of Kerala has started seeking support from various government departments in its efforts to improve the electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in the State. The Transport Department and the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) plan to install EV charging stations at government offices located on highways and arterial roads, ET Energyworld reported, quoting a senior government official. The move can help the government solve land acquisition issues that often come in the way of setting up EV charging stations, the report added.



October 25, 2019
Boost for Biofuels in new Petroleum Ministry Rules

A new Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas policy has made it explicit that transportation fuel marketing companies need to promote alternate fuels in the coming years. This marks a new change for the clean energy industry in India and is likely to have a strong impact. The new guidelines, approved by the Ministry recently, have also lowered substantially the net worth required for companies to seek authorization, from INR 2,000 crores to INR 250 crores. Mercom India reported that the new policy is likely to provide a push to the transportation fuels marketing industry. Simultaneously, it is likely to boost adoption of alternate fuels in the market as the new rules mandate that all new retail outlets must install facilities for either biofuels, EV charging, CNG, or LNG.



October 25, 2019
Wind Energy Capacity to Beat Nuclear in Sweden

Installed wind energy capacity in Sweden will register higher numbers this year than the country’s installed nuclear energy capacity, Svensk Vindenergi said. The wind energy capacity is set to reach 9.4 GW soon, surpassing the North European nation’s 8.4 GW nuclear energy capacity by far. About 1.2 GW of wind energy capacity will be added in the last quarter of this year, while nuclear energy capacity will decrease by 1.8 GW in the last quarter of 2020, the energy association estimated. This development would make wind energy the second largest source in the energy mix of Sweden, next to hydro.



October 25, 2019
Scientists Find Productive Upcycling Method for Plastics

A new research published by ACS Central Science shows that scientists have developed a new way to upcycle single-use plastics and contribute to circular economy. News 18 reported that the catalytic method can turn single-use plastics into useful liquid products including lubricants and detergents. The research improves on existing methods in that it results in a much higher quality of recycling based products, the report said. Quoting a US scientist, the report said that the new method 'catalytically' converts polyethylene molecules into value-added products that are of commercial use, thus improving over current melt-recycle processes.



October 24, 2019
Wind could be Largest Power Source by 2050: IRENA

Wind could be the largest source of energy by 2050, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has said in a new report called ‘Future of Wind’. According to IRENA, wind energy can mitigate about 25% of carbon emissions from the power sector, and can address more than 33% of the world’s power needs. However, this would require a 12-fold increase in global wind energy capacity, from the present 500 GW to 6,000 GW, by 2050. The report forecasts Asia to lead the wind energy market in the world, with China and India bagging the first and second ranks respectively.



October 24, 2019
MNRE Extends Solar Inverter Self-Certification Deadline

The deadline for the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) self-certification of solar inverters has been extended again. Mercom India reported that the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has extended the deadline to December 31, 2019, from the expired deadline of September 30. The extension came in response to requests from the industry as compliance faced issues related to test labs, the report added. As a caveat, the deadline extension applies only to manufacturers accredited by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and in possession of test reports from international test labs.



October 24, 2019
UP Jal Shakti Dept Gears Up to Tap RE Potential

The government of Uttar Pradesh, after revamping its Jal Shakti department with a merger of six other departments, is readying to tap into the State’s renewable energy potential, a report published by ET Energyworld said. The State is looking to make the best use of its vast water resources, and make progress towards realizing its potential of generating 13,500 MW of renewable energy, including from solar, wind, and hydro power sources. The Jal Shakti Department held a two-day seminar with several national and international companies in attendance, and found many organizations interested in partnering with the government to make the best use of the State’s canals, tubewells, and water reservoirs.



October 23, 2019
RE to Match Coal in Energy Mix by 2024

The International Energy Agency’s 2019 report forecasts a manifold growth for renewable energy over the next five years. According to IEA’s analysis, RE could even match the share of coal in the world’s total energy mix by 2024. In two scenarios called base case and accelerated case, the IEA predicted a 50% and 60% growth respectively in the world’s combined renewable energy capacity from various sources, including solar, wind, hydro and biomass. The most major reason credited for this growth forecast is the trend of declining costs in the RE sector.



October 23, 2019
UK Scientists Make Artificial Leaf to Produce Syngas

Scientists from the University of Cambridge, UK, have developed a new artificial leaf that is capable of producing syngas without any carbon emission. The sustainable technology device can run on sunlight and turn CO2 and water into syngas, a fuel which is considered a potential alternative to petrol. Presently, industrial manufacturing does produce syngas, but at the cost of carbon emissions. The industrial production of syngas involves hydrogen and CO, and syngas is in turn used as part of the manufacturing of several essential commodities, such as fertilizer and pharmaceuticals. The research was published by Nature Materials.



October 23, 2019
IITM Pune Launches Green Skills Course

The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in Pune has launched a new green skills course to train participants in air pollution and emissions inventory. The one-month course comes as part of the Government of India’s Green Skills Development Programme, and participants completing the hands-on training will be awarded a certificate from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC). The practical training will include surveying and monitoring air pollution as well as interacting with polluters. From 45 participants, a master trainer will be selected to train others in the future, a Times of India report said.



October 21, 2019
New Plant near Delhi to Convert Paddy to Biogas

A new plant is coming up near New Delhi that will make paddy straw conversion to biogas a commercial activity, with the objective of reducing crop burning and hence air pollution. The plant will be set up in Karnal, Haryana, about two hours away from the national capital. ET Energyworld reported that the plant is expected to be completed and operational by 2022, with Indraprastha Gas Ltd winning the contract under the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India. According to the report, the plant will have the capacity to produce 10,000 kg of compressed bio-gas (CBG) per day.



October 21, 2019
CII Adopts 100 Villages to Enable Zero Stubble Burning

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has adopted 100 villages spanning 100,000 acres of farmland in Punjab and Haryana as part of its efforts to help the government mitigate stubble burning. CII, in a statement to the media, said that Rohtak, Sirsa, and Fatehabad districts were adopted in Haryana, while in Punjab, Patiala, Barnala and Ludhiana were adopted. To enable zero crop residue burning, CII is engaged with more than 15,000 farmers in the adopted villages. CII is also involving more than 3,000 students, youngsters and corporate volunteers in this drive, and is facilitating farmers in procuring farm machineries at nominal rents.



October 21, 2019
Thiruvananthapuram to Have 32 EV Charging Stations Soon

As part of a pilot project, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) will install 32 charging stations in Thiruvananthapuram, ET Energyworld reported. KSEB proposed to install charging stations in six cities in Kerala, covering 185 locations, and the government of Kerala has taken the proposal under consideration, the report added, quoting a government order issued by Kerala’s Transport Department. In Thiruvananthapuram, the 32 charging stations will have six charging points each. The government of Kerala, as part of its EV policy, plans to facilitate the movement of one million EVs in the State by 2022.



October 18, 2019
30 GW RE Projects Likely for Gujarat, Rajasthan

A meeting in Gujarat last week culminated in plans for about 30 GW capacity of new renewable energy projects for the Western border States of Gujarat and Rajasthan, ET Energyworld reported. However, there has been no official confirmation from the government on this matter. The report added that the plans were still in early stages of formulation, and that they are part of the government’s efforts to make use of arid or barren land instead of agricultural land for development of renewable energy projects.



October 18, 2019
Rajasthan Invites Bids for Solar Pumping Systems

The government of Rajasthan has invited bids for installation of solar power-based water pumping systems for several towns and villages under Jaipur district limits. The work will be commissioned by the Public Health Engineering Department, and must be completed within nine months of the contract being awarded to the company, PV Magazine reported. Land and bore wells for the project will be provided by the Public Health Engineering Department, and the developer shall be responsible for design, installation, operation, and maintenance for seven years.



October 18, 2019
Britain Commits to Planning for Net Zero Transport Emissions

By 2020, the government of Britain would have a plan in place to achieve their target of net zero emissions from the nation’s transport industry, a report by News 18 said. Quoting Mr Grant Schapps, Transport Secretary, the report added that the government of Britain plans to detail what the industry, the citizens and the government’s responsibilities would be, in their efforts to go net zero GHG emissions by 2050. Lately, several protests from climate change activists have focused on the transport industry in Britain, the report added.



October 15, 2019
MRNE Issues Bidding Guidelines for Wind-Solar Projects

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued new guidelines for the bidding process applicable to power purchasing from wind-solar hybrid projects. The guidelines are up for comments from stakeholders, who can respond by October end. According to Mercom India, the hybrid projects will be awarded via e-reverse auctions, just like individual solar and wind energy projects are. A financial closure timeline of seven months from the date of agreement would apply, and bidders will have 18 months for commissioning. The guidelines can be downloaded from the MNRE website, dated October 11.



October 15, 2019
New Research for Converting CO2 to Organic Products

A new study published by Nature Communications outlines a potential method for capturing CO2 molecules and converting them into organic materials, and with high efficiency. The researchers believe that the material, a PCP comprising zinc metal ions, is 10 times more efficient at selectively capturing CO2 than are other PCPs. According to scientists, captured CO2 molecules can be converted to produce polyurethane, and the PCP itself can be recycled even after 10 applications. The research paper is called “Carbon dioxide capture and efficient fixation in a dynamic porous coordination polymer” and is available under open access on the website of Nature Communications.



October 15, 2019
Germany Likely to Increase RE Fees for Power Consumers

German household power consumers are likely to pay even more for their power bills as the government is reported to have planned a hike in the renewable energy supporting surcharge. Presently, German household power consumers are paying about 21% of their power bills towards this surcharge, with the government using the additional income to fund low-carbon energy projects as part of government policy. The fee could go up by up to 4.6% next year, Reuters reported, adding that power network operators were due to publish details today. Government payouts to RE projects using this fund are estimated at 25 billion Euros for 2019.



October 14, 2019
$60 bn Investment to Double Natural Gas Share in Energy Mix

Union Oil Minister Mr Dharmendra Pradhan has stated that India is in the process of more than doubling its natural gas share in the energy capacity mix from 6.2% to 15%, and this entails investment to the tune of about USD 60 billion. The government of India is focused on developing a more gas-based economy in its efforts to move towards a low-carbon nation, with natural gas serving as a bridge between polluting fossil fuels and the country’s climate goals, the Minister told the media recently. The development of gas pipelines and terminal infrastructure across the country is in advanced stages of completion, Mr Pradhan said, adding that even as the government is working towards it, the private sector has to play a crucial role in accelerating investments for energy infrastructure development.



October 14, 2019
India to Add 2.9 GW of Wind Energy in 2019

Bloomberg New Energy Finance has revealed that it expects India to add about 2.9 GW of wind energy in 2019. This would be higher capacity addition as compared to the 2.3 GW added in 2018, but capacity additions in 2016 and 2017 remain significantly higher. Also, the report by Bloomberg made a 9 GW shortfall forecast for the 60 GW wind energy capacity target by 2022, with delays in projects being the major cause, followed by financial stress and policy uncertainty. In 2019, wind energy projects of 5.2 GW capacity were auctioned, but projects amounting to only 2.9 GW capacity were awarded by August, the report stated.



October 14, 2019
RE Sector Adds 4,273 MW in First Half of 2019

A total of 4,273 MW of new grid-connected renewable energy capacity was added in the first half of fiscal year 2019, according to The Hindu Business Line. Calculated for the six months from April to September, 2019, the addition is higher than what was seen in most previous years, but falls substantially short of the 11,802 MW target, the report said. Of the new RE capacity added, the solar sector played the biggest role, contributing 2,921 MW in all. According to the report, the total grid-connected RE capacity in India by September end was 82,589 MW.



October 11, 2019
India Will Exceed 175 GW Target: MNRE

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has clarified that India will meet as well as exceed its target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by December 31, 2022. Recently, a CRISIL analysis report had cast doubt on the country’s progress towards meeting this target, but the Ministry has issued a roadmap to outline how the accomplishment is not just possible but highly likely. India will have about 113 GW of RE capacity installed by the first quarter of 2021, with 39 GW of capacity being under bidding process presently. According to the Ministry, various issues related to ease of doing business and growth in this sector are being resolved by the government systematically, paving the way for accelerated investments and growth in the near future.



October 11, 2019
CGEP Publishes Industrial Heat Solutions Report

The Center on Global Energy Policy, backed by Columbia University, has published a new research report titled “Low-Carbon Heat Solutions for Heavy Industry: Sources, Options, and Costs Today”. The report is now available on CEGP’s web platform. Co-authored by Dr Julio Friedmann, the report underlines that about 10% of total global CO2 emissions come directly from industrial combustion for producing high quality heat. This heat production is largely fossil-fuel based, and hence entails a long-term decarbonization need, even as decarbonization could lead to price escalations, carbon leakage, and trade complexities, the report said. The report considers in detail the combustion of biomass and biofuel as substitute for low-carbon heat production, but recommends hydrogen combustion as the simplest and readiest alternative source of industrial heat.



October 11, 2019
IMF Recommends Economy-wise Carbon Pricing to Meet Climate Goals

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has published a new report that suggests it is time for advanced economies to do more in tackling climate change. One key recommendation made by IMF is the introduction of carbon taxes, economy-based uniformity in the taxes on, and hence the pricing of, carbon. Giving India’s example, the report noted that the projected per capital emissions (2030) of the US are seven (7) times higher than that of India. The report, titled “Fiscal Monitor: How to Mitigate Climate Change”, suggested that advanced economies may have to take up more responsibility in the fight against climate change, but that countries such as India and China may also require increasing their investments on reducing emissions. For example, it said that a USD 25 price per ton of carbon would help India and China mitigate their carbon emissions enough to meet their Paris Agreement goals, advanced economies such as the US may miss their targets even with a much higher USD 75 price per ton of carbon.



October 10, 2019
EV Battery Recycling Policy on the Anvil

The Government of India is shaping up a new policy to ensure that Li-ion batteries used for the manufacturing of electric vehicles (EVs) do not go on to harm the environment after their end of life. According to ET Energyworld, the policy, which has not yet been officially notified or proposed, will mandate collection of used batteries by producers. It will also dole out tax incentives to companies that have or establish recycling infrastructure for EV batteries. The existing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) will apply to manufacturers of EV batteries, if the policy comes into practice. The government hopes that recycling EV batteries could help India reduce its import volumes of raw materials such as lithium, cobalt, aluminium and nickel, the report added.



October 10, 2019
MNRE Clarifies on Deadline for RE Capacity Target

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has released a statement to clear the air on the deadline for installation of the government’s ambitious target of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity. While in several official communications the date or deadline is mentioned as financial year 2022 or simply 2022, the Ministry has now clarified that the deadline is December 31, 2022, and that this date should be construed whenever deadline 2022 is mentioned. Presently, India’s installed RE capacity is about 81.3 GW, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech at the recent UN Climate Action Summit announced a new target of 450 GW of installed RE capacity for India, but did not mention a deadline for this commitment.



October 10, 2019
Solar GST Benefit to Boost Growth in Sector

The Solar Thermal Federation of India has said that it was able to persuade the government for including solar thermal components under the reduced 5% GST slab. This will come as a major boost to the solar industry in India, the Federation said, with growth expected to register impressive double digit numbers. Earlier, the government reduced the GST on inputs for solar manufacturers, but thermal components were not included in this incentive. The Financial Express reported that STFI representatives met the Finance Minister and resolved this issue, which will reduce the cost and hence the price of solar products. According to the report, solar thermal industry could grow 10% thanks to this GST relief.



October 9, 2019
MNRE Asks All Central PSEs to Prioritize Renewable Energy Projects

In a letter written to all Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has asked them to prioritize renewable energy projects, whether via own projects or by bidding for SECI projects. The Ministry added that such a change would improve investor confidence in the renewable energy industry in India, reduce the country’s carbon footprint, and also help public sector companies reduce their operational costs. The Government of India has aimed for total installed renewable energy capacity of 175 GW by 2022.



October 9, 2019
Chandigarh Mandates Waste Segregation from Oct 11

Chandigarh’s Municipal Corporation has announced a mandatory policy of waste segregation at household level, in effect from October 11. Residents failing to segregate their waste will end up paying fines of up to INR 2,000, according to Chandigarh Mayor Mr Rajesh Kalia, as reported by The Indian Express. The waste collectors have been directed by the civic body to not accept waste that is not segregated, and even they will be fined if they are found disposing of unsegregated waste, with authorities making surprise visits to ensure implementation, the report said.



October 9, 2019
NHPC Extends 2 GW Solar Bid Submission Deadline

Solar PV manufacturers and contractors can now submit their bids for 2 GW of solar PV projects floated by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) as late as October 17. The projects will be connected to the grid and can be installed anywhere in the country. Both Indian and foreign companies are allowed to bid, and the solar PV modules can be imported as well. The projects will have to be connected to the ISTS. The minimum capacity of each project under this tender is set at 50 MW, and the minimum tariff payable is INR 2.95/kWh.



