Newsletters - July, 2015

Dear Reader,

The Renewable Energy Programme at Centre for Science and Environment has been working on how to provide energy access through renewable energy and how increase the share of renewable energy in our total energy mix. We are specifically looking at mini-grids as a solution to energy access as well to expand the reach of renewable energy. Additionally, we are working on policy option for providing cleaner cooking fuel to all. We primarily work in India, but we have started sharing Indian experience with select African cocountries as well.


Draft Renewable Energy Act


Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) released the draft National Renewable Energy Act last week in an attempt to mainstream renewable energy. CSE was also part of the Executive Committee that help draft the Act. We have already send our comments and feedback on the draft to the ministry. CSE’s perspective on the same can be read at this link.

Report - Global Renewable Energy and Energy Access Transformation

This document outlines a proposal for the initiation of a global programme to:

• Provide access to sufficient energy to all by 2025
• Begin immediate transformation towards 100 per cent renewable energy It addresses needs of transformation in both the North and the South.

For the report, please click here.

July 13, 2015
IREDA to provide low interest loans for rooftop solar projects
The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) recently launched a loan scheme for Rooftop Solar Photo Voltaic Power Projects. The scheme intends to provide loans at an applicable interest rate of 9.9 to 10.75 per cent to system aggregators and developers, depending on the credit rating of the borrower.
June 23, 2015
Countries choose auctions for renewable energy at low cost
Renewable energy continued to grow in 2014 against the backdrop of increasing global energy consumption, particularly in developing countries, and a dramatic decline in oil prices during the second half of the year, according to REN21’s Renewables 2015 Global Status Report.
June 19, 2015
CO2 emissions from energy use stabilised for first time in 40 years
Northeast India’s biggest solar power plant has generated optimum power on February 8, after five days of commissioning. The plant at is situated at Monarchakin Tripura and is run by the Northeast Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO).
June 18, 2015
Modi government sets revised solar mission target at 100 GW
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given his approval for increasing the national solar mission capacity from the current 22 gigawatt (GW) to 100 GW by 2022. In a bid to reduce the use of fossil fuels and increase the capacity of renewables, the Centre had announced the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) in 2010 for developing 20-GW capacity solar grids and 2-GW capacity off-grid solar applications.
June 15, 2015
Renewable energy sources to overtake coal by 2030, says report
There is good news for renewable energy fanatics. According to a latest news report, clean renewables such as wind, solar power, tidal and hydroelectricity will overtake coal in the next 15 years to become the world’s top electricity sources.
June 12, 2015
G7 commitment to decarbonisation could be more talk less action
The Group of Seven (G7) industrial nations—the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Japan and Italy—along with the European Union have expressed their determination to adopt a legally binding agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
June 10, 2015
Green Climate Fund races to get its show on the road before COP 21
Green Climate Fund (GCF) has been one of the most talked about topics in this year’s climate change conference at Bonn. Apart from multiple side events, the GCF secretariat organised sessions to provide clarifications over many questions raised regarding the fund itself and its operationalisation.
June 9, 2015
Government accelerates efforts to set up solar parks
After getting a green signal from Prime Minister’sOffice, the Ministry of New and renewable Energy (MNRE) has sped up the process of establishing solar park projects across the country. The total capacity of the projects that will be spread across 20 states is 13,000 megawatt (MW).
June 8, 2015
Experts stress on energy-efficient measures
During the second Technical Expert Meeting (TEM) on energy efficiency organised in Bonn on June 5-6 as part of the United Nations climate change conference, experts presented their ideas on energy efficiency for urban environment, especially lighting system and sustainable urban transport.
June 4, 2015
Participants at Bonn climate talks keen to build on renewable
energy sector
Massive increase in renewable energy capacity can help countries achieve the goal of keeping global temperature rise up to 2 degrees Celsius, beyond which the consequences of climate change will be dangerous. This was the idea floated during the Technical Expert Meeting (TEM) on renewable energy at the Bonn climate change conference in Germany.
June 4, 2015
Blog - Reform in fossil fuel subsidy is a mitigation opportunity
Fossil fuel subsidies have been historically aimed at easing the burden of the poor and protecting consumers in most countries. Unfortunately, these subsidies end up intensifying fiscal imbalances and diverting government money to causes other than development. They also inadvertently promote excessive energy consumption and energy-intensive technologies and industries.
May 23, 2015
‘There is more global investment in renewable energy than in fossil
fuel’: UNFCCC
The Business and Climate Summit, starting tomorrow (May 23) in the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, will provide a forum for business and government leaders to discuss strategies and actions in the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, 200 days from now.
May 21, 2015
Telangana announces new solar power policy
The Telangana state government announced its new solar power policy this week, with many incentives for solar power developers. The policy, valid for the next five years, aims at "creating an enabling environment for prospective solar power developers to harness substantial quantum of solar power in the best possible manner".
May 21, 2015
Nearly 80 per cent of West Africa lacks access to electricity: UNEP
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recently released a report that provides tactical solutions to policymakers to accelerate the use of efficient off-grid lighting products. Titled “Developing Effective Off-Grid Lighting Policy - Guidance Note for Governments in Africa”, the report recommends how the government can seize market opportunities by creating a conducive and developing environment. The report was launched by UNEP in partnership with other organisations.
May 19, 2015
Sunny Gujarat builds solar plant atop Sardar Sarovar canal
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon inaugurated a 10 MW Canal Top Solar Power Plant in Vadodara on Sunday, on the sidelines of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.
May 15, 2015
New solar technology from Sweden claims to be the most efficient
Swedish company Ripasso Energy successfully demonstrated a new concentrated solar power (CSP) system that provides electricity by combining a Stirling power converter with a parabolic mirror. It claims that the system sets the world record for generating electricity at capacity utilisation factor (CUF) of 32 per cent.
January 9, 2015
Solar rooftop subsidy likely to be halved
The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is adopting measures to reduce government’s burden of subsidies from solar rooftop power. This follows falling prices of solar photo voltaic (PV) and rising conventional power price.
May 7, 2015
The Tesla battery heralds the beginning of the end for fossil fuels
While wind and solar power have made great strides in recent years, with renewables now accounting for 22% of electric energy generated, the issue that has held them back has been their transience. The sun doesn’t shine at night and the wind doesn’t blow year-round – these are the mantras of all those opposed to the progress of renewables.
April 30, 2015
Madhya Pradesh to host world’s biggest solar photovoltaic plant
The Madhya Pradesh cabinet this week approved a 750 megawatt (MW) solar power project at Gurh tehsil in Rewa district, which is to be developed in three phases of 250 MW each. The plant, to be the world’s biggest, will use photovoltaic (PV) technology to generate electricity from the sun. Once it is commissioned, the plant would overtake the Topaz Solar Farm (550 MW) in California’s San Luis Obispo county. The US farm was commissioned in 2014.
April 28, 2015
After Gujarat, more states to harness solar power from canal-top
After the success of the canal-top solar plant in Gujarat, more states are planning similar projects. The Gujarat State Electricity Board’s 10 megawatt (MW) plant is built over a 3.6-kilometre stretch of the Sardar Sarovar Canal System. During the inauguration of this 10 MW plant in January this year, the Central government announced it would promote similar projects in other parts of the country and sanctioned Rs 228 crore to construct 50 MW of canal-top and 50 MW of canal-bank solar projects. SunEdison, one of the biggest solar power companies, based in the US, had also commissioned a 1 MW plant on the banks of the Krishna river for the Karnataka government.
Renewable Energy unit
Centre for Science & Environment
New Delhi
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