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Wind, sun, atom: India’s climate plan looks doable. But it involves major challenges like reforming discoms

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Wind, sun, atom: India’s climate plan looks doable. But it involves major challenges like reforming discoms  Empty Wind, sun, atom: India’s climate plan looks doable. But it involves major challenges like reforming discoms

Post by Seva Lamberdar Wed Nov 03, 2021 7:39 am

The Times of India (Nov. 2, 2021):

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s climate combat plan seems realistic, given India’s imperatives, but needs plenty of government and political effort. The final goal of net zero by 2070, a phase when emissions of greenhouse gases by human activity are offset by steps to neutralise it, seems a doable deadline, but one which will be revised as science advances. Of immediate relevance however are targets set for 2030.

The energy sector will do the heavy lifting over the next decade, with a changing energy mix expected to cut both projected emissions and carbon intensity of growth. The key 2030 targets are a non-fossil energy capacity of 500 GW and half the energy to be sourced from renewables. Where do we stand today? 

India’s installed capacity at the end of September was 388.84 GW, of which around 40%, or 155.5 GW, was from non-fossil fuel sources. Renewables right now mean solar and wind capacity additions.

Excluding hydro projects, India’s installed renewable capacity is about 100 GW. The private sector today owns about 48% of the capacity. For India to meet its 2030 targets, private investors need an incentive to keep at it. That’s where the political economy challenge lies. India’s power distribution system is broken and repeated attempts over 20 years to fix it have failed. The core issue is that state governments run a complex cross-subsidy regime in the backdrop of fiscal constraints that results in perennial overdues. Discoms (or Distribution Companies for electricity) today have overdues of about Rs 66,000 crore.

Electoral politics, like Punjab government’s recent decision to slash tariffs to unviable levels, have made reform hard. If India’s to meet its 2030 target, power distribution reforms need an all-party consensus on backing away from a competitive race to the bottom. India’s political class needs to find common ground. Also, a five-fold addition in renewable capacity needs to be accompanied by greater R&D investments by all stakeholders. IP needs to be held by Indian entities and we can’t rely largely on China, a dominant player here.

Two other points. India should not depend on the West for clean tech. It needs to set up a fund for incubating ideas in this field. Vaccine inequity has shown global help is uncertain at best. Second, we must not ignore nuclear energy, where India has done much work. As one of our columnists argues today, just focusing on renewables may push up costs of electricity. Nuclear energy deserves as much of a push as wind and solar.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/toi-editorials/wind-sun-atom-indias-climate-plan-looks-doable-but-it-involves-major-challenges-like-reforming-discoms/
Seva Lamberdar
Seva Lamberdar

Posts : 6328
Join date : 2012-11-29

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bYp0igbxHcmg1G1J-qw0VUBSn7Fu

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Post by Seva Lamberdar Thu Nov 04, 2021 8:20 am

Like agriculture, environment and finance etc.. there are many problems facing the energy sector in India, including the insufficiency and heavy dependence in energy on fossil fuels (nonrenewable resources such as coal).

Moreover, the electric grid is weak and the distribution of power quite poor. In many places, people are even able to tap / steal power from supply lines without paying.

The charging for power is not reliable also. The politicians often exploit electricity / power as a vote getting gimmick, promising and giving power / electricity free and forgiving the loans on power. There is also no uniform policy with respect to the discoms.

Anyway, the present Govt. (since 2014) is on the right track in reforming and modernizing the energy sector with more emphasis on renewable resources (e.g. solar and wind) and by upgrading the power grid and distribution (more accountability and reliability in discoms, etc.), like the Govt. is doing currently in upgrading the farming sector through new agricultural laws and like the Govt. previously upgraded the financial sector (by improving banking, accounting and taxation base, etc.) and the environment (such as toilets for everyone, improved water supply, Swachh Bharat campaign and implementation) and so on.
Seva Lamberdar
Seva Lamberdar

Posts : 6328
Join date : 2012-11-29

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bYp0igbxHcmg1G1J-qw0VUBSn7Fu

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Wind, sun, atom: India’s climate plan looks doable. But it involves major challenges like reforming discoms  Empty Re: Wind, sun, atom: India’s climate plan looks doable. But it involves major challenges like reforming discoms

Post by Seva Lamberdar Thu Nov 04, 2021 6:26 pm

Seva Lamberdar wrote:Like agriculture, environment and finance etc.. there are many problems facing the energy sector in India, including the insufficiency and heavy dependence in energy on fossil fuels (nonrenewable resources such as coal).

Moreover, the electric grid is weak and the distribution of power quite poor.  In many places, people are  even able to tap / steal power from supply lines without paying.

The charging for power is not reliable also. The politicians often exploit electricity / power as a vote getting gimmick, promising and giving power / electricity free and forgiving the loans on power.  There is also no uniform policy with respect to the discoms.

Anyway, the present Govt. (since 2014) is on the right track in reforming and modernizing the energy sector with more emphasis on renewable resources (e.g. solar and wind) and by upgrading the power grid and distribution (more accountability and reliability in discoms, etc.), like the Govt. is doing currently in upgrading the farming sector through new agricultural laws and like the Govt. previously upgraded the financial sector (by improving banking, accounting and taxation base, etc.) and the environment (such as toilets for everyone, improved water supply, Swachh Bharat campaign and implementation) and so on.

Improving / expanding the taxation base by current Govt. in the above is through intensified banking system and official accounting with respect to the previous underground economy which, in the past, would use cash transactions to evade taxes (totaling crores of rupees, or millions of dollars, every year).
Seva Lamberdar
Seva Lamberdar

Posts : 6328
Join date : 2012-11-29

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bYp0igbxHcmg1G1J-qw0VUBSn7Fu

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Wind, sun, atom: India’s climate plan looks doable. But it involves major challenges like reforming discoms  Empty Re: Wind, sun, atom: India’s climate plan looks doable. But it involves major challenges like reforming discoms

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