October 7, 2019
EV Charging Infra Guidelines Amended

The Ministry of Power has cleared new amendments to guidelines for electric vehicles (EV) charging infrastructure, making the new guidelines replace or supersede the ones issued in 2018. Suggestions were taken from many stakeholders and the new guidelines were formulated keeping in mind the needs of the EV consumers, the Power Ministry said, according to ET Energyworld. As per the new guidelines, there should be at least one EV charging station in every 3 km x 3 km grid in cities, while on the highways there can be one charging station per 25 km on each side. The first phase will cover mega cities and their connecting expressways, and the second phase will cover other big cities such as State capitals.



October 7, 2019
Nagpur Man Drives 3,500 km in ‘Solar Car’

A driving school owner in Nagpur, Maharashtra, has been driving his ‘solar car’ for eight months, traveling about 3,500 km without burning any fossil fuel. ET Energyworld reported that Mr Dilip Chitre is fond of promoting solar power, and had earlier converted a Mahindra electric car into a solar-powered car, but that experiment did not yield positive results. After two decades of trial and error, Mr Chitre was able to power a Maruti Omni minivan entirely by solar energy. Using a 400-watt solar panel and batteries, the solar power enthusiast is now able to drive his car for 25 km on a full solar day charge.



October 7, 2019
New Electricity Act to Empower Renewable Purchase Obligation

Power Minister RK Singh has said that a new Electricity Act is in the pipeline, with the objective of streamlining the 75 or so amendments made to the existing Act, but also to provide more rights to all stakeholders. One key benefit for the renewable energy industry would be the legal support that the new Act will provide Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO), the Minister told The Hindu Business Line in an interview. The Act will also bring in more suppliers and hence provide consumers with more choice. Regulators will be given more autonomy, so that the Act can be implemented better, and consumers with a demand of more than 1 MW will have open access as a right. Time limits will also be set for adjudication of applications, Mr Singh said.



October 4, 2019
CO2 Released by Volcanoes Far Less Than Human Emissions

New research has found that previous understanding around CO2 emissions was incorrect, in that volcanoes emit far less CO2 than does human activity. The 10-year-long Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) program has released new findings that present a picture not seen before: carbon emissions from burning of fossil fuels and forests are up to 100 times higher than carbon emissions from volcanoes. The study by DCO has estimated that the total carbon on Earth is approximately 1.85 billion gigatons, including carbon in the lower mantle, upper mantle and oceanic litospheres of the earth. About 590 gigatons of carbon, the study noted, was in the earth’s atmosphere. The total carbon above the surface, i.e. in oceans, on land, and in the atmosphere, is about 43,500 gigatons.



October 4, 2019
Chennai Municipal Body Sets ‘Zero Waste’ Example

The Greater Chennai Corporation has started a Zero Waste initiative where the authorities are segregating waste and treating all of it. While one waste treatment unit shreds plastic garbage, compost is made out of biological waste and the manure is used to grow plants, which are sold. Discarded clothes are being turned into eco-friendly bags and shoes are repaired and sold to the underprivileged at low cost. Plastic is collected and treated to be used in building roads. According to Mirror Now, Chennai generated about 3,200 tons of waste every day, and the civic body is collecting, segregating, and treating all this waste through 70 recovery facilities.



October 4, 2019
Clean Energy Boost for India with FRI

India will have its energy infrastructure strengthened over the next few years with a shot in the arm being provided by the Flexible Resources Initiative (FRI). The initiative is a collaboration between the energy-related departments of India and the US, beginning with an ongoing visit by Mr Francis R Fannon, Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, US Department of State. ET Energyworld quoted the US State Dept as saying that this initiative will help in the execution of the shared vision of the two countries for clean energy-based economic growth in the Indo-Pacific region.



October 3, 2019
Mandate for 20% Ethanol Mix in Petrol Likely

In its efforts to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions, the Government of India is likely to introduce a mandate for mixing 20% ethanol in petrol soon, according to a news report published by ET Energyworld. The publication quoted Mr Rashmi Urdhwareshe, Director, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), as saying that the government is also considering methanol and bio-diesel for Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) emission norms, which will kick in from April 2020. In some Eastern States of the country, there is enough methanol for it to serve as not just a mix in petrol but an alternative fuel in itself, Mr Rashmi added.



October 3, 2019
Bamrauli Airport to Save INR 2 Crore Annually By Going Solar

The Bamrauli Civil Airport Terminal in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, is all set to install solar power panels that will help authorities save about INR 2 crore annually. According to a report published by Hindustan Times, the terminal’s monthly electricity bills run into INR 16 lakh, which is about INR 1.92 crore a year. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has approved the proposal for installation of solar power at the airport, and a nod from the UP power department is pending. The solar power plant would cost about INR 4 crore, and will use specially designed solar panels that do not reflect sunlight, for smooth flight operations.



October 3, 2019
One Crore LED Streetlights Installed by EESL

More than one crore (10 million) LED streetlights have been installed by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), leading to annual energy savings of more than 6.7 billion kWh, a report published by Business Standard said. The cost savings are estimated to be about INR 5,570 crore, per annum. The LED streetlight retrofitting project by EESL has covered most States in the country, and will reach gram panchayats of villages with about 35 million LED lights. EESL is promoted by the Ministry of Power, Government of India, and plans to retrofit all streetlights in the country with energy-efficient LED lights.



October 1, 2019
10K Students to Attend MNRE Solar Assembly

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in association with IIT Bombay is organizing a one-day event called Global Student Solar Assembly, on October 2. The event coincides with Gandhi Jayanti to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s sustainable living philosophy, a report published by ET Energyworld said. About 10,000 students are expected to converge in New Delhi for the event, which will be held at Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex. Students will be offered hands-on training to assemble solar-powered study lamps, the report said. According to the Ministry, the day-long event will also serve as an awareness workshop to sensitize students about energy sustainability and self-sufficiency.



October 1, 2019
Present CO2 Levels a First in Human History: Study

A new study called ‘Low CO2 Levels of Entire Pleistocene Epoch’ published by Nature Communications has revealed that the present CO2 conditions are a first in human history. While today’s CO2 levels have exceeded 410 ppm, they never breached the 320 ppm mark for 2.5 million years before 1965, the study noted. According to the researchers, this means that human existence on the planet never experienced CO2 levels of the kind we have seen since 1965. Researchers studied soil carbonates from Central China instead of studying ice cores, because ice cores indicate records dating back to less than a million years, the researchers said. Scientists until now had known that for the last 800,000 years, CO2 levels on the planet did not cross 230 ppm, but they now know that the same applies to 2.5 million years before 1965.



October 1, 2019
European Scientists Develop Batteries with 2x Energy Density

Researchers from Slovenia and Sweden in Europe have found a novel method to develop batteries that have twice the energy density of existing batteries. What is more, the batteries will not harm the environment any more than existing batteries do, according to a study published by Energy Storage Materials. The aluminium batteries can be scaled for commercial-level storage of renewable energy, and can cost substantially lower to produce than do li-ion batteries. In this new concept, researchers have replaced graphite with an organic cathode composed of anthraquinone. Researchers said that their concept still uses chlorine but they were working on a model that does not.



September 30, 2019
CII, Govt of Telangana Sign MoU for Green Awareness among Students

The Department of Technical Education, Government of Telangana, on Saturday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Indian Green Building Council (CII-IGBC) with the stated objective of spreading awareness on sustainable development among the students of the State as well as the State’s teaching community. The MoU was signed on the closing day of the 3-day 17th Green Building Congress held at HICC, Hyderabad. Mr Navin Mittal, Commissioner, Department of Technical Education, and Mr V Suresh, Chairman, IGBC, signed the document, which will lead to the introduction of green building concepts in the study courses of engineering and architecture students in Telangana. As part of the understanding, new IGBC student chapters will be launched in technical institutes across the State.



September 30, 2019
MNRE Issues Draft Guidelines for Decentralized Solar

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has prepared a new blueprint for decentralized solar power in India, and the draft guidelines have been issued for feedback. The Ministry is open to receiving feedback from stakeholders until October 11. If implemented, the rules will mandate DISCOMs to ensure must-run status for decentralized solar power projects. The new guidelines will be applicable to solar power projects that are connected to 33/11 kV, 66/11 kV, and 110/11 kV rural distribution substations, according to Mercom India.



September 30, 2019
Chennai to Set Example in Recycling Sewage Water

Chennai is set to become the first city in India to recycle 20% of its daily output of sewage water, according to Chennai’s Metrowater executive director. A report published by Times of India said that a new TTRO plant will be inaugurated by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister tomorrow, October 1. The plant will use ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis to recycle and supply about 45 million liters per day (MLD) of treated sewage water to industrial units in the city, which have been using fresh water until now. With the inauguration of the new plant, Chennai will have two grey water treatment plants to recycle and reuse 90 MLD, or 20%, of its daily generation of 550 MLD sewage water.



September 25, 2019
66 Countries Sign Up for Net Zero Carbon Goal by 2050

The office of the UN Secretary General has revealed that 66 governments have committed to net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. The development came after the UN Climate Action Summit in New York held recently, where several world leaders reiterated their stand on the importance of tackling climate change. The 66 governments are joined by 10 regions, 102 cities, and 93 companies, according the statement issued by the UN office. Countries committed to the Paris Agreement (2015) are also expected to update their NDCs by 2020, the report said.



September 25, 2019
Kerala City Goes for Solar Power at Govt Schools

Kozikhode city in Kerala will have all its government school buildings powered by solar energy soon, according to a news report published by ET Energyworld of the Times News Network. For now, solar panels have been set up at two government schools in Kozikhode, and 10 schools have been identified for installations. The city corporation has 50 government schools in its limits, and all of them will be powered by this clean energy source. The major reason for this transition, according to a senior official of the corporation, was an upsurge in electricity bills in light of new tariffs. The solar power shift will help the corporation save money, the official said.



September 25, 2019
RE Capacity Addition Will Be Better in 2019: IEA

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has issued a statement forecasting a double-digit growth in global renewable energy (RE) capacity addition in 2019, even as 2018 posted unimpressive figures. The IEA said it expects global RE capacity addition growth to be 12% or so this year, which would make this year the best in four years. RE capacity addition might reach 200 GW this year, with solar and wind making up the majority share, the research agency said. Solar PV capacity growth itself was expected at 17% or above.



September 24, 2019
Customs Duty on Imported Solar Cells Proposed

The Union Minister for Power, Mr R K Singh, has sent a written proposal to the Finance Minister of India, nudging the government to introduce a basic customs duty on imported solar cells and modules. Solar power manufacturers have been making this demand for a while now, as low-priced imported solar products spell doom for the nascent solar power industry here. The letter, according to Mercom India, mentions that local solar power manufacturers have become dependent on imports, which goes against the spirit of ‘Make in India’. To provide the local solar industry a much-needed boost, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has proposed a basic customs duty on imported solar cells and modules, starting at 10% in the first and going up to 30% in the third year. No customs duty has been proposed on other imported solar products, such as glass and frames.



September 24, 2019
Road Transport Minister Says All Buses Will be Electric in 2 Years

Union Road Transport Minister Mr Nitin Gadkari has said that all buses in India will go electric in the next two years, and expressed optimism over the growth of the electric vehicle (EV) industry in India. Speaking at a conference in New Delhi, the Minister told automobile industry delegates that there will be no need to mandate a shift of fossil-fuel based vehicles to electric ones, as the EV industry is picking up pace by itself. “There is no need to make EV mandatory or to ban petrol and diesel vehicles,” Mr Gadkari was reported as saying. Speaking about buses, he said that if not on electric power, they will soon be seen running on alternative and clean fuels, such as bio-CNG and ethanol.



September 24, 2019
Indian Power Plants at Risk of Water Scarcity: Study

A new international study published in the journal Energy & Environment Science has flagged a risk that Indian power plants may face in the near future: water scarcity. While the study covered Asia and warned about adverse impacts of climate change on industries such as China and Mongolia other than India, it especially raised a concern for coal-fired power plants, which are what make up the major share of power production in the country. Climate change and related extreme events in weather will make water scarcity more acute, while increasing power generating will worsen the problem, the study noted.



September 20, 2019
UNEP Report Shows 638 GW of Solar Power Addition in 10 Years

A new report published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has revealed that a mammoth 638 GW of solar power capacity was added worldwide in the last 10 years alone. Figures from 2009 and now showed that solar power capacity stood at only 25 GW in 2009, with the next decade witnessing massive investments in the sector. However, the capacity addition includes solar thermal as well as solar PV projects. According the UNEP report, solar power projects attracted investments to the tune of USD 1.3 trillion between 2010 and 2019. China leads by investment share in the renewable energy sector, USD 758 billion invested in the last decade, while India has invested or committed to investments worth about USD 90 billion, the report said.



September 20, 2019
Telangana to Tender 1,000 MW of Solar Power Projects: Report

Telangana Special Chief Secretary (Energy) Mr Ajay Mishra has revealed that the Telangana government is likely to float tenders for another 1,000 MW of solar power projects in the coming days. The tenders might be floated within the next two months, according to a report published by ET Energyworld. By the end of calendar year 2020, the Telangana government’s aim is to have solar power capacity of 5,000 MW, Mr Mishra was quoted as saying. Presently, Telangana’s solar power capacity stands at 3,700 MW, and the State ranked 2nd in the recently released SARAL index of solar power attractiveness.



September 20, 2019
National Energy Efficiency Benchmarking To Begin Soon

A national repository of energy efficiency benchmarks is taking shape, according to Mr Milind Deore, director of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). Speaking at the recently concluded Energy Efficiency Summit organized by CII, Mr Deore said that one of the key goals for this government is a market transformation towards energy efficient products. To streamline efforts of the industry, the government is working on developing a national repository for energy efficiency benchmarks, which will be accessible to all industry stakeholders and will serve the purpose of facilitating major energy savings in the country, he said, underlining that energy efficiency will make up more than half of energy consumption abatement in the years to come.



August 22, 2019
New SARAL Index to Rank States for Rooftop Solar

A new index called SARAL – State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index – will be used by the Central government to rank Indian States for their performance in rooftop solar power development. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said SARAL offers a comprehensive overview of each State’s efforts to facilitate the development of rooftop solar infrastructure. The index is also aimed at helping deserving States get access to investments, as well as enable a climate of good implementation of State measures to boost rooftop solar.



August 22, 2019
Indian Railways Bans Single-Use Plastic

The Indian Railways has announced a blanket ban on single-use plastics across its wide network in the country. The ban will take effect from October 2, in honor of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, following up on the call to action made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for all government authorities as well as citizens. In his speech on the Independence Day, the Prime Minister had appealed for citizens and officials to effectively eliminate single-use plastics from daily life, and the Ministry of Railways has now directed all Indian Railways units to do just that. Plastics with a thickness of less than 50 microns are considered single-use.



August 22, 2019
Erode City Starts Bio-mining Garbage

Civic officials in Erode city, Tamil Nadu, have begun the process of bio-mining the solid waste that has been collected over 60 years. About 5.35 lakh cubic meters of garbage has piled up, and bio-mining it will cost the Erode City Municipal Corporation a total of INR 37.25 crore, supported by the Centre’s Smart Cities Mission. The Hindu quoted officials as saying that the process is eco-friendly and advanced, with the aim of reducing landfill gas and leachate emissions as close to zero as possible. After remediation and segregation, the dry waste will be sent for use as fuel to cement factories.



August 16, 2019
Govt Forms Working Group for EV Industry Boost

The government has formed a new working group comprising officials from the Power department to oversee work related to the country’s nascent EV industry. The officials will supervise the installations of charging infrastructure, ET Energyworld reported, with coordination between all government agencies for an accelerated rollout of charging stations in the national capital. The working group, apart from the power department, represents power distribution companies, the transport department, and other important agencies related to the electric vehicle industry. The working group will be able to take quick decisions and prevent delays in the setting up of EV charging infrastructure in Delhi.



August 16, 2019
Health Benefits of RE Can Help Save Big

A new study published in the Environmental Research Letters shows that billions of dollars can be saved by an improvement in public health if the renewable energy transition is successful. The study charted renewable energy projects and their estimated health benefits in 10 American States, but the same logic can be applied to any country or State. Researchers showed that with a steady and drastic reduction in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, public health costs would go down substantially, returning great monetary savings for governments, corporates and individuals alike. Deaths and illnesses related to climate change can be checked via clean and green developments, with benefits extending to not just standard and safety of life but monetary costs as well.



