Newsletters - April 2015

Dear Reader,
Budget session brought forth new ambitious targets for renewable energy. The developments however, have been not followed by how the government plans to achieve these targets. However, what does it take to achieve these targets and is the ambition alone enough to drive the investment government is hoping for? The question in most people’s mind is whether the country can achieve 175 GW of renewable without any direct government support in the form of subsidies or will the case be that we are still depended on viability gap funding and direct subsidy for rooftop solar.
International Seminar on Global Renewable Energy Support Programme
In a move to take the paper on Global Renewable Energy Support Programme forward, CSE organised a closed group meeting on March 30 to April 1, 2015. The discussions were dynamic, innovative and brought forth many ideas that would provide support to attain energy access to people all over the world and transform the world to 100 per cent renewable energy. The meeting recognised that from a climate mitigation perspective radical reductions and energy transformation must take place as a matter of highest urgency. This transformation will not happen without ambitious political will, directed public investments and planning.
Report - The State of Concentrated Solar Power in India
The report presents a roadmap to developing solar thermal technologies in India. It encapsulates the state of concentrated solar power projects in the country. The report states how the technology should develop over the years starting with developing solar thermal applications, and combining solar thermal in the existing fossil fuel based power plants. For the report, please click here.
April 15, 2015
Of stoves, kilns and a fine distinction between emissions
In the second week of March, activists, academics, policy-makers and experts in various fields came together in Delhi to throw light on the neglected subjects that play a critical role in climate change and are crucial from the point of view of the poor. For two days they debated four key issues-black carbon, luxury emissions, brick kilns and cook stoves-at the annual conference, Anil Agarwal Dialogue, organised by the Centre for Science and Environment in the memory of its founder. The late Agarwal was among the few environmentalists in the 1980s who argued that the poor have a higher stake in the protection of the environment. The theme of this year's dialogue, "The poor in climate change", was thus in keeping with his key message. The lowdown on the dialogue.
April 15, 2015
Power of concentration
India has every reason to push for concentrated solar power projects. But the technology has failed to pick up because of poor planning. India decided to bet on concentrated solar power (CSP) plants in January 2010 when it announced it would generate 500 megawatt (MW) of electricity using the technology under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.
April 9, 2015
Investment in renewable energy sector grows by 17% in 2014
Experts at Delhi-based non-profit, Centre for Science and Environment, have slammed the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) of the United States, saying they are “neither fair nor ambitious, and (are) way short of what is needed to keep global warming under 2°C”. They say the country’s climate action plan, submitted months before a new climate deal is negotiated in Paris this year, is only a reiteration of its earlier pledge made in November 2014.
April 2, 2015
United States climate targets are completely inadequate, says CSE
Brenmiller Energy, an Israeli firm, announced that it will build a 10 mega-watt (MW) concentrated solar power plant in Israel. The plant that will be constructed in Negev desert near the town of Dimona would be spread across 45 hectares. The plant will use a technology that will be able to produce electricity for about 20 hours a day.
March 31, 2015
The energy divide
The census data of 2001 and 2011 are good indicators of energy use in the country. The data shows that Indians use firewood, crop residue, cow dung cake, kerosene, LPG and coal-lignite, charcoal biogas-as fuel sources.
March 26, 2015
45% people in Sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity
Acute shortage of electricity in the Sub-Saharan Africa has left its countries struggling for economic growth. The energy crisis in the continent was recently analysed by McKinsey & Company in their report titled “Brighter Africa - The growth potential of the sub-Saharan electricity sector”.
March 24, 2015
Costa Rica lights up with only renewable energy
Visiting US president promised finance to speed up India’s green energy mission, but it has to be remembered that the US had complained to WTO twice about India’s solar mission.
March 20, 2015
US federal agencies to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40
per cent by 2025
US President Barack Obama on Friday signed an executive order directing the US federal agencies to cut their emissions by 40 per cent by 2025 compared to 2008 levels. This new sustainability plan for the next decade also directs federal agencies to increase their renewable energy target to 30 per cent by 2025.
March 9, 2015
100 MW solar plant begins providing power to South African
South Africa last week commissioned a 100 MW Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant-KaXu Solar One-which has 2.5 hours of thermal storage. The plant is located near the town of Pofadder in Northern Cape province and is capable of providing renewable power to 65,000 households or 325,000 South Africans.
March 4, 2015
World’s first solar-powered airplane to fly around the world
Solar Impulse-2 or Si-2, an airplane which uses only solar power and which does not require a single drop of fuel, will take off from Abu Dhabi on March 7 and fly around the world in a first-of-its-kind journey. Produced by the Swiss-funded venture, Solar Impulse, the plane will be flown by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg who will take turns flying during their five-month flight.
February 28, 2015
India falls short of achieving increased power generation
Is India on track to increasing capacity in the power sector? It does not seem so, if one goes by the findings of Economic Survey 2015 tabled on February 27 in Parliament. The Survey shows that India is lagging behind and has added only 11,610.41 MW. This figure includes 1,000 MW generated by nuclear power facilities commissioned till December 31, 2014.
February 28, 2015
Experts disappointed with budgetary allocation to
There has been a 46.8 per cent decrease in gross budgetary support for renewable energy ministry, they say. Renewable energy sector experts have given a thumbs down to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s budgetary allocation to the sector. Experts told Down To Earth that Union Budget 2015-16 had failed to make the burgeoning investment requirement for transmission infrastructure a priority. This, they said, would make it difficult for the government to meet its target of manufacturing 175 GW of renewable energy by 2020, which it announced on Saturday.
Renewable Energy unit
Centre for Science & Environment
New Delhi
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Renewable energy Department
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