Newsletters - January, 2016

Dear Reader,

Renewable Energy Programme at Centre for Science and Environment has shifted gears from focusing on energy access which would be continued on a global level, to focusing on large scale installations and rooftop solar in Indian context. This deliberate change is being done keeping in mind the change of focus of the Indian government whose idea of energy access has become grid extension and adding capacity to the grid.

With the same concerns in mind, we are conducting the following workshops and trainings. We are also working on a rooftop solar calculator which we are planning to release in the next few months.


The forgotten solar: Solar thermal and its development

February 4, New Delhi
Aruna Kumarankandath (

Environmental Management of Renewable Energy Projects

March 3 - 7, New Delhi
Sridhar Sekar (

January 21, 2016
Why solar tariffs are falling and what they mean for India’s renewable energy sector
This week, Indian power utility NTPC Limited announced the results of solar bids for six projects of 70 MW each in Rajasthan. The bids saw Finland-based company, Fortum Finnsurya Energy, quote Rs 4.34 per unit of electricity produced at one of the projects, the lowest ever for electricity from solar in India.
January 20, 2016
Cabinet approves amendments to power tariff policy
The Cabinet approved the proposal of the Union Ministry of Power for amendments to the tariff policy which aims at achieving the objectives of Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY). A statement issued by the power ministry said the amendments were focused on providing electricity for all, promoting efficiency to ensure affordable tariffs, creating an environment for a sustainable future, generating ease of doing business to attract investments and ensuring financial viability.
December 29, 2015
Solar freakin' roadways? Why the future of this technology may not be so bright
The American Solar “freakin” Roadways is an internet phenomenon raising over US$2 million in crowd funding. They have an attractive marketing campaign and make compelling arguments for their technology. Also, the Dutch SolaRoad project has produced a 100m cycle way pilot project, which demonstrates the technical feasibility for light traffic.
December 16, 2015
Centre to increase solar generation capacity next year
The Government of India (GOI) has set a target to increase its solar energy generation capacity by 2,000 Megawatt (MW) in the current fiscal year. Around half of the target capacity (1,000 MW) has been commissioned from April to November 2015.
December 16, 2015
MNRE has no mechanism to claim CDM benefits, observes CAG
In its latest audit report placed before Parliament, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) observes that the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has not devised any mechanism to claim Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) benefits for grid connected and off-grid RE projects. Further, there is lack of awareness among project proponents with respect to claiming of CDM benefits for their projects.
December 16, 2015
Large hydropower projects are not safe
Large hydropower projects are neither cheap nor green. Looking at project samples from the past 70 years, researchers at Oxford University found that hydropower dams have average cost overruns of 96 per cent, which (on an average) makes them uneconomic.Due to dam building, freshwater ecosystems are more affected by species extinction than marine or land-based ecosystems, having on an average lost 76 per cent of their population since 1970.
December 10, 2015
Fracking damaging for environment, say activists
During a side event organised by the Center for Biological Diversity, Franciscans International, Mercy International Association and the Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries, panelists working in the United States and Argentina discussed the negative impacts of fracking.
December 08, 2015
'Fossil fuel subsidies should be deemed as negative
climate finance'
There is a huge source of unutilised climate finance in the form of fossil fuel subsidies which are available to be mobilised immediately, said representatives of various countries during a side event organised by International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), New Zealand and Finland, on December 8, at COP 21 in Paris.
December 03, 2015
African countries launch Renewable Energy Initiative in Paris
The 54 countries of the African Union announced the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) amidst the ongoing climate talks in Paris on December 1.The AREI is the fruit of work done by the African leadership in Workstream II of the Durban Platform which also included a submission the Union made to United Nations Framework for Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in May 2014 essentially asking for “a global partnership to accelerate the energy transformation required for a well below 2° Celsius world by supporting renewable energy feed-in tariffs and other incentives.”
December 03, 2015
Climate initiatives must keep out large hydropower projects,
say environmentalists
In a manifesto released on Thursday, a group of more than 300 civil society organizations from 53 countries called on governments and financiers in Paris to keep large hydropower projects out of climate initiatives.Large hydropower projects emit massive amount of methane, make water and energy systems vulnerable to climate change, cause severe damage to ecosystems and affect local communities.
December 01, 2015
Renewable energy: India achieves half of its fiscal target in
seven months
While wind power sector has not shown much growth, solar power is undergoing an unprecedented expansion. Of the renewable energy target of 4,460 MW that was set for the current fiscal (2015-16), India has achieved 2,311 MW by the end of October. However, it will be a challenge for the Centre to achieve the remaining 48 per cent in next five months.
November 30, 2015
COP21: India and France show the way ahead by launching
Solar Alliance
“Solar alliance has fulfilled my long cherished dream”, announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a special event for the launch of solar alliance held at COP21 in Paris. The French President Francois Hollande and the Indian Prime Minister jointly launched the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on Monday, the first day of the COP21.
November 27, 2015
India and France invite countries to join International
Solar Alliance
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande, together invited over 100 countries to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA). The initiative would be launched by them on first day of the Climate Change Conference (COP21), on November 30 in Paris. Modi and Hollande have jointly sent written invitations to more than 100 countries for International Solar Initiative.
November 27, 2015
India needs to invest $ 140 billion annually to transform
energy sector
India’s contribution to the rising global energy demand is likely to be more than any other country in the next 25 years, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday.It added that the country needs an annual investment to the tune of $ 140 billion till 2040 on the energy transformation front.Despite immense contribution, India’s per capita energy demand, however, will still be 40 per cent below the world average in 2040, the IEA said in a special report titled India Energy Outlook 2015.
Renewable Energy unit
Centre for Science & Environment
New Delhi
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Renewable energy Department
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