August 16, 2019
Air Pollution No Less Harmful Than Smoking

Research published in JAMA shows that exposure to ozone air pollution is no less harmful than smoking tobacco to the tune of a full pack of cigarettes per day. While cigarette smoking is considered the most common cause of the lung disease emphysema, researchers said exposure to air pollution is now on the same level of impact as smoking a full pack every day for 29 years. The study was conducted over 18 years in the US, and involved more than 7,000 people.



August 14, 2019
International Solar Alliance Set for 100 Nation Membership

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is likely to become a 100-nation strong force soon, with the second general assembly to be held in the national capital from October 30. Live Mint reported that a majority of the new countries to sign up for the membership are West Asian countries, and could number up to 25. Presently, the ISA has a membership of 76 countries, and the alliance could be enjoying the membership of Kenya, Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq and Qatar, among other countries. The ISA is headquartered in India, with France also leading efforts to strengthen it. The first general assembly of the ISA was inaugurated in October 2018, with a vision to have 121 countries on board.



August 14, 2019
Carbon Tax from Coal Largely Unused

Even as renewable energy projects are burdened with low tariffs and hence low profitability, the larger portion of carbon tax collected from the coal industry is still unutilized by the government of India. ET Energyworld reported that more than 60% of the tax – which, over seven years, has amounted to a corpus of more than 1 lakh crore – remains dormant still. The corpus is called National Clean Energy Fund and is marked for promoting clean energy environment, research and other related initiatives. In fact, of the estimated 1 lakh crore made by the government in coal tax, 71% has not even been transferred to the NCEF yet. According to the report, the lack of a streamlined allocation process for the collected funds is the major problem.



August 14, 2019
Scientists Use Plastic to Store Natural Gas

A new study published in ‘Natural Energy’ shows that it is possible to use plastic to create a storage system for natural gas, thus enabling a widespread transition from petroleum products to natural gas in global climate change efforts. The biggest problem with a transition towards natural gas presently is the expensive and inefficient storage systems. With plastic-based materials, the storage question can be solved, making the storage of natural gas efficient and low-cost. Researchers said the porous polymer COP-150 could be used to make flexible and high-strength storage materials for natural gas such as methane, and that the technology was easily scaleable.



August 9, 2019
New Report Shows Link between Food Production and Global Emissions

The second report on Climate Change & Land by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has underlined the link between the global food production systems and global greenhouse emissions, noting that more than 25% of emissions come from food production itself. Among its recommendations is to reduce animal-based food production and compensate the same with plant-based food production, and also to reduce food wastage. Sustainable agricultural practices need to be promoted and adapted globally, the report said, highlighting that land use for food production was adversely affecting climate change, which in turn worsens land conditions.



August 9, 2019
Adherence to WHO Guidelines Can Prevent Thousands of Asthma Cases

If industries follow guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO), thousands of new asthma cases could be prevented every year, a new study has found. The research, published in the European Respiratory Journal, notes that about 67,000 cases of childhood asthma in Europe can be prevented if air pollution is curbed to levels recommended by WHO. The research noted that more than 10% of the childhood asthma cases diagnosed in Europe, including the UK, could be traced to air pollution, particularly NO2 and PM2.5. However, researchers also said that WHO guidelines are not strict enough to prevent cases of childhood asthma caused by air pollution, and hence, air pollution needs to go down beyond WHO recommended levels.



August 9, 2019
e-Scooters Worse than Most Modes of Transportation: Study

A new study published in the science journal called Environmental Research Letters might serve to end the illusion of e-scooters being the most environment-friendly mode of transportation. North Carolina State University researchers were able to demonstrate that short of cars, the e-scooters taking over European streets in a new wave of climate consciousness, are the most damaging to the environment, emitting far more greenhouse gases in their overall life cycle. Taken per mile, the greenhouse gas emissions caused by manufacturing, transporting, and charging e-scooters are higher than per mile emissions caused by commuters taking a bus or sharing a regular bike or cab. Only driving one’s own car causes more damage to the environment in the long run, but the study also notes that if made and managed better, with longer life cycle and reduced transportation needs, e-scooters can live up to their potential of reducing carbon footprint overall.



August 6, 2019
US Firms See Positive Results of Going Green

A new study has found that corporate America is increasingly adapting environment-friendly measures, thanks to benefits reaped in the last few years. A Forbes report quoted research by Deloitte to show that more than half of US companies are not just implementing environment goals but also increasing them. The positive results of adapting renewable energy have been well received in the American industry, with technologies for energy efficiency and energy management helping companies save overall power consumption. About 75% of US companies are now looking to procure energy from renewable sources, both for cost-cutting long-term measures and for environmental concerns, the report said.



August 6, 2019
Telangana CM Proposes 1 GW Solar Projects

Telangana Chief Minister has proposed the development of solar power in the State to the tune of a massive 1 GW, with the intention of making affordable solar power accessible to irrigation projects. Mercom India reported that the CM made the proposal at a review meeting of the power sector, and asked officials to take stock of the power requirements of lift irrigation in the State. Mr Chandrashekhar Rao also asked officials to seek bids for 1,000 MW of solar power, and also assured officials that all the government will take all measures required to ensure that Telangana’s power agencies thrive. The present installed solar capacity in the State is 3.5 GW.



August 6, 2019
Asian Developments Crucial to Global Climate Change Battle: UN

A senior representative of the United Nations has warned that developments in the Asian countries will be crucial to the success or failure of global climate change efforts. Ms Rachel Kyte, a special rep for the UN Secretary General, told the media that electricity demand is set to triple in the Southeast Asian region in the near future, i.e. from the present until 2040. Unfortunately, many countries are building new coal projects to meet the surge in power requirement, whereas coal has no future, Ms Kyte said. It is important to adapt clean energy measures for China’s Belt & Road initiative, she said, while mentioning that China seems to be committed to fighting climate change. While Ms Kyte did not mention which countries in particular are contributing adversely to climate change, she did assert that the global climate change battle will be lost if Asian countries fail to meet their carbon reduction targets.



August 5, 2019
Govt Mulls INR 700 Cr Annual Subsidies for Domestic Battery Production

Battery manufacturers from India and abroad might soon find a friendly environment in India, for the Centre is reportedly finalizing a plan to subsidize the manufacturing of batteries to the tune of INR 700 crore per annum. Import duty on key components might get removed, with subsidy benefits lasting up to 10 years, and other incentives for making clean batteries, based on lithium, iron and cobalt rather than lead. The idea is to make India self-sufficient for its future clean energy needs for electronics and EV markets, so that the heavy import costs could be cut down. ET Energyworld quoted a government official as saying that the government aims to subsidize domestic production of up to 50 GWh in battery capacity every year, starting 2020.



August 5, 2019
Solar Power Capacity Addition Grows in India

Solar power capacity addition has continued its growth trajectory in India, according to research by Mercom India. According to the website, solar power capacity has now grown to 8.7% of the total power generation capacity of the country, while it stood at 7.03% about the same time last year. Moreover, solar power now accounts for a neat 25% of the renewable energy generation mix in the nation, while renewable energy itself accounts for 35.4% of the country’s total power generation mix. The numbers were recorded as of June 2019 by Mercom India’s solar tracker. The report underlined that solar power capacity now stands at 31.5 GW. The growth of the renewable energy sector is pegged at 15% as compared to June last year.



August 5, 2019
International Team of Researchers to Study Plastic Pollution in Ganga

An international team of researchers is set to embark on a study of plastic pollution in Ganga, tracking it upstream from the Bay of Bengal to the Himalayas, the Guardian reported. The team of 18 researchers is an all-women team, and comprises scientists and explorers. The effort is backed by the National Geographic and involves various institutions, including the Wildlife Institute of India and the University of Dhaka. The team will study the ways in which disposed plastics move from the source of their disposal and end up in seas, and then offer solutions for governments to implement. The team is using drones, apps, a tracking device placed inside a plastic bottle, and wooden drift cards for residents to respond to, in their effort to chart the way plastic moves in the Ganges in specific and in rivers in general.



August 2, 2019
Centre Reminds States about Must-Run Status for RE Plants

The Central government is taking stock of the renewable energy sector and in its efforts to boost growth, has now asked States to ensure that the must-run status of renewable energy plants is honored. If and when supply from these plants is paused, the reason must be provided in writing, a new letter from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said. States curtailing renewable energy supply for any reason other than for grid safety will have to bear the losses incurred by the renewable energy power generating companies, the letter to Secretaries of all States noted, without mentioning any instance or State in particular.



August 2, 2019
Kenyan Group Creates 25K Litres of Freshwater from Seawater Daily

A non-profit organization in Kenya has started a facility that uses solar power to convert seawater into potable water. GivePower is running a desalination system along the coastline in Kiunga, creating 75,000 liters of freshwater every day. That amount is enough for the potable water requirement of about 25,000 people, and the model is sustainable and scalable, Business Insider said. The group is using a solar micro-grid system with two pumps and energy storage batteries.



August 2, 2019
One-tenth of Fuel Subsidies Enough for Clean Energy: Study

A new study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) shows that just one-tenth of current global subsidies supporting the fossil fuel industry will be enough to set in motion a large-scale clean energy movement. The report shows that out of the $ 370 billion doled out by governments for coal, oil and gas, anywhere between 10% and 30% will suffice for a worldwide transition to renewable and clean energy. If subsidies are redirected from fossil fuels to clean energy, the clean energy options will become competitive enough to phase out power generation based on coal, oil and gas, and rapidly so, the IISD report highlights. A report by The Guardian on this study noted that while investments in renewable energy are on the rise, subsidies still empower fossil fuel consumption worldwide. About 112 countries pay for subsidizing fuel prices, and the IISD study made a mention of India cutting fuel subsidies by 75% from 2014 as key progress in the right direction.



July 31, 2019
Chennai Water Crisis Could Be New Normal for Urban India: Study

A new study by a research firm in London shows that the water shortage crisis gripping Chennai could be the new normal for Indian cities rather than a one-off situation. Verisk Maplecroft said that while many of Chennai’s residents are reeling under a severe water crisis now, the future looks even grimmer, with tens of millions of urban residents at the risk of going through the same troubles. Water is being brought to Chennai by train from Vellore now, but this welfare support does not extend to the industry there. From 20 of the largest Indian cities, 18 come under either the ‘high risk’ or the ‘severe risk’ categories for scarcity of water in the near future (2035), the study said, calling the Chennai water crisis only the tip of an iceberg.



July 31, 2019
Green Bonds Grow from $1B to $143B in 10 Years

Economic research shows that the green bond market is growing by leaps and bounds in Asia and the Western world both. In just 10 years from 2008 to 2018, the global green bonds market went from $ 1 billion to $ 143 billion, with the biggest contributions coming from China, the US, and France. However, Live Mint reported that at $ 5.2 billion, India’s green bonds market is among the fastest-growing Asian markets. The research, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, highlights that green bonds have yielded great results for companies over the last decade or so, and have also served to fulfil environmental goals set by companies. The study also notes that uniform standards for classification of green bonds would further boost their growth.



July 31, 2019
States Conserving Water Better Could Get More Funds

In a new move aimed at preparing the country for water shortage, the Central government may ask States to compete on the water conservation front in order to receive better funding. The proposal was discussed at a Parliamentary meet but has not been announced as a measure yet, with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi suggesting to the media that the move will promote only healthy competition in water conservation measures among the State agencies. A report published by NDTV said that the competition would be promoted at block level, so that water is saved to the maximum extent possible.



July 30, 2019
Largest W2E Plant to Come Up in China

China is working on a waste-to-energy plant that is touted to be the largest in the world of its kind. I Am Renew reported that the plant is set to come up in the peripheral areas of the Southern Chinese city called Shenzhen, and that it could process about 5,000 tons of waste every day. The Shenzhen city itself generates about 15,000 tons of waste every day, and the plant will use a significant portion of that waste to generate electricity. The plant is based on the incinerator-turbine model, and has met some resistance from environment activists and residents of the area. The rooftop solar installations on this plant are estimated to be spread over 40,000 square meters.



July 30, 2019
More than 5K Electric Buses Sanctioned

More than 5,000 electric buses will soon ply on Indian roads, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant revealed on Twitter. A total of 5,645 electric buses will operate in 65 cities, with eight transport authorities running them. According to Mr Kant, the sanction was given at a committee for EVs and is aimed at providing a huge impetus to the automobile sector with clean technology. The manufacturing of these electric buses will help drive the Make in India campaign further, Mr Kant suggested in his tweet.



July 30, 2019
Current Consumption Rates Require 1.75 Times Earth’s Resources

The consumption rates of humanity have increased and at the new rates, the present population of Earth will require 1.75 times its resources, the California-based environment group Global Footprint Network said. The Earth Overshoot Day, which is when the human population uses up the year’s sustainable or renewable quota of natural resources such as clean air, water and soil, has come two months earlier than it used to two decades ago. On Monday, the Earth Overshoot Day was marked to highlight the current unsustainable rate of deforestation, carbon emissions and biodiversity losses. The group’s new study said that the human population is using up natural resources 1.75 times faster than the planet can regenerate.



July 29, 2019
Glass Buildings Trap More Heat, Should Go, Say Experts

Skyscrapers covered with glass all-round are contributing majorly to carbon emissions and global warming, environment experts say, asking for a stop to construction activities that depend on standard glass facades. The Guardian published a report in which it quotes a UK government advisor as saying that standard glass facades make for a high cooling requirement, which ends up in high carbon emissions and is counterproductive to tackling climate change. Even as glass facades offer the advantage of natural sunlight, the glass itself makes for a heat trap, with lack of ventilation causing temperatures to soar inside buildings, adding heavy pressure on air-conditioning equipment. About 14% of all power consumption goes to air-conditioning alone, the International Energy Agency noted.



July 29, 2019
Government Brings Down Tax Slabs for EVs and Chargers

The Union Ministry of Finance has changed the tax slabs for electric vehicles (EVs) and chargers to a uniform 5% from the previous 12% and 18% respectively, in a measure aimed at offering a shot in the arm of the struggling and nascent EV industry. The decision was made at a GST Council meeting chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and is based on the tax breaks offered in this year’s Union Budget. The government of India hopes to have EVs contributing to 30% of all passenger vehicle sales by 2030, including two-wheelers and three-wheelers. The Finance Minister said that the government aims to make India a major manufacturing hub in the global EV industry.



July 25, 2019
New Solar Installations Could Hit Peak Numbers This Year

Driven by fast growth in both the Western countries and the third world countries such as India, solar rooftop installations around the world could register their biggest numbers yet, a new report from Wood Mackenzie says. The consultancy makes an estimate of 114.5 GW of solar rooftop installed capacity by the end of 2019, which would be 17.5% more than 2018. It would also be the first time that new solar PV installations exceeded total capacity of 100 GW. Moreover, the analysts from the consultancy even presented a positive picture for the near future, claiming that new global annual installations could cross the 125 GW mark in early 2020s itself. Last year’s slowdown, they said, was just a brief anomaly in an otherwise growing global market of solar rooftop projects.



July 25, 2019
No Match in Scale of Man-made and Natural Climate Change: Study

A new study has challenged the notion that the current warming of the planet is just another natural phase that will come to pass. The research published in the journals Nature and Nature Geoscience shows that the current rate of global warming is unparalleled in its scale, meaning that the previous climate change scenarios caused by nature cannot be compared to the present situation. BBC quoted professors from the UK as saying that this study is capable of putting to rest the arguments of ‘climate change deniers’. The scientists used 700 proxy records of large-scale changes in the planet’s climates, and found that no other age witnessed extreme temperature changes affecting the whole planet, a finding that proves that the present industry-induced climate change is the worst in the history of the planet.



July 25, 2019
Government Considers Charging Industry for Groundwater Recharge

The Central government is mulling a new mandate that will levy additional charges for conservation of water on the Indian industry. The sectors to be charged will even include agriculture, besides the more obvious construction and mining sectors. This will help the government provide for recharge of groundwater, as large scale commercial activities in the country are leaving groundwater levels low. The existing laws to prevent or penalize exploitation of groundwater will still apply, but the additional water conservation charge will serve as an aid for State and Central agencies for existing and new groundwater recharge projects.



July 24, 2019
US City Bans Fuel & Gas Facilities in Buildings

The US city called Berkeley (California) has passed a law that forbids any use of natural gas and fossil fuels in buildings within its limits. The law is a first of its kind in the United States, even though several cities and States are working on their measures and strategies to check climate change. The Guardian reported that the law was approved from an ordinance with the full support of the City Council as well as the residents of the city. Fossil-fuel and natural gas are the common choice for running stoves and indoor heating facilities in buildings in the US, but come New Year and Berkeley will implement a clean energy, no carbon policy that will see a jump in electrification.



July 24, 2019
UP Invites Bids for 25 MW Solar Projects

The UPNEDA has issued a tender for grid-connected solar rooftop projects amounting to 25 MW. The installations will be done on government and semi-government buildings. The last date for submission of bids is August 12, and the RESCO model with gross metering basis will apply. All solar modules must be procured locally and 40% of the balance of system should be domestic content. Bids placed must be for a minimum for 1 MW and a maximum of 10 MW. The systems will have to be in the capacity range of 25 kW and 500 kW.



July 24, 2019
Gujarat Ranks First in Rooftop Solar Power

Gujarat is ranked as the State with highest capacity of solar rooftop installations in the country, according to information discussed in the Parliament recently. The Western State is followed by Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu comes third. The present total installed solar rooftop capacity is 1,700.54 MW, and Gujarat has the largest share at 261.97 MW. Of the total installed rooftop capacity in solar, more than 70% is subsidized, ET Energyworld reported. India aims to have about 40,000 MW of installed solar rooftop capacity in three years.



July 23, 2019
Govt on 3D Mapping Drive for Water Conservation

For long-term and effective water conservation and rainwater harvesting solutions, the Central government has begun a 3D mapping drive to cover all villages in the country. Based on the information the Union Jal Shakti Ministry will take specific measures for conservation of water, essentially micro-managing the problem of water shortage, water runoff, and water pollution. The understanding of the natural flow of water in villages will help the government come up with solutions for both recycling and recharging of water, a Times of India report said. The 3D aquifer mapping will also help the government mark safe and sustainable levels of groundwater extraction. The Central Ground Water Board has taken up the drive, and the 3D scale is 1:50,000.



July 23, 2019
UK Might Introduce CO2 Tax for Air Travel

Lawmakers in the United Kingdom are mulling a new kind of tax that will be levied on air travel passengers and used to offset carbon emissions from air travel. The tax or charge may be optional and aimed at spreading more awareness among people, so that the larger public can come ahead to contribute to the government’s spending on eco-friendly transportation projects. Trains and buses may also carry this additional and optional CO2 emission charge, The Guardian reported, adding that the UK government may use the extra funds to plant more trees. The Department of Transport suggested that the optional charge could be included by default in the cost of tickets, but could be opted out of, if the passengers so wish.



July 23, 2019
Solar Power Sector Set to Get PM-KUSUM Boost

The solar power sector in India is set to get a boost from the Central government in the form of the PM-KUSUM scheme, aimed at the farming sector. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has come up with new guidelines for the scheme, which implies that the scheme will soon be implemented. The scheme, with a financial aid corpus of INR 34,422 crore, aims to encourage farmers in India to replace their diesel fuel-based water pumps with solar powered pumps. In terms of solar power capacity, the scheme can add about 25,750 MW. The scheme covers three types of projects: solarisation of existing agriculture pumps, installation of new solar agriculture pumps, and installation of decentralized solar power plants.



July 19, 2019
New Study Pitches Artificial Snow Idea for Global Warming

A new study pitches the idea that a large blanket of artificial snow might help freeze the Antarctic Ice in its place, preventing the much-feared melting of ice due to global warming. It is estimated that in the coming years, rise in global temperatures will see sea levels increasing to submerge many human settlements, including large cities as well as small islands. If it goes unchecked, climate change can cause a 10 ft rise in sea levels over the coming centuries, displacing hundreds of millions of people. This new study was published in Science Advances, and was based on computer models. The scientists argues that 7,400 gigatons of artificial snow deposited over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could prevent its melting, and save major cities like New York and Hong Kong from submerging.



July 19, 2019
Power Transmission Boost from Govt for Renewable Energy Projects

The Central government has come in to help out renewable energy projects stuck for bank guarantees and other clearances, invoking special powers to assign the status of national importance to them. With this development, transmission schemes identified for renewable energy projects totaling a capacity of 66.5 GW will get cleared, providing these projects with a much-needed relief. The proposal to accord regulatory approval early was signed by Power Minister RK Singh, ET Energyworld reported. The government’s statement on this new development said that the move was made to bridge the gap between the gestation periods of transmission schemes and renewable energy projects.



July 18, 2019
NGT Orders Closure of Polluting Units in 3 Months

Dozens of polluting plants can face closure within three months, with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) issuing a new order to that effect. The NGT has asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to pull the shutter on units that are not meeting pollution standards and are still operating in areas categorized as critically or severely polluted. A copy of the order is available on the website of CPCB. Furthermore, the NGT asked the CPCB to work with State PCBs and measure the compensation that polluting units should pay for causing damage to the environment and public health.



July 18, 2019
Power Ministry Amends Solar Bidding Guidelines Again

The Ministry of Power has amended the guidelines for bidding by solar manufacturers, even as it had made two amendments in the recent past. This time, the amendment allows procurers of solar power generators to substitute the promoter or manufacturer in case of a default by the promoter. Mercom India reported that the performance bank guarantee can be used to recover damages in the case of a PPA. However, the report pointed out that the bigger problem in the industry was defaulting on payments by the procurers, or State-owned companies, rather than defaulting on lenders by promoters or solar manufacturers.



July 18, 2019
Scientists Find Novel Chemical Recycling Method for Plastics

Scientists from the Swansea University, UK, have found a new method of recycling plastics that can be used to make new materials of high value. The research was published in The Journal for Carbon Research, and said that materials such as carbon nanotubes can be created using the new chemical recycling technique developed by the scientists. The carbon nanotubes can conduct both heat and electricity, and can be used in the manufacturing of network antennas, electronics fabrics, and films for displays. ET Energyworld reported that the scientists primarily used black plastics for their research, because those are the hardest to recycle and are also commonly disposed of in trash.



July 17, 2019
RE Capacity More Than 80 GW Now, Power Minister Says

India’s renewable energy (RE) capacity now stands at more than 80 GW, Union Power Minister RK Singh told lawmakers in the Parliament recently. Solar energy capacity stands at 29.55 GW while wind energy capacity has reached 36.37 GW, Mr Singh said, underlining that the Central government was keeping a close tab on the developments in this sector. By June 30, India’s RE capacity was 80.46 GW, he said, reiterating the government’s goal of 175 GW of RE capacity by 2022. The Minister also revealed that the government has approved 42 solar power parks totalling a capacity of 23.40 GW.



July 17, 2019
BHEL Invites Bids for BoS Items for 5 MW Floating Solar Projects

Solar manufacturers are invited by BHEL to bid for Balance of System (BoS) items for floating solar projects in West Bengal totaling 5 MW. The last date for submission of bids is July 22. The project is to be developed at a thermal power plant in Sagardighi in Murshidabad. Bidders are required to take responsibility for supplying and installing all the required BoS components and the hardware that goes with them. BHEL will be responsible for the rest of the work, including the supply and installation of the PV modules, at this 5 MW floating solar project, which is being developed for West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited.



July 17, 2019
Students Recycle Waste to Produce Eco-Friendly Bricks

A small group of students from an engineering institute in Udaipur, Rajasthan, have developed a novel method of recycling waste to produce bricks that are environment friendly. This technique of brick production is easily scalable, they say. YourStory reported that the students worked on the technology for three years, and used waste material from demolition of buildings, thermal waste, marble slurry waste, and plastic waste. More than 100 bricks could be made in just about an hour, the website reported, quoting the students from Techno India NJR Institute of Technology. The manufacturing process does not emit carbon and leaves no residues, the students said, adding that at INR 3 per brick, the manufacturing can be quite cost-effective.



July 16, 2019
400K New Jobs to Come From Distributed RE Sector

According to a new report by industry body Power for All, the decentralized or distributed renewable energy (RE) sector in India will create no less than 400,000 new jobs. This would happen over the next four years, by 2023, with nearly half of those jobs being formal, and all of them being direct. The numbers were tabulated in a survey report called Powering Jobs Census 2019, which was based on a pan-India survey with participation of 37 companies. Sub-sectors for these jobs included solar water pumps, home solar, small-scale solar systems for offices, and solar mini-grids.



July 16, 2019
CEL Invites Bids for 50 MW Solar Projects in MH

Solar power developers can submit their bids for projects totaling 50 MW in Maharashtra to the Central Electronic Limited (CEL). July 24 is set as the deadline for submissions, and the projects will be in the range of 500 KW and 10 MW, spread across several locations. Developers will get only 120 days for commissioning from the date of allotment. The developers bidding are also required to have earlier commissioned at least one project of 500 KW capacity for a government department. Bidders are also required to make an Earnest Money Deposit of INR 10,00,000.



July 16, 2019
Indian Scientists Make New Bio-diesel Production Technology

Indian scientists have come up with a new technology that lays the foundation for a semi-continuous bio-diesel plant. The low-maintenance, cost-effective technology is easy to implement and can produce bio-diesel with a small capital investment and very little human effort, a report by ET Energyworld said. The technology was developed by scientists at the Centre of Excellence in Farm Machinery (CoEFM) with the support of CSIR-CMERI. The new technology requires waste edible and non-edible oils, animal fat, and feedstock with free fatty acid constitution of up to 10%, and can be scaled for MSME units. It is already being implemented in five industries, the report noted.



July 12, 2019
10% Increase in RE Investments This Year

There has been a solid 10% growth in the investments made in renewable energy this year so far, as compared to the first half of 2018. ET Energyworld reported that about $5.9 billion had been invested in the RE sector of the Indian industry already, with the government’s target being 175 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2022. While India made great progress in this regard, other countries registered slowdown in varying degrees. China’s RE investments decreased 39% this year so far, while the global investments slipped about 14%.



July 12, 2019
All-women Voyage for Marine Pollution Research to Launch in October

A team of 300 women will set sail to research on marine pollution in October, with the trip spanning 38,000 nautical miles. It will take two years and all the crew of the expedition will be women, including scientists, filmmakers, and athletes. The Hindu reported that the expedition is aimed at enabling research that can identify the types of plastic floating around in our oceans, so that new or customized solutions could be formulated for them. Director of the mission Emily Penn underlined that new material design and engineers working in collaboration to find new solutions are of utmost importance to cleaning up our oceans and protecting them from further damage.



July 12, 2019
MNRE Extends Deadline for Solar Inverter BIS Certification

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has set September 30 as the deadline for self-certification of solar inverters, extending it from the previous last date of June 30. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification for inverters of manufacturers that can furnish quality test reports was extended because the series guidelines have not yet been finalized or approved yet, which has been causing difficulties over clarity among manufacturers seeking certification. Mercom India reported that apart from confusion, solar inverter manufacturers face several other issues such as the lack of adequate testing infrastructure and extremely high costs of testing.



July 11, 2019
Tender Soon for 300 Electric Buses in Ahmedabad

The civic body in Ahmedabad is preparing an Expression of Interest for the procurement of 300 electric buses, ET Energyworld reported. Under a pilot, 12 electric buses have been plying on the streets of Ahmedabad, and further growth will be driven by the Central government’s FAME program for EV adoption. The reported quoted a government official as saying that the ideal electric buses would be able to drive through residential areas for last-mile connectivity. Separately, the authorities in Bengaluru and Jaipur are also planning to procure 300 electric buses each.



July 11, 2019
Lack of Incentives, Clear Policy Plagues Rainwater Harvesting for Industry

Rainwater harvesting could be scaled up in the country if only there is better support from the government, industry leaders say. In a report published by Economic Times, several industry representatives flagged the issues plaguing the progress of rainwater harvesting. Primarily, industry leaders pointed out the lack of any clear policy in this regard, and also the absence of any encouraging incentives for making big investments. There is the problem of red taping, a lack of standard operating procedures, and an unreasonably high number of permits required at multiple levels of government, industry leaders opined.



July 11, 2019
Few Consumers Willing to Recycle e-Waste: Survey

Most consumers of electronic goods give no thought to recycling the e-waste they produce, even as environmental concerns are growing around the world, a new survey by 91Mobiles showed. A report published by Telangana Today quoting the survey said that about 65% of mobile phone users in Hyderabad did not even consider recycling their old mobile phones, and that only 12% of consumers expressed willingness to recycle e-waste for the sake of the environment. The percentage of consumers in Hyderabad who recycle their old mobile phones while or after buying new phones was pegged at just 9%. On the other hand, the majority of the consumers surveyed were willing to sell their e-waste for recycling if they were offered decent cash incentives.



July 9, 2019
Water Crisis: Niti Aayog, Jal Shakti Ministry Plan Desalination of Sea Water

Niti Aayog is planning to desalinate sea water to tackle the water crisis and address the water consumption requirements of all households in the country, Economic Times reported. No such announcement was made by the government think tank, but the report says that Niti Aayog will handhold the Jal Shakti Ministry for this project. The scale of the project would be humongous, since India has a vast coastline spreading over nearly 8,000 kilometers, and desalination plants would come up across it if all goes well. Either solar or ocean energy, or both, would be used for achieving the desalination of India’s marine waters, the report added.



July 9, 2019
Family in Mumbai Saves About INR 10,000 by Going Solar

Dr Reema Lewis and her family have been using solar power since 2010, and are able to save about INR 10,000, or almost all of their electricity expenditure, thanks to the clean energy. They live in a duplex house in Vashi, Mumbai, and have a 5 KW solar system powering their entire home. The Better India reported that on sunny days, the entire power requirement is met by the solar system, and the electricity bill goes down to the bare minimum (mandatory) cost of INR 300. Their electricity consumption, before the solar system support, would amount to about INR 10,000. Dr Reema told the website that it cost them about INR 2.5 lakh for the solar system, an amount paid back in savings over just about two years.



July 9, 2019
Bengaluru Plans 100% Segregation of Waste by Year End

The civic body in Bengaluru has announced new deadlines for segregation of waste, with 90% segregation deadline set for September, and 100% for December. The BBMP also has a new contract system that has a provision for separate tenders for wet waste and dry waste collection, and is waiting for approval from a health committee. Women self-help groups (SHGs) will be pooled in for dry waste collection and existing collection centers will be upgraded, Economic Times reported. Municipal authorities in the city have been pushing for segregation of waste at source for both residents and companies since as far back as 2012, but the success rate is still relatively low, at just 40%. With the new provision for separating collection of dry and wet waste, activists in the city have expressed hope that the situation will improve significantly.



July 8, 2019
Solar Power at Madurai Airport Saves 30% of Electricity

With a solar power capacity of 900 KW, the Madurai Airport is now saving about 30% of its electricity. This amounts to a monthly saving of INR 10 lakh for the Airports Authority of India, ET Energyworld reported. Madurai Airport officials were quoted as saying that the purpose of incorporating solar power was not just to save on electricity costs but also to contribute to the making of a greener country. By using solar power for most of the daytime, the Madurai Airport is helping India reduce its carbon emissions substantially, even as the capital invested in the solar power project is estimated to be recovered via savings in just four years.



July 8, 2019
Lots of Small Climate Disasters Going Unnoticed: UN

The impact of climate change is not being understood by the world at large, with only major disasters getting attention while many smaller ones go unnoticed, a special representative of the United Nations’ Secretary General said. The frequency of climate-related disasters, when the smaller ones are taken into account, is alarming to say the least, with one occurring at least every week, she added. Immediate efforts are required to help developing nations with the small but many climate catastrophes, as they are displacing people and destroying livelihoods. The climate disasters that are lower in their impact than major ones that get international attention are now occurring much more frequently than was estimated, Mami Mizutori said.



July 8, 2019
FDI in Renewable Energy Sees Continued Growth

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the renewable sector of the Indian industry is holding steadfast to growth, and new numbers confirm the positive trend. While not by a lot, the FDI did see a jump in the renewable sector in the last financial year, 2018-19, from $1.2 billion to $1.44 billion, Mercom India reported. In 2014-15, the FDI in renewable energy sector was pegged at $615.95, and it has since been growing year-on-year. These numbers were quoted by Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal in the Parliament, when he was answering a question on this subject.



July 5, 2019
BHEL Invites Bids for Solar Module Cleaning System in Singareni

BHEL has invited bids from manufacturers of solar module cleaning systems, for solar systems of capacity 129 MW at four projects in Singareni Colleries, Telangana. The bidder will be responsible for the supply, instrumentation and construction of the solar module cleaning system. The smallest project of the four is at Pegadapally, with 10 MW capacity, and the largest one is at Ramagundam, with 50 MW capacity. The other two are 30 MW and 39 MW. The last date for submission of bids is July 12, and bidding will begin on that day itself. Mercom India reported that the cleaning system will have to be integrated with SCADA for monitoring and control.



July 5, 2019
1,300 Legal Cases Filed for Failure to Tackle Climate Change

Since 1990, at least 1,300 legal cases have been filed in courts against governments, companies and individuals, for failing to check or adding to the climate crisis, The Guardian reported. The number was taken from a survey that showed that legal action for the sake of arresting climate change was reported from 28 countries, with the US being home to as many as 1,000 out of the 1,300 cases. The report quoted co-authors of the study as saying that suing companies and governments for failing to check climate change can be called a global phenomenon now, and is only likely to grow.



July 5, 2019
Planting Trees Can Reverse Climate Change Significantly: Report

Planting trees to the tune of billions can help reverse climate change, so much so that it can remove more than 65% of the carbon emitted into the atmosphere. Even though it is long known as an effective and affordable method of addressing climate change, scientists have only now carried out an exhaustive study as to how many trees the world might need in non-urban spaces to mitigate the effects of climate change substantially. The Guardian quoted the lead researcher of the study as saying that while it was known that forest restoration is among the best measures to tackle climate change, this study confirms that it is indeed the best measure, proving far more effective than any other solution we know.



July 4, 2019
Solar Project Inaugurated at Tirupati Airport

A 1 MW ground-mounted solar power system was inaugurated at the Renigunta International Airport in Tirupati. The airport joins a growing list of airports in South India that have adopted solar power to reduce their electricity consumption and contribute to a cleaner and greener nation. Other airports in this club are located in Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Trivandrum, Trichy and Calicut, while the Cochin International Airport runs entirely on solar power. According to Mercom India, the regional executive director of the Airports Authority of India said that all South Indian airports will operate entirely on solar power within the next three years. New solar system installations are coming up at airports in Hubli and Kadapa as well, he added.



July 4, 2019
Water Conservation, Plastic-Free Drives Launched in Noida

The Noida Authority has launched sustainable living measures for the city’s residents and shopkeepers, delivering free cloth bags to vendors and helping recharge water in traditional ponds and dormant rainwater harvesting pits. The Noida Authority is being helped by NGOs in the plastic-free drive, where cloth bags are being distributed from today to residents and shopkeepers, to encourage both to keep away from using plastic bags. Simultaneously, parks and wetlands are being revived in order to make Noida an environment-friendly and sustainable city.



July 4, 2019
Delhi Police to Have Rooftop Solar on 200 Buildings

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and the Delhi Police have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for rooftop solar installations at 200 buildings occupied by the police force. Since the Delhi Police use more than 200 buildings in New Delhi, their electricity consumption amounts to a lot, and ET Energyworld reported that they intend to use green energy to cut down on their electricity bills and contribute to a greener and more sustainable city. A total of up to 4 MW capacity of grid-connected solar rooftop systems will be installed in collaboration with SECI.



July 3, 2019
Gujarat to Have 30,000 MW RE Power Capacity in 3 Years

In its biggest budget yet, the government of Gujarat has announced a more than three-fold increase in its renewable energy-based power generation capacity in just three years. Gujarat Finance Minister Nitin Patel said the State will have 30,000 MW of renewable energy-based power generation capacity by 2022, even as the capacity is less than 9,000 MW now. One-third of that capacity, or 10,000 MW, will be sold to other States, Mr Patel said while presenting the budget. A rooftop solar generation scheme was also announced by the Minister, potentially benefiting 200,000 families in the State.



July 3, 2019
India Could Lose 34 Million Jobs by 2030 Due to Climate Change

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has projected a loss of about 34 million jobs in India over the next 11-12 years, as a direct impact of climate change. The UN labour agency released a report called ‘Working on a Warmer Planet’, which charts the labour force trends worldwide, present and projected for the near future. It estimates that about 80 million jobs would be lost by 2030 worldwide due to the adverse effects of rising temperatures. The projection was based on an estimate of global temperature rise of 1.5 degree Celsius by 2100, and the report added that agriculture and construction sectors in India would be the most affected.



July 3, 2019
Environment Ministry Buys EVs for Official Commutes

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has announced that it is setting an example in tackling air pollution by adopting electric vehicles for official commutes. The Ministry tweeted that electric cars were procured for official duties, and in-house charging facilities would be utilized for these vehicles. News 18 reported that for now, the Director General, Inspector General, and Joint Secretary were allotted the electric cars, with a total purchase of five electric vehicles on trial basis.



July 2, 2019
Half of India’s Power Capacity to be from RE by 2030: CEA

The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has made a projection of 440 GW power capacity from solar and wind energy by 2030. This will mean that in just about a decade, more than half of India’s power capacity will be generated by solar and wind sources. In its draft report, CEA predicted that the share of renewable energy sources in the country’s total installed capacity by 2030 will be 65%, and their total share in the country’s electricity generation by then will be 48%. The report added that coal’s share in total capacity will come down to about 33%, but its share in total electricity generation will still be relatively high, at about 50%.



July 2, 2019
Power Industry Asks for Tariff Based Competitive Bidding

Representatives of India’s power industry have asked the government for an absolute system of tariff based competitive bidding (TBCB). Speaking at a meeting held by the Union Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy Mr RK Singh, power industry leaders said that such a move will be immensely progressive as it would pull bigger investments to the industry, and also make buying power and related services lighter on the pockets of consumers. The meeting was held by the Minister as part of preparation for a five-year vision document for the energy industry. Money Control reported that most representatives from the energy sector made the case for TBCB, while also advocating for awarding of incentives to companies that complete their projects early.



July 2, 2019
World Industry Not on Track to Meet Climate Change Targets, New Report Says

A new report published by the journal Nature shows that the world industry is nowhere on track to limit global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius. Even though it has been four years since the Paris Agreement, the present emissions are enough to heat up the world beyond the target, while the planned projects based on fossil fuels will advance the timeline of crossing the 1.5 degree Celsius limit to 2033 itself. The report makes it clear that unless the present projects under construction and under planning or permission stages are stopped, it is not possible to limit global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius over pre-industrial times.



June 27, 2019
UN Report Paints Grim Picture on Climate Change Progress

A UN report released on Monday laments that very little has been done to check the climate crisis that appears set to overwhelm the world. It warns that the privileged will be able to buy their way out of the consequences of climate change while the underprivileged will have to bear the brunt of it all. The report also makes it clear that developing countries will have to endure most of the impact of climate change, with hundreds of millions of people forced into migration, poverty and ill-health. According to UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston, the underprivileged, who are contributing the least to global emissions, will suffer the most from the consequences.



June 27, 2019
AISIA Suggests New Incentives for Solar Developers in Budget 2019

India solar energy companies will need a bevy of incentives to survive in the coming years, the industry body All India Solar Industries Association (AISIA) has told the government. AISIA has asked for many incentives for solar developers in the upcoming Budget, including a hike in export incentives from 2% to 10%. The upcoming Budget should also address tariff issues and the threat that Indian solar developers face from Chinese and other imports, AISIA said in its recommendations to the Finance Ministry.



June 27, 2019
GPCB Gives 180 Days of Relief to Plastic Manufacturers

The Gujarat Pollution Control Board gave a relief of 180 days to plastic manufacturers in the State who had not come up with their action plans for plastic waste disposal. The Plastic Waste Management Rules mandate that all plastic manufacturers recycle the plastic waste from their products used in the domestic markets, but industry bodies say that many small manufacturers are not equipped enough to follow those rules as of yet. DNA India reported that the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) offered to help out the manufacturing units with investors, provided that they come up with a viable business plan recycling the plastic waste. The report added that there are about 10,000 plastic manufacturing units in Gujarat, and only 50 of them were given closure notice.



June 26, 2019
French Court Holds Govt Responsible for Air Pollution

In a first, a French court has held that the government was responsible for failing to act on reducing air pollution. The French State was sued in a court near Paris by a mother-daughter duo, who had alleged that their health problems were directly linked to heavy air pollution in Paris. Though they had sought damages and were backed by environmentalists, the court refused to grant that. According to The Guardian, the court held that France had failed to deliver on its plans to curb air pollution, and called its measures taken between 2012 and 2016 towards this end ‘insufficient’. Environmentalists hailed this development, expressing buoyancy over the precedent it appears to set, so that more citizens could follow suit.



June 26, 2019
India Plans to Install 500 GW of RE by 2030

The government has claimed to have planned for the establishment of 500 GW of renewable energy by 2030, according to a statement by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). Anand Kumar, the Secretary for MNRE, spoke at a conference of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) yesterday, and reiterated India’s commitment to install 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, excluding large hydro. If that is taken into account, the capacity would be 225 GW, he said, adding that plans were in place to increase RE capacity to 500 GW by 2030. According to the MNRE statement, Mr Kumar in his speech also reiterated India’s commitment to fighting climate change.



June 26, 2019
Gujarat Tenders 950 MW Solar Projects

Two solar power project tenders have been issued, one each for the two solar parks called Dholera and Raghanesda. Dholera Solar Park has a capacity of 1,000 MW, out of which 700 MW is tendered by GUVNL now. The project is categorized as Build, Own, Operate (BOO), and the tariff is capped at INR 2.75/kWh. In Raghanesda solar park, 200 MW out of its 700 MW capacity has been re-tendered, with tariff capped at INR 2.65/kWh. Plots for the project will have a capacity of 50 MW each at Dholera, and 100 MW each at Raghanesda. EMD worth INR 1 million/MW is required from bidders for both projects, and the last date for submission of bids is July 24.



June 25, 2019
Tenders Being Prepared for 4 Floating Solar Projects in MH

A government panel has begun work on preparing tenders for four floating solar power projects in Maharashtra, according to Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan. The solar power plants, with a collective installed capacity of 500 MW, would come up at four of the State’s dams: Pentakli, Wardha, Khadakpurna and Bebala. The Swiss Challenge model will be followed for setting up the solar power plants, and the investment is presently pegged at INR 4.45 crore per MW. The panel studying reports on the project and preparing the tenders is led by the chief of the regulating body Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC).



June 25, 2019
Judicious Use of Water Most Needed Now, Says Water Resources Minister

A prolonged water shortage could hurt India’s food exports, and if the country is to avoid any calamities, water has to be used judiciously, Water Resources Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said in a statement yesterday. The Minister added that India is a top exporter of food, but that can change if the problem of water shortage in the country is not addressed. Apart from judicious use of water, the Minister reckoned revival of lakes and reservoirs as an important measure to check water shortage. To date, the monsoon in India is 38% deficit.



June 25, 2019
AP to Have a Fleet of 350 Electric Buses

The residents of Andhra Pradesh (AP) could soon see hundreds of electric buses plying on its roads, if the plans of the AP government work out. Mercom India reported that the AP government is planning to merge APSRTC into its administration, to make the transport corporation a profitable institution. Part of the plans is to tender the purchase of 350 electric buses, to be deployed in five of the State’s major cities. This would yield two-pronged results, helping curb air pollution as well as make the APSRTC profitable, since it is presently reeling under the pressure of low fares and increasing diesel price. Expressions of interest might be invited in July under the FAME India program, the report added.



June 24, 2019
NITI Aayog Sticks to EV Transition Deadline

The meeting between auto industry leaders and NITI Aayog officials did not yield positive results, according to news reports coming in soon after the meeting on Friday. The government think tank was reported to have remained firm on its position that three-wheelers in the country should go electric by 2023 and two-wheelers with engine capacity of up to 150 CC should go electric by 2025. These deadlines were deemed unrealistic by auto industry leaders, but NITI Aayog is learnt to have asked them to come up with a comprehensive plan in two weeks anyway. According to Business Standard, both sides were unwilling to relent on their position, while e-mobility start-ups wanted a more aggressive push for the transition.



June 24, 2019
RE Push Helped Create 11 Million Jobs in 2018

The global push for renewable energy has helped create 11 million new jobs in 2018 alone, a report shows. The report, called Renewable Energy and Jobs Annual Review, is published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and shows that there was nearly a 1% jump in employment generation in the global renewable energy industry as compared to 2017 numbers. Of the 11 million jobs created in the renewable energy industry in 2018, about 30% came from the solar power industry, the report said. In India, more than 700,000 jobs were created in 2018 in the renewable energy industry, with grid-connected solar contributing more than new 100,000 jobs.



June 24, 2019
CPCB Asked to Ensure Implementation of Plastic Waste Import Ban

Hearing a complaint against imported waste in the country, the National Green Tribunal recently asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to ensure that the ban on import of plastic waste is implemented strictly. Paper and road waste is imported to India from Europe and the US, the complaint claimed, adding that it contributes heavily to air and land pollution. About 9,00,000 tons of waste is imported to the country for burning in brick kilns, and harms the local environment immensely, the plea noted. CPCB was asked to furnish a report in two months, detailing the action taken by it in this regard.



June 20, 2019
MNRE Gives Nod for Dispute Resolution Committee

Responding to the request of renewable energy (RE) developers, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has agreed to establish a Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) that is expected to be transparent and independent. RE developers wanted this committee in place because they ran into many disputes with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). A DRC could help resolve issues that fall into the ambit of contractual obligations and also the ones that don’t, developers felt. Mercom India reported that an order for setting up the DRC was issued by MNRE, with the MNRE Minister being the competent authority to approve the selection of committee members. The DRC will have three distinguished members, the report added. The DRC will cover disputes in both solar and wind energy projects.



June 20, 2019
Centre to Help RE Projects Worth 40K Crore

The Central government will help renewable energy (RE) projects worth INR 40,000 crore by invoking Section 107 of the Electricity Act, 2003, ET Energyworld reported. Quoting unnamed sources from the government who spoke to the Times of India, the report added that the Union Ministry of Power is set to ask the Central Electricity Regulatory Authority (CERC) to grant Central utilities the permission to build transmission lines for evacuating power generated by RE projects. Section 107 allows for Central power utilities to implement projects of national importance. If the government does not invoke this special provision, the said projects, to be commissioned from October 2020, could be stuck for a year waiting for clearance under new transmission regulation norms.



June 20, 2019
UK Scientists Find New Material for Carbon Capture

Scientists from the Swansea University in Wales (UK) have found a new material that can make carbon capture more effective. The material has exhibited a high CO2 uptake and could be used to capture CO2 from the air as well as industrial flue gas, the research paper published by the scientists in ‘Chemistry of Materials’ said. Using epoxy resin, the scientists were able to cross-link polyamine into a solid material and prove that cross-linking can be a better alternative to bulky supports, Phys Org reported.



June 19, 2019
RE Power Will Make Up 50% of World’s Power by 2050: Report

BloombergNEF has come out with a new report that makes a positive estimate for the future of renewable energy. By 2050, about 50% of the world’s electricity will be generated by renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, and batteries, the report says. By that time, the demand for electricity will go up by 62%, and more than $13 trillion would be have been invested into new power generation projects. Hydro and nuclear will generate an additional signification portion of the world’s electricity, while coal-based power generation will drop down to just 12% by 2050, the report state, adding that India would get more than 65% of its power from solar and wind sources by then.



June 19, 2019
New Regulations Proposed for Solar Energy Generation in Chhattisgarh

The Chhattisgarh State Electricity Regulatory Commission (CSERC) has proposed regulations for grid-connected renewable energy generation systems in the State, and the draft is up for comments. Stakeholders can submit their suggestions by July 8, and CSERC will hold a public hearing on July 11. Mercom India reported that the regulations allow for complete banking of solar power. Solar power projects will be given must-run status, and the banking period will be from April to March.



June 19, 2019
UP CM Asks for More CNG, PNG Stations

The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh is reported to have met Union Petroleum Minister to ask for more CNG and PNG stations in Uttar Pradesh. This, he said, is required to check air pollution. According to ET Energyworld, the UP government issued a statement that said that the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has promised to cooperate in mixing ethnol with fuel, in order to reduce crude oil imports. At the same time, the CM asked for more fuel stations along the Agra-Lucknow Expressway.



June 18, 2019
Water Woes Hit Chennai Offices Hard

Chennai offices have taken to desperate measures to cut down on their usage of water, as an acute shortage of water grips the city under drought conditions. Many news outlets reported that companies were cutting down on use of water by asking employees to either buy or bring their own paper plates for eating in office canteens, so that water need not be used for washing steel plates. Some offices were reported to even shut down most of their washrooms, leaving only a few open for use, while large organizations that had water treatment plants in place were managing the situation without such drastic steps. Some other surprising measures to save water include companies asking employees to work from home, and cutting down daily office hours by 25% or more.



June 18, 2019
Niti Aayog Pushes for Only Electric Vehicles After 2030

In a new Cabinet note for the government, Niti Aayog has proposed that only electric vehicles (EV) be allowed to sell after 2030, effectively stopping the production of new fossil fuel-based vehicles in all categories. Earlier, the government think tank had proposed for 100% transition of new two- and three-wheelers to EVs by 2030, which itself ruffled feathers in the auto industry. Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant was reported to have called a meeting with auto industry leaders on Friday, and that was before this new proposal. An e-highways program where trucks can use overhead electric cables for power, of the kinds seen in Sweden, is also proposed for Indian highways.



June 18, 2019
Bids Open for 21.5 MW Rooftop Solar Projects in Delhi

The Indraprastha Power Generation Company (IPGCL) has tendered rooftop solar power projects for 21.5 MW in Delhi, and bids can be submitted by July 4. An e-reverse auction will process the bidding, Mercom India reported. The major portion of the project, for 20 MW, has to be developed under the RESCO model, while the rest has to be developed under the CAPEX model. The scope of work includes everything from design to installation and maintenance, with maintenance responsibility for 5 years under CAPEX and 25 years under RESCO model. Developers will be eligible for capital subsidy incentives for the projects developed on government buildings.



June 17, 2019
Karnataka Village Immune to Water Crisis

A Karnataka village called Vitagondana Koppa is immune to the water crisis it is geographically surrounded by, according to reports. The credit goes to the 5-acre tank rejuvenated by the villagers, under assistance from a World Bank scheme. The traditional water tank called Hulikere is able to recharge borewells and groundwater in this village and some other villages nearby, even as a severe drought situations prevails across the State. The government needs to prioritize rejuvenation of traditional water tanks, and invest in other ways of water conservation, farmers from the village were reported as saying.



June 17, 2019
Niti Aayog to Discuss EV Deadline with Auto Industry

Niti Aayog CEO will meet auto industry leaders on Friday, as the government’s plans for a 2023 deadline for adoption of electric two- and three-wheelers did not go down well with them. Although the government has not made any announcement regarding a deadline for adoption, reports that suggested that the government would do so were received negatively by some industry bigwigs, and Niti Aayog has called for a meeting to discuss the issue. According to a report published by ET Energyworld, auto industry leaders see 2023 as an unrealistic deadline that could derail auto manufacturing in the country and wipe away millions of jobs.



June 17, 2019
UP Sets New RPO Targets for Coming Years

The State of Uttar Pradesh has proposed amendments to its existing Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO) regulations, including new targets for the coming years. Mercom India reported that the present RPO regulations did not mention targets for the future. The proposed amendments set solar RPO at 2% for FY 2019-20, and 3% for FY 2020-21. The non-solar RPO would be 6% for FY 2019-20, and at 8% for FY 2020-21. The solar RPO for the next two financial years is set at 4% and 5% respectively, while the non-solar RPO for the same years is a uniform 9%. For FY 2023-24, the solar RPO remains the same at 5%, but the non-solar RPO goes up to 10%. The new amendments are proposed but not enforced yet.



June 13, 2019
Indian Navy Commits to Clean Energy Revolution

The Indian Navy has joined in the clean energy revolution in a big way. Making a commitment of 1.5% of its works budget for generating renewable energy, the Indian Navy has announced a roadmap encompassing energy conservation and environment sustainability. The Indian Navy’s new blueprint is called Indian Navy Energy Conservation Roadmap (INECR), and Mercom India reported that it covers specific action plans spanning infrastructure and administration. Several policies under this roadmap have already been formulated and will be implemented on ships and at shores.



June 13, 2019
Air Pollution Has Reduced Life Expectancy in India: Study

Air pollution is now a more common cause of death than smoking for Indian residents, while the average life expectancy of Indians has come down by 2.6 years because of the same, a study by Centre for Environment and Science (CSE) concluded recently. The air pollution referred to in this study is an umbrella term for the total air pollution, a mix of household, ozone and outdoor air pollution, the think tank said. This is particularly worrying for India, because while air pollution has reduced life expectancy worldwide, it has the most acute impact on Indian residents, the study said. Globally, air pollution has taken a toll of 20 months on the life expectancy of newborns, whereas it takes away about 32 months from the life expectancy of a newborn in India, researchers from CSE said.



June 13, 2019
SECI Extends J&K Solar Bid Deadline

Solar power developers have now got one more week to bid for establishing two projects of 1 MW each in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has extended the bid deadline to June 19, Saur Energy reported. The solar power projects tendered are for Indian Army posts in Siachen and Partapur. The tender for the project was issued in May, and the scope of work for solar power developers includes, but is not limited to, design, engineering, construction and maintenance.



June 12, 2019
Govt Flexible on Mix of Sources for 175 GW RE Target

The Centre is open to changes in the mix of sources constituting the accomplishment of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, reports said. The announcement came from the Minister of Power RK Singh, after he held discussions with State representatives. The Times of India quoted the Minister as saying that the solar power capacity of 100 GW by 2022 need not be seen as a fixed target, so long as the overall target of 175 GW of RE capacity is achieved. Similarly, wind energy capacity also need not be seen as restricted at 60 GW, and if there is potential, more of it can be developed, the Minister said. The target of 175 GW was set in 2015, and 79 GW of RE capacity has been installed by now. In the said meeting, the Minister also asked States to expedite RE project bidding and payments.



June 12, 2019
NTPC Tenders 1 GW Solar Capacity Projects

Solar power contractors have been solicited by the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) to submit their bids for establishing 1 GW of grid-connected solar PV projects. The tender comes under Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Phase-II Tranche-I, in the domestic content requirement (DCR) category. Bids can be submitted by July 15 last. The minimum capacity to bid for is 50 MW, and maximum is 300 MW. User charges cannot be higher than INR 3.50/kWh, and minimum bid security amount is INR 200,00,000. According to Mercom India, the scope of work includes everything from design to installation, with all materials to be sourced domestically.



June 12, 2019
Keep Tech Requirements in EV Industry Open to Changes: CII to Govt

It would help the nascent electric vehicles (EV) industry if the government is open to manufacturing technology shifts, the Confederation of Indian Industry said in a press release issued recently. The industry body asked the government to consult several stakeholders, from automobile manufacturers to renewable energy developers, before setting any goals for the EV mobility in the country, as prevailing industry and economic situations need to be taken into consideration. CII’s statement added that openness to all technologies with clear goals would help stakeholders make the right choices. The auto industry supports 37 million jobs, and mobility in rural areas helps bridge the urban-rural divide, CII said, adding that any policy decision in this regard will need to keep pace with the ground realities. Any mission on EV mobility will also need to take into consideration the important factor of affordability, and change needs to be driven by market and industry so that the entire nation benefits from this transition, the industry body said.



June 11, 2019
MERC Orders Renegotiation of Tariffs for Recent Solar Bids

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has asked for renegotiation of the tariffs agreed to in recent bids by solar power developers, according to a report by Mercom India. The MERC has asked the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) to renegotiate the tariffs for tenders amounting to 1,170 MW of capacity under the Mukhyamantri Saur Krishi Vahini Yojana. Tenders were floated for a total capacity of 1,400 MW, but bids came in for only 1,170 MW. Bids that were made included tariffs in the range of INR 2.8/kWh to INR 3.29/kWh, but MERC took exception to the adoption of these tariffs, pointing to bids made under the same scheme for earlier tenders, where tariffs did not cross INR 2.75/kWh. The older tariffs need to be matched for the new tenders too, MERC noted, pointing to the pattern of falling prices of solar PV modules and the stability of the Indian Rupee’s exchange rate against the US Dollar, both of which are favorable trends for solar developers.



June 11, 2019
Kerala Municipality Pushes for Green, Makes Planting Trees Mandatory

A Kerala municipality now requires new buildings to have two trees planted within their built-up area in order to receive building permit. Buildings with more than 1,500 sq ft of area will have to have two trees planted before the construction is completed, and the building plan should show the markings for the area where the trees are to be planted, failing which the authorities would not grant building permit and house number, The News Minute reported, quoting Kodungallur municipality chairman. The municipality falls under the Thrissur district limits of Kerala, and is aiding the construction of houses for the financially underprivileged there. For these houses, the municipality will provide tree saplings for no cost.



June 11, 2019
RE Developers May Soon Get Access to Easy Finance

If the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has its way, renewable energy developers in India might get access to easy finance soon. The Ministry has mooted the idea of requesting the Reserve Bank of India to remove the priority sector lending limit for the RE sector, according to latest reports. If the request is accepted by the RBI, the RE sector could get a strong boost in financing from public sector banks, the Ministry said in a statement. The Ministry held a meeting on Monday and, among other things, discussed asking banks to lend capital for RE projects as separate from power projects, tying up with State governments for land acquisitions, and resolving GST issues in the RE sector.



June 10, 2019
1.7GW of Solar Power Capacity Auctioned in May

Mercom India’s tracker suggests that a total of 1.7GW of solar power capacity was auctioned in May, while there were zero auctions in April 2019. Rooftop solar projects constituted most of the tenders, the report says, and small-scale ground-mounted solar power projects made up a significant portion too. In financial year 2019-20, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy estimates a total tender of 30 GW of solar power capacity. While the total solar power capacity auctioned in May appears to be high, it is substantially lower than the capacity auctioned in May last year, the report shows.



June 10, 2019
Stadiums, Power Guzzlers Can Emulate Cochin Solar Airport Model: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed appreciation of the 100% solar power model of the Cochin International Airport, and suggested that power guzzling infrastructures can emulate the same. During his stopover at the airport, the Prime Minister spoke about the possibility of exploring rooftops of stadium galleries as probable locations for solar panels, a media note by the airport said. According to the statement, the Prime Minister also mentioned that it is in the interest of the nation for its large power consumers to achieve power neutrality. The Cochin airport makes more power from its solar installations than it needs for its functioning.



June 10, 2019
UP Invites Proposals for New EV Charging Stations

Uttar Pradesh is inviting companies to submit proposals for setting up new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the State, becoming the first State in the country to do so. The State has marked eight cities, including Lucknow and Noida, for EV infrastructure to be established in. Proposals were also sought for EV stations on four expressways in the State, including the Delhi-Agra Expressway and the Purvanchal Expressway. The roads identified for this project include three national highways – NH 1, NH 24, and NH 27. ET Energyworld reported that the document inviting expressions of interest from companies notes that air and noise pollution can be checked by acceleration the growth of the EV industry, for which the charging infrastructure is crucial.



June 7, 2019
Green Bonds Have Great Scope in India: IFC

Green bonds earmarked for green transportation, waste-to-energy plants, water treatment plants and suchlike have a great scope in India, a representative of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) said. According to ET Energyworld, the IFC official mentioned green buildings among the projects that have an immense potential for growth through green bonds. The scope in the renewable energy sector in the country is just as great, but added that it remains a challenge to identify projects for green bonds. HSBC and IFC are creating a global green bond fund, aimed at boosting climate-change related projects in developing economies.



June 7, 2019
Maharashtra Opens Bid for 1 GW of Solar Power

A total of 1 GW of power will be purchased from grid-connected solar power projects under Phase III by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL). The power purchase agreement will be for 25 years, and will cover the State company’s renewable purchase obligation. The tariff has been capped at INR 2.80/kWh. According to Mercom India, a pre-bid meeting is scheduled for June 19 and the bids can be submitted by July 9. The bidders will have to make a deposit of INR 50,00,000 and can make the most of any applicable fiscal incentives, such as excise duty concessions. The minimum capacity for intra-State projects is 5 MW while the same for inter-State projects is 50 MW.



June 7, 2019
MNRE Suggests Robotic Cleaning of Solar Plants for Water Conservation

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has asked States and solar power industry stakeholders to go for robotic cleaning in order to save water at solar power plants. The Ministry made a recommendation, calling robotic cleaning preferable, and encouraged the use of other new technologies that can help save water as well. Saur Energy International quoted a latter from MNRE as saying that excess usage of water for cleaning of solar panels can sometimes lead to avoidable wastage. While wastage of water is one issue, the other is that of scarcity and rising costs of water, making water-based cleaning extremely expensive for solar developers. According to research, more than half of the water presently being used for cleaning solar panels is drawn from the ground through borewells, whereas the Israeli technology of robotic cleaning uses no water for cleaning of solar panels.



June 6, 2019
Global 100% Renewable Energy System Possible: Report

Researchers from Finland and Germany have yet again released a report that reiterates the possibility of a global 100% renewable energy system, cutting across sectors and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 or before. According to the model, made last year as well, by scientists from Energy Watch Group and LUT University, such as transition is not just possible but would also be as lucrative as the fossil fuel and nuclear energy industry. As part of the study, the researchers developed nation-wise blueprints for the shift towards renewable energy, and claimed that the transition is plausible even with the tools and technologies present today. All countries must hence accelerate their efforts around the Paris Agreement targets, the researchers stated.



June 6, 2019
Gujarat to Set Precedent with Emissions Trading Program

Gujarat has become the first State in India to begin a trading scheme for emissions, leading by example for other States in the country. This is also the world’s first regulation program for particulate air pollution, according to reports. Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) has taken the initiative and Gujarat Chief Minister launched the program officially on World Environment Day. Under this scheme, the government will set a cap on emissions, and industries can trade the permits to keep their emissions below the set mark. The pilot will be implemented in Surat, one of the country’s major industrial hubs. Reports quoted GPCB chairman as saying that this new program will combine air pollution control with economic growth and ease of doing business.



June 6, 2019
New Study Shows We Consume Thousands of Plastic Particles

Canadian scientists have made a disturbing finding – we are consuming tens of thousands of microplastic particles each year. Naturally, this does not bode well for human health, with other studies also pointing out that climate-related changes are affecting human health across the globe adversely and severely. Based on a study of hundreds of data sets of microplastic contamination, the scientists concluded that more than 300 particles may be consumed by an average adult man, including the pollutants in the air. About 52,000 microplastic particles are consumed by us each year, noted the study, which was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. It added that if we consume bottled water only, the number of microplastic particles we consume goes up significantly.



June 4, 2019
SECI Tender Deadline Extended to July 2

Solar power developers can submit their bids for establishing 2,000 MW solar projects by July 2 now, as the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has extended the deadline for both online and offline submissions. The tender was issued in March under the Government Producer Scheme (CPSU Phase-II). The tender is part of the larger project spanning 12,000 MW of grid-connected solar PV power plants under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, to be completed by 2023. The tariff for the 2,000 MW projects for which the tender was issued in March is set at INR 3.50/kWh, and the power plants are to be set up under the Build-Own-Operate basis. The power generated from these projects will be used by the government, government agencies, or the developers. Developers can bid for any capacity between 10 MW and 2,000 MW.



June 4, 2019
Moody’s Sees Regulatory Risk for Indian Power Sector

Global ratings agency Moody’s has sounded an alarm of sorts for the Indian power sector, warning of regulatory risks in the future because of an increasing share of renewable energy capacity. The risk to coal-based power companies is not high over the next 3-5 years, but might be significant in the long term, reports quoting Moody’s said. Regulatory policies that balance the increasing share of renewable capacity and safeguard the investments made in coal-based or conventional power sector will be needed, and will be a key challenge for the government to formulate, the agency said, even as it expressed optimism over India’s predictability of tariff regulations and transparency in regulatory framework.



June 4, 2019
Climate Change a Serious Threat to Human Health: Report

Climate change is already causing havoc and destruction, but in the future, global warming is set to become among the top threats to human health, a new report states. The study was a collective effort of researchers from 27 science institutions, under the aegis of the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (Easac). Adverse health effects caused by global warming include mental health effects, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, the study said. Increase in global temperatures can also cause wider and more frequent spread of infectious diseases, and more instances of food poisoning. Unless there is an immediate transition to low-carbon development, future generations will be exposed to much worse health risks than are prevalent today, the study warned.



June 3, 2019
Merger of Power Ministry and MNRE Possible

At a recent brainstorming session between renewable energy stakeholders and government officials, the idea of merging the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) with the Ministry of Power was mooted. The Hindu Business Line reported, quoting government officials, that there is a possibility of this happening in the near future. However, the idea has not been transmuted into any proposal yet. The suggestion for this merger has been received by the government but it still needs serious deliberation, according to Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy, RK Singh. Another official said the merger can be a positive move as it could help in sharing of transmission infrastructure as well as the power generated by companies under the two ministries.



June 3, 2019
Indian Solar Products No More Duty-Free in US

Indian solar products will attract a safeguard duty of 25% in the US, as the two countries failed to reach a consensus on trade tariffs. The US removed India from its list of beneficiary developing countries, thereby taking away the advantage of duty-free exports. Solar cells and PV modules are among the roughly 2,000 products that India exports to the US, although presently the Indian solar exports to the US are not large-scale, amounting to about $50 million in 2019 and $38 million in 2018. Mercom India reported that India is unlikely to retaliate, as solar imports from the US are in small numbers. According to the US regulations, the safeguard duty on imported solar products will come down to 15% in 2022.



June 3, 2019
Scientists Create Power Generation Model from Body Movements

Scientists in the US have created a power generation model based on the movements of the human body, with the possibility of powering wearable devices. ET Energyworld reported that Rice University researchers used laser-induced graphene to generate electric power in small devices. The findings of the experiment were published in the journal ACS Nano, and were based on the ‘triboelectric’ effect. Researchers said that small devices may be recharged from the energy produced by body movements, such as walking. A nanogenerator fitted into a footwear was able to produce and store enough electricity to power wearable sensors and devices, the researchers revealed in their concluding remarks.



May 31, 2019
Chandigarh Moots Ban on Single-Use Plastics

Chandigarh may ban all single-use plastics soon, according to news reports. The environment department of the Union Territory has made a proposal in this regard and sent it to the Union Territories Administration, which might make a decision on June 5, the International Environment Day. The Indian Express reported that small water bottles made of plastic, plates, spoons and straws that cannot be reused may get banned in Chandigarh, while presently only plastic (polythene) bags are banned there. Chandigarh was also recently pulled up by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for failing to submit its environment action plan within the April 30 deadline.



May 31, 2019
New Study Encourages Schools to Go For Solar Power

A new study has claimed that schools can adopt solar energy for most of their electricity needs, and in the process, reduce their carbon footprint significantly. The study, published in Environmental Research Letters, said that schools can cut down on their carbon footprint by at least 28 percent if they take up solar energy. This transition will also lead to a substantial decline in air pollution, smog and acid rain instances, and as a result will improve the health of the public at large, the study led by scientists from Stanford University said.



May 31, 2019
Bid Open for 300 Solar Pumps in Udaipur

A tender for 300 solar water pumps has been issued for Udaipur. The manufacturer has to be local and is required to have experience in the installation of SPV modules and solar pumps. The tender was issued in the name of the Governor of Rajasthan, Mercom India reported, with the last date for submitting bids being June 20. The tender is for INR 216 million and is on a rate contract basis. The project includes operation and maintenance of the solar power-based water pumps for seven years.



May 28, 2019
Draft Plan Ready for Power System Development Fund

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has come out with a new draft plan for a proposed Power System Development Fund that can benefit both conventional and renewable power plants, Mercom India reported. The step was taken as a remedy for the many issues plaguing the power sector, especially related to transmission of power. The public and the stakeholders have been invited to comment on the draft regulations by June 21. The fund will be dedicated to providing a boost to transmission systems and other infrastructure within the power industry, and will cover pilot as well as demo projects too, the report added.



May 28, 2019
Alarming Levels of Antibiotics in Rivers: Study

A new study has found that rivers across the globe are contaminated with alarming levels of antibiotics. Led by a group of scientists from the University of York and involving scientists from around the world, the study made the shocking conclusion that some rivers have a concentration of antibiotics 300 times more than what is considered safe. According to Independent, scientists observed antibiotics in at least 66% of the rivers studied in 72 countries. A total of 711 sites were tested, and the study pointed out that while Western nations were affected, rivers in Asia and Africa recorded higher frequency of contamination. Scientists warned that such contamination of rivers contributes significantly to antibiotic resistance among human pathogens.



May 28, 2019
Research Says Wasted Food Can be a Power Source

Clean and affordable energy can be produced from wasted food, scientists have found in a new research led by University of Waterloo professor Hyung-Sool Lee. The research involved natural fermentation for the production of a biodegradable chemical that can serve as a source of energy. Apart from that, the chemical can be used in drugs and plastic products, thus reducing the need for petrochemicals, a report by The Hindu Business Line on the study said. The scientists are looking for ways to make the technology commercially viable, and will test it on a large scale soon. Collection and recirculation of leachate is the key component of this new method, separating it from conventional biodegradation of food waste.



May 27, 2019
Govt to Make Plants More Energy Efficient: Report

The government to be formed soon is likely to revive projects with subsidies, and promote advanced ultra-super critical technology to make plants more energy efficient, a report by ET Energyworld said. Also, within 100 days of government formation, EV public charging stations would be set up in several Indian cities, including New Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. The power ministry will seek cabinet approval for a subsidy system to revive gas-based power projects, while the National Capital Region (NCR) will see new charging stations for e-rickshaws, the report said.



May 27, 2019
CPCB & NGT to Charge INR 1 Crore Each From States Complacent on Plastic Pollution

More than 25 Indian States have failed to turn in their action plans on plastic waste disposal, and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is reported to be taking a strong stand against this complacency. Quoting officials, The Wire reported that at least 25 States missed the April 30 deadline for submission of action plans, and that this inaction amounts to defiance of orders by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The defaulting States would be made to pay up INR 1 crore per month in fines, and representatives of State authorities may face imprisonment too, the report added. According to some experts, the non-compliance of plastic waste management rules stems from a gap in communication between Central and State bodies, and a lack of awareness and knowledge among State authorities.



May 27, 2019
Students in India Join Global Protests for Climate Action

Students across 11 cities in India joined global protests on Friday, calling for climate action by government authorities. Several newspapers reported about coordinated students protests, including in Hyderabad and Bengaluru. The students were joined by some parents and social activists, and said that they were protesting as part of Swedish student Greta Thunberg’s campaign called Fridays for Future, where students, instead of attending classes on Fridays, take to the streets to protest against government inaction. The students demand that a climate emergency be declared and immediate action be taken to halt ecological destruction and further warming of the planet.



May 24, 2019
Solar Industry Leaders Buoyant About New Government: Report

A report by Mercom India suggests that solar power industry leaders in India are positive about the new government to be formed at the Centre. Targets set in 2014 can now be achieved, and work is expected to be expedited. The report quoted several senior executives from the solar power sector, with most of them echoing an optimistic outlook. Since 2014, renewable energy has been given a special thrust, and the good work is likely to be accelerated now, experts said in the interviews, adding that manufacturing and exports need government support to grow. More policy reforms and fast approval of tenders are required, stakeholders said, and expressed general buoyancy for the growth of the solar power sector over the next five years.



May 24, 2019
Experts Blame Policy Failure for Water Scarcity in Maharashtra

Policy-makers have failed the farmers of Maharashtra by allowing excessive ‘water mining’ over decades and causing a grave water depletion, academics said, according to a report published by The Hindu. The groundwater table across Marathwada has dropped so low that reviving it is no more viable, experts said, adding that scarce rainfall alone could not be blamed. The water crisis in the region was aggravated by more than 40 years of extensive ‘water mining’ and policy-induced pivot of farmers towards crop patterns that are incongruent with the climate and agriculture characteristics of this region, experts said, and warned of an even bleaker future. Water mining and sugarcane cultivation have to be prohibited by policy-makers, and farmers need to be encouraged to go back to cultivating moisture-harvesting crops such as cereals and oilseeds, the report quoted academics as saying.



May 24, 2019
Scientists Say Global Warming Entirely Attributable to Human Activity

Scientists from the University of Oxford, UK, have confirmed that global warming is entirely attributable to human activity. The study was published in the Journal of Climate, and it concludes that ocean-related natural activity is only negligibly responsible for global warming. If the contribution of the natural ocean warming and cooling cycles is taken out of the larger global warming picture, the projection is still quite the same, the study stated. Scientists have been debating and researching the part played by Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation in global warming. While the report published in Science magazine about this study quotes other scientists who are skeptical of the new findings, the scientists who published the study said that the planet’s natural ocean-related activity contributed only 7% to global warming over the 20th century.



May 23, 2019
Northern Railways Opens Bid for 810 Solar Rooftop Installations

Beginning today, i.e., May 23, the Northern Railways has opened a bid for 810 rooftop solar installations to be made in its D & E category railway stations. The tender comes as part of the Indian Railway Solar Mission. Of these 810 installations, 133 will be for 10kW each, and 677 will be for 5 kW, with a total capacity of 4.715 MW. The last date for submission of tenders is June 6. Mercom India reported that the bidder will have to provide all accessories as well as mounting structures, solar PV modules, junction boxes, bidirectional electronic meters, etc.



May 23, 2019
Indian Researchers Disturbed by Coral Bleaching in Gulf of Mannar

Indian scientists working in a field research station in the Gulf of Mannar of the Indian Ocean have found a disturbing new trend of coral reef bleaching there. The Hindu reported that researchers from the National Centre for Coastal Research found several patterns of coral bleaching Mandapam, Keezhakkarai and Palk Bay when the temperatures were between 32 and 36 degree Celsius in the last couple of months or so. About 5% of the species observed were partially bleached, while about 12% were completely bleached, the report said. Coral species found 5 meters or deeper in the sea were not at all bleached, the report added.



May 23, 2019
New Study Estimates 100% More Sea Level Rise by 2100

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has put forth an alarming estimation – sea levels would rise by 2 meters by 2100, and not by 1 meter, as was the UN’s estimate at the time of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The estimate is made based on the possibility of the world warming up 5 degree Celsius by 2100 rather than 2 degree Celsius. At a risk rate of 5%, it is possible that sea levels would rise more than 2 meters, the scientists said, according to a report by NDTV. This worst-case scenario can serve as a better marker for policymakers to push for effective climate change measures, authors of the study said.



May 22, 2019
Noida to Reuse 100% of its Waste Water

Noida is set to become India’s first city to recycle and reuse all of its waste water, a report by India Times quoting Noida Authority officials said. Presently, Nagpur is leading by example, recycling 90% of its waste water. According to the report, the Noida Authority has increased the capacity for treatment of waste water at its sewage treatment plant in Sector 168 from 50 million litres per day (MLD) to 100 MLD. The Noida Authority has also entered into an agreement with the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for providing them with 160 MLD of recycled waste water. NTPC will use this treated water for its cooling plants. The report quoted a senior Noida Authority official as saying that the city’s dependence on groundwater for irrigation will soon come down. Noida has six sewage treatment plants (STPs) now, and another one is in the pipeline.



May 22, 2019
Upset With Plastic Waste Imports, Malaysia Starts Sending It Back

Following China’s ban on plastic waste imports, Malaysia has started to reel under the pressure of a mounting heap of non-recyclable plastic waste coming in from developed nations. The Environment Minister of Malaysia has now said that the country is sending back this waste to the countries of its origin. According to an NDTV report, the Minister said some of this plastic waste was in violation of the Basel Convention, while most of it was contaminated and non-recyclable. Five containers of contaminated plastic waste were sent back to Spain, after they were found to have been smuggled into Malaysia. The report also said that dozens of plastic recycling factories have cropped up in Malaysia lately, even as without government approval.



May 22, 2019
To Limit Global Warming, Scientists Propose Converting Methane to CO2

Scientists from Stanford University, California, have proposed that methane be converted to carbon dioxide (CO2) in a fresh and innovative attempt to check global warming. Popular Science reported on a paper published in ‘Nature Sustainability’, quoting the lead author of the study as saying that methane removal from the atmosphere can be an opportunity to stabilize the climate. The process, according to the paper, can be on the lines of carbon capture, but instead of storage, the converted CO2 will be released into the atmosphere. While this will add extra CO2 in the atmosphere, it will also eliminate the more powerful gas that is methane, and hence achieve a substantial cut in global warming, the report said.



May 20, 2019
Environmentalists Unhappy with ‘Re-engineering’ of EIA Rules

The Ministry of Environment has ‘re-engineered’ the rules of Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), and environmentalists have expressed concern. Under the amended rules, no environment clearance will be needed for construction in areas between 20,000 and 50,0000 sq. m. Another important change is that authorities can seek exemption from public hearing for giving the nod for sand mining in up to five hectares of land. Outlook India reported that prominent environmentalists have expressed concerns over the amendments. The new changes do not bode well for environment protection, activists said, warning that corruption and pollution will go up if the draft is made into law.



May 20, 2019
Moody’s Makes Positive Projection for India’s Climate Goals

India is on track to not just accomplish but even overachieve on its targets set at the 2015 Paris Agreement, a new report from Moody’s has said. According to its pledge, by 2022, India will have 40% of its power generation capacity coming from non-fossil fuel sources, but Moody’s estimated that the actual realization might touch 45%. India’s focus on large-scale renewable energy projects will see the country’s coal-based power generation fall to 57% by 2030. Reporting on Moody’s projections for India in a report called ‘Power Asia – Climate goals, declining costs of renewables signal decreasing reliance on coal power’, Clean Technica said that by 2030, renewable energy would make for about 59% of India’s power generation capacity.



May 20, 2019
370,000 Toothbrushes among Millions of Plastic Pieces Found on Indian Ocean Archipelago

Researchers in Australia have published a damning survey report which, by a conservative estimate, found 440 million plastic pieces on the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean. Of these, about 370,000 pieces are toothbrushes alone. Scientists from the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania published their findings in the journal Scientific Reports and said that because these islands are remote and have no substantial human population around them, plastic debris found here can be taken to draw an objective picture of oceanic plastic pollution. According to the researchers, the debris weighing about 238 tons was largely constituted of single-use plastic items.



May 17, 2019
US Scientists Develop More Efficient, More Affordable Solar Cells

Scientists in the US have developed a new material that can make solar cells more affordable and more efficient. The breakthrough comes in the form of a ‘tandem perovskite solar cell’ and can be used in full-sized solar panels, reports said. The new technology holds great promise for the future, University of Toledo professor Yanfa Yan was quoted as saying. The efficiency of the tandem perovskite solar cell is claimed to be 23 percent, which is 5 percent higher than the efficiency of current silicon-based solar cells. While researchers expressed buoyancy, they also admitted that the lifetime of the new material has not been established yet, and that more work needs to be done.



May 17, 2019
Kerala to Add 1,500 Electric Buses Soon

A total of 1,500 small non-AC electric buses will be added to Kerala streets soon, as per a report published by The Economic Times. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has solicited tenders for battery-operated 12-meter buses that can carry 40 passengers and provide a range of 250 km. There are two kinds of lease options, one where the driver is provided by the bidder, and the other where only the bus is provided by the bidder. The buses have to be equipped for differently-abled people, with provisions for wheelchair locking. Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, and Kozhikode zones will get 500 buses each, the report said.



May 17, 2019
New Proposal for Transmission of RE Power from Western India

The Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) is seeking stakeholder feedback on their new proposed blueprint for setting up a transmission system for evacuation of solar and wind power from Western India. The last date for sending in the feedback is June 7. Mercom India reported that the annual transmission revenue is estimated to be $799 million, while the annual transmission charges are estimated to be $136 million. The new proposed plan is for evacuation of power from potential zones in Gujarat and Maharashtra. The plan includes details such as estimated cost, justification, tariff impact and so on. The proposal is made available on the website of the power grid corporation.



May 15, 2019
No Waste Disposal Policy for Solar Sector Yet

Waste generated from the solar power sector has nowhere to go, according to reports that point to a complete lack of any thought on the part of the government in this regard. In a report re-published by The Wire and originally published by Mongabay, researchers are quoted as saying that the problem of waste generation from the solar sector is mounting, but no government policy deals with the same. However, the report also quotes a senior MNRE official as saying that the Ministry is working on the issue and that a national regulation policy might take shape soon. According to the consulting firm Bridge to India, solar PV panels in the country could be producing waste to the tune of 1.8 million tons by 2050.



May 15, 2019
Payment Delays Mar Growth of RE Sector: Report

Delays in payments to solar and wind energy developers are holding back the renewable energy sector in at least three States of the country, Mercom India reported based on interviews and their own data. Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu are the States where the problem is especially acute, while these are also the States with large-scale solar projects, the report said. Payment delays are dragging on for more than a year in some cases, making business extremely risky for small developers, while even large players are groaning under the pressure of low tariffs, high bank interest rates, and delayed payments. The report quoted industry stakeholders as saying that the problem was getting worse by the day.



May 15, 2019
Plastic Pollution Harms Oxygen Producing Bacteria: Study

Scientists in Australia have found that plastic pollution harms the health of a certain abundant bacteria that are responsible for about 10 percent of global oxygen production. The study was published based on tests done in a lab but the researchers said they would carry on and explore the possibility of similar adverse effects on the microbes inside oceans. The research, published in Communications Biology, says that the photosynthetic bacteria called Prochlorococcus were unable to produce oxygen properly when exposed to chemicals from common plastic products. Based on information provided by Macquarie University, Phys.org reported that plastic pollution may be impairing the growth of smaller life forms that were hitherto unexplored in climate change studies.



May 14, 2019
MNRE Nudges States to Identify Land Parcels For RE Parks

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is working to encourage States in identifying land parcels for renewable energy parks, a report by Economic Times said. Officials from the Government of India’s MNRE have already spoken to officials in four States, and will be speaking to officials from three more States soon, the report said. Recently, the Ministry had assured clean energy developers that land and transmission facilities will be ready for SECI auction winners, at the same time as several reports pointed out growing concerns about land acquisition for RE projects. Economic Times quoted an unnamed MNRE official as saying that clean energy developers will not have to worry about land acquisition, and that power transmission infrastructure will also be in place.



May 14, 2019
Scientists Sound Alarm as CO2 Levels Breach 415 ppm Mark

US scientists have expressed alarm at the new high recorded for CO2 levels in the atmosphere. For the first time in three million years, atmospheric CO2 levels went up to 415.26 ppm, reports said, with AFP quoting scientists as saying that we are off-track in terms of tackling global warming. It was the first time since its inception that the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii recorded such high levels of atmospheric CO2, NDTV said. Since 2019 could be an El Nino year, the rise in CO2 levels is unlikely to abate anytime soon, researchers said. According to scientists, the atmospheric CO2 levels have to be brought down to 350 ppm, at the least, to check climate change.



May 14, 2019
New Survey Portrays Positive Outlook for Renewable Energy Sector in India

A new survey by Bridge to India shows that renewable energy capacity addition in India will be in a fast gear over the next five years. The survey, which saw participation from 41 Indian and international companies, suggests that about 80GW of renewable energy capacity will be added in half a decade. Of this, about 21GW will come from wind energy, while the other will be from various forms of solar energy, such as floating, rooftop, and utility scale solar. The survey also underlined buoyancy on the part of companies about the scope for growth in the renewable energy industry of the country, even as concerns remain over land acquisition and policy uncertainty.



May 10, 2019
34% Jump in Solar Power Generation in India: Report

While the Indian renewable energy sector has not yet made any significant impact in terms of addressing climate change, there is a positive outlook, according to reports. Mercom India reported, based on its own solar project tracker, that solar power generation in India has increased 34 percent in the first quarter of 2019 as compared to the first quarter of 2018. While the solar source accounts for less than 3 percent of the total power generation in India, the report said that year-on-year growth in the solar sector is impressive.



May 10, 2019
Pollution Control Action Plans Approved for 5 Industrial Clusters in K’taka

The Central Pollution Control Board has approved pollution control action plans for five industrial clusters in Karnataka, including one in Bengaluru, that were classified as ‘severely’ or ‘critically’ polluted. According to The Hindu, the move came as a result of efforts made by the National Green Tribunal. These clusters are called Bhadravati, Baikampady, Peenya, Kolhar, and Raichur. The action plans for these clusters were approved by the CPCB and prepared by the State PCB. Measures listed in these plans include waste management invention, setting up of effluent treatment plans, remediation of contaminated borewells, and establishment of underground drainage systems.



May 10, 2019
UK Leads by Example, Goes Coal-free in Power Gen for Full Week

For the first time in about 200 years, the United Kingdom has completed a full week of power generation without any coal burning. The news was reported widely after the national grid operator of England tweeted the development. EuroNews quoted NGESO director as saying that coal-free runs of power generation are likely to become a regular occurrence, thanks to a steady increase in addition of renewable resources. By 2025, Britain’s electricity generation could go carbon neutral, he said, reiterating the UK government’s pledge to combat climate change. For the one-week coal-free run, Britain’s power generation came largely from natural gas, with solar and wind resources contributing 5 and 10 percent respectively.



May 9, 2019
US Researchers Create Fully Recyclable Plastic

US researchers have achieved a breakthrough in environmental sustainability R&D by creating a fully recyclable plastic material, according to media reports. Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory created a material called PDK, which can be disassembled and reassembled at the molecular level without losing any quality. Engadget quoted researcher Brett Helms as saying that PDKs have reversible bonds as opposed to immutable bonds found in conventional plastic material. The report added that the researchers are working on the new technology to create variants that can be used for 3D prints and other products.



May 9, 2019
Most Rivers Not Flowing Freely Anymore: Study

A global study on rivers, the first of its kind, has revealed that the majority of the world’s rivers that were naturally freely flowing are now fragmented because of human intervention. The study, led by researcher Gunther Grill of McGrill University, Canada, was published recently in ‘Nature’. The Guardian reported on the study and quoted researcher Michele Thieme as saying that clean energy from wind and solar sources can help as a more sustainable alternative to hydropower. In the same report, another researcher Carlos Garcia de Leaniz is quoted as saying that there weren’t any freely flowing rivers left in Europe anymore.



May 9, 2019
Agriculture Stakeholders Unhappy With New NZ Climate Goals

New Zealand has announced a new climate change bill that will be up for voting in the Parliament later in the year. The new bill, called Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, puts pressure on the agriculture sector for reducing biological methane emissions from livestock. This has made farmers unhappy in the country, which relies heavily on agriculture, with the population of its cows being twice that of its people. Al Jazeera quoted NZ Minister for Climate Change James Shaw as saying that agriculture is important to NZ industry and economy but that it needs to be part of the solution to climate change. The report goes on to add quotes from farmers and agriculture stakeholders, who raised concerns of having to cut production to meet the new targets. On the other hand, Greenpeace activists called the new bill ‘toothless’ for not including any punitive action for enterprises that fail to meet the targets.



May 7, 2019
Karnataka to Weed Out Compostable Plastic Bags As Well

Karnataka is still struggling with the implementation of the ban on single-use plastics, initiated about three years ago. Several traders, it was reported, are still using plastic bags in the garb of “compostable” plastic bags, while many are even getting away with labelling conventional plastic bags as compostable. The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board has written to the Central Pollution Control Board in this regard, asking the apex body to stop authorizing compostable plastic bags for traders in Karnataka. The Hindu quoted officials as saying that it is difficult to tell which bags are really compostable. In many cases, plastic bags sold as compostable were found to be not deteriorating at all, the report said.



May 7, 2019
Study Warns of Worse Heatwaves Caused By Cleaner Air

A study by scientists from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, has warned of more severe heatwaves caused by measures aimed at reducing air pollution. Efforts to curb air pollution in countries in the northern hemisphere can inadvertently cause heatwaves to worse by disrupting the formation of clouds, the study said. A report published by Evening Standard on the study quoted researcher Prof David Stevenson as saying that there is a need for ‘smart pollution control policies’ that take into account the links between, air pollution, climate change, and the inadvertent effects of improving air quality on heatwaves.



May 7, 2019
UN Global Assessment Study Charts 1 MN Species at Risk of Extinction

The findings of the Global Assessment study by the United Nations puts the world on notice, as it charts one million species at risk of extinction, news reports said. UN News quoted from the study that there will be further destruction of biodiversity if radical steps are not taken right away. The report was presented to government representatives from 130 countries, at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The report stated that “while more food, energy and materials than ever before are now being supplied to people in most places, this is increasingly at the expense of nature’s ability to provide such contributions in the future.”



May 6, 2019
Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica Melting Faster than Expected: Research

New research published in the journal Nature Geoscience shows that Antarctica’s largest ice shelf, called the Ross Ice Shelf, is melting at a rate faster than was previously estimated. Glaciologist Poul Christoffersen from the University of Cambridge said that in their recent study, an ‘especially vulnerable’ section of the ice shelf was identified, where the melting was about 10 times faster than the melting rate of the ice shelf. This newly found type of melting occurs at the surface of the water and is a reason to worry, the research said, calling it a new and additional heat source for the ice shelf. Source: NBC News



May 6, 2019
Open Streets Movement Gains Ground in UK

In a first, several roads in the center of Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, were closed to motor vehicles on Sunday. The event was part of the environment movement called Open Streets, which has seen streets being opened to walkers and cyclists and closed to motor vehicles on particular days in an effort to combat air pollution. The Councillor of Edinburgh said the Open Streets event creates a safer, cleaner atmosphere, marks a positive change, and will be carried out in Edinburgh every Sunday for 18 months as part of a trial. Source: The Guardian



May 6, 2019
Environment Minister ‘disagrees’ with US Report on Pollution Deaths

An environment report by the non-profit Health Effects Institute headquartered in Boston, US, did not sit well with India’s Union Minister for Environment. In a recent media interview, Harsh Vardhan said he disagrees with the report’s claims of ‘millions of deaths’ in India due to air pollution. While admitting that air pollution causes adverse health effects, he said that the government was working on the issue and that the situation in India was only improving. The report by Health Effects Institute stated that 1.2 million people died in India in 2017 due to air pollution. Source: The Hindu



May 3, 2019
e-Rickshaw Industry Gets Lending Boost

Digital lending start-up RevFin, which aims to disburse INR 3,000 crore in the electric vehicles industry, has collaborated with e-rickshaw maker Mayuri to boost the sales of e-rickshaws in the country, Economic Times reported. While Mayuri’s manufacturer Saera Electric has a high production capacity, financial lending for e-rickshaws in India is weak, the report noted. This new collaboration will make it easy for low-income groups to seek financing for buying e-rickshaws, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. The report quoted RevFin CEO as saying that the pilot will focus on Haryana and Uttarakhand, but that financing will be made available to e-rickshaw buyers across India eventually.



May 3, 2019
US House Passes New Climate Bill To Push for Paris Agreement

The US House of Representatives has passed a new climate bill, called HR 9, that aims to get the US back into the thick of things when it comes to fighting climate change. The new bill, E&E News reported, will make US President Donald Trump reverse his decision to pull the US out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on global warming, but the bill needs to be passed by the Senate for that to happen. According the report, the bill does not have much of a chance to become law, but sends a clear message that all Democrats and a few Republicans are rooting for the US to curb its greenhouse gas emissions according to the targets set in the Paris Agreement.



May 3, 2019
Renewable Energy Generates More Power in US than Coal

As was estimated to happen, renewable energy generated more electric power than did coal in the US for the month of April. Quartz reported that the difference was a substantial 16 percent more power generation by clean energy sectors, including wind, solar, hydro, biomass, and geothermal. In May, too, the generation of electric power by renewable energy is slated to be significantly higher than that by coal. On a month-to-month basis, renewable generation of electric power is set to mirror the output of power generation by coal as fuel, the report said.



May 2, 2019
Indian Scientists Find Fungal Solution to Plastic Pollution

A group of Indian scientists have identified the kind of fungi that can help deteriorate polythene plastic bags, thereby driving the growth story of India’s battle against plastic pollution. The Weather Channel reported that researchers at Savitribai Phule Pune University have found that certain fungi in mangrove root soil have high capacity for polythene degradation. Without accelerators, polythene can take up to 1,000 years to deteriorate, the report said, but the new strains of fungi identified by researchers are claimed to be much more efficient than the biodegradation catalyst fungi that are found elsewhere on the planet. The scientists are working to understand the degradation mechanism better, the report said.



May 2, 2019
Slowdown in Renewable Energy Sector, Experts Blame Government

The renewable energy sector fell short of its addition target by 45 percent for the year 2018-19, reports said, with industry experts placing the blame squarely on the government. A report by The Hindu Business Line quotes industry experts as saying that the Central government’s policy reversal, cancellation of several renewable project tenders without any explanation, and muddled policies around clean energy have caused the slowdown. While the target for the sector was an addition of 15,602 MW to the grid, only an addition of 8,532 MW was achieved. However, industry analysts also projected a positive outlook for growth in the sector over the next 1-2 years.



May 2, 2019
British Industry Supports New Climate Action Plan for Zero Emissions

The Confederation of British Industry has thrown its weight behind a report released by the independent Committee for Climate Change for consideration by the government of UK. The report details an action plan for the UK to achieve zero emissions by 2050, and the matter is up for discussion in the UK Parliament presently. The opposition Labour Party has also voiced its support for declaring the present global situation a ‘climate emergency’, especially in the wake of recent protests by the group Extinction Rebellion and another group of school students, pushing for more stringent action on climate change. The new action plan, yet to be officially endorsed by the UK government, calls for a drastic shift to low-carbon heating, lower consumption of red meat, more efficient disposal of waste, less vehicles on the road and a complete switchover to electric vehicles.



May 1, 2019
Experts Flay MoU for New Waste-to-Energy Plant in Bengaluru

The government of Karnataka’s memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the French firm ‘3wayste’ for setting up a waste-to-energy (WTE) plant near Electronic City has drawn much flak from health and environment experts in Bengaluru. Mistakes made in the past must not be repeated, activists said, referring to the Okhla waste-to-energy plant that drew the ire of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in the form a fine amounting to INR 25 lakh, for polluting the environment, just about three years ago. Experts said the setting up of WTE plants will lead to increased air pollution, a spike in generation of waste, and a simultaneous decline in waste segregation at source. TheNewsMinute published a report detailing the objections of activists, and also quoted the CEO of 3wayste, who stated that the company will follow all emission norms set by regulatory authorities.



May 1, 2019
Biodegradable Bags Disappoint, Stay Strong for 3 Years

Biodegradable bags do not decay within months of being discarded, researchers from the University of Plymouth, UK, have found. The researchers said they were surprised to find that biodegradable bags were able to carry loads just as well as conventional plastic bags would, even after three years of exposure to soil and water. However, air exposure resulted in proper decay of biodegradable and compostable bags, but researchers are worried about the survival of the biodegradable bags in soil and water. Compostable bags, on the other hand, performed well in this experiment, deteriorating to a great extent but not absolutely.



May 1, 2019
Students Can Pay Fees in Plastic Waste at This Assam School

A school called Akshar, run by a couple in Pamohi, Assam, has come up with a clever concept to curb seasonal plastic waste burning in the area. The couple running the school, Mazin and Parmita, are accepting bags of plastic waste from the students as fees, and teaching the children how to recycle plastic waste, as well as the importance of such recycling. The Better India wrote a story about the school and its many commendable practices, including awareness drives for residents of the area about the health hazards of plastic waste burning. The practice of burning plastic waste was common in the area as a way of keeping warm in winters, the website reported. The school has about 100 students and each student pays their fee in bags of plastic waste to the tune of 25 items per week, on average, the report said.



April 30, 2019
Renewable Energy Set to Beat Coal in Power Production in US

In a first, renewable energy (RE) is estimated to have produced more electric power than coal did for a whole month. CNN Business published a report quoting researchers from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis suggesting that the power production for April by RE sources is expected to be higher than that by coal. Figures taken for one month at a time may keep up this trend, the report indicates, but annual production of power will still be higher via coal than through RE. The coal-based power sector faces “intensifying pressure from wind and solar power”, the CNN Business report states.



April 30, 2019
Researchers Demonstrate Color Tuning in LEDs

A study published in the Journal of ACS Photonics Funder claims that it is possible for a single LED to change colors by means of tweaking the current supply time sequence for the LED. The news agency ANI published a report re-published by the Asian Age, which quotes researcher Dierolf claiming that it is possible for a single LED to emit red, blue and green light by the use of intentional co-doping and energy-transfer engineering. The research can help achieve warmer white light from LEDs for more comfort, Dierolf added.



April 30, 2019
Mt Everest Cleared of 3,000 kg of Solid Waste in 15 Days

Nepal’s 45-day effort to rid Mount Everest of its mounting garbage has yielded great results, according to reports published yesterday about the progress. In just 15 days, the ‘Everest Cleaning Campaign’ cleared 3,000 kg of solid waste from the site, the campaign having taken off on April 14. The target is to clear a total of 10,000 kg of garbage, with 5,000 kg of waste estimated to be collected from the Everest Base Camp area alone, Nepal’s Tourism authorities told media in a press briefing on Sunday.



April 29, 2019
20 Million Jobs Created by Growth in Logistics, Agriculture

About 20 million jobs were created in the country thanks to a 10 percent growth in the industrial logistics and agriculture sectors, the executive director of the CII Institute of Logistics, KV Mahidhar said. Mr Mahidhar was speaking at the first NextGen Logistics Conclave organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry in Pune last week. The conclave saw more than 15 industry experts speak to about 85 delegates about the importance and scope of adopting digital technologies in the logistics sector. Also, participating start-ups were given the opportunity to present their business models and interact with industry leaders.



April 29, 2019
Eco-friendly Air-Con Products Exhibition in Chandigarh

A four-day exhibition of eco-friendly and energy efficient air-conditioning and refrigeration products is being organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry in Chandigarh. The exhibition, called CII Coolex 2019 and sponsored by Blue Star, Hitachi, and Mitsubishi Electric, began on April 26 and ends at 7 pm today (April 29). CII Northern Region director Ankur Singh Chauhan said the exhibition aims to bring of green technologies in air-conditioning and refrigeration on one platform, benefiting both commercial establishments and residents. Chandigarh Special Secretary Mukesh Anand said he was impressed by the wide range of products exhibited.



April 29, 2019
Solar Power Push Slows Down Across India

The buoyancy in the solar power sector is effectively dampened due to challenges in land acquisition and transmission of solar power, The Economic Times reported. The Central government’s ambitious plan of establishing 50 solar parks with a total capacity of 40,000 MW by March 2020 is running short of its target by a huge measure, with less than 6,000 MW having been commissioned yet, the report said, quoting a senior official from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). The government’s other target of having 100,000 MW of total solar capacity in India by 2020 is also ‘highly unlikely’ to be met, the report said.