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India in line to meet commitments made at COP26 to achieve net-zero targets, says minister

Net zero
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The five elements enunciated by India at COP26 in Glasgow have been appropriately incorporated in enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under Paris Agreement and Long term Low Carbon Development Strategies towards net-zero emissions by 2070, in accordance with the principles of equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC) in light of National Circumstances. This information was provided by Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, in the Parliament.

As per the updated NDC submitted to UNFCCC in August 2022, India stands committed to reduce Emissions Intensity of its GDP by 45% by 2030, from 2005 level; achieve about 50% cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030, with the help of transfer of technology and low-cost international finance including from Green Climate Fund; and put forward and further propagate a healthy and sustainable way of living based on traditions and values of conservation and moderation, including through a mass movement for ‘LIFE’– ‘Lifestyle for Environment’ as a key to combating climate change.

The NDC update is also a step towards achieving India’s long term goal of reaching net-zero by 2070; for which India has prepared and submitted a separate framework document titled ‘India’s Long-term Low Carbon Development Strategy’ to the secretariat of the UNFCCC in November 2022.

Government of India stands committed to combat climate change through its several programmes and schemes including the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) which comprises of missions in specific areas of solar energy, energy efficiency, water, sustainable agriculture, Himalayan ecosystem, sustainable habitat, health, green India, and strategic knowledge for climate change. The National Solar Mission under the NAPCC is one of the key initiatives to promote sustainable growth while addressing India’s energy security. Some of the measures undertaken to promote renewable power in the country are as follows:

  • Permitting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) up to 100 percent under the automatic route
  • Waiver of Inter State Transmission System (ISTS) charges for inter-state sale of solar and wind power for projects to be commissioned by 30th June 2025
  • Declaration of trajectory for Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) up to the year 2029-30
  • Setting up of Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Parks to provide land and transmission to Renewable Energy (RE) developers for installation of RE projects at large scale
  • Schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM), Solar Rooftop Phase II, 12000 MW Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Scheme Phase II, etc.
  • Laying of new transmission lines and creating new sub-station capacity under the Green Energy Corridor Scheme for evacuation of renewable power
  • Notification of standards for deployment of solar photovoltaic system/devices
  • Setting up of Project Development Cell for attracting and facilitating investments
  • Standard Bidding Guidelines for tariff based competitive bidding process for procurement of Power from Grid Connected Solar photovoltaic system and Wind Projects
  • Notification of Promoting Renewable Energy through Green Energy Open Access Rules 2022
  • Notification of “The electricity (Late Payment Surcharge and related matters) Rules 2002 (LPS rules)”
  • Issued orders that power shall be dispatched against Letter of Credit (LC) or advance payment to ensure timely payment by distribution licensees to RE generators

India has progressively continued decoupling of economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions. India’s emission intensity of gross domestic product (GDP) has reduced by 24percent between 2005 and 2016. As on 31stOctober 2022, India’s total electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources is 172.72 GW, which is 42.3percent of the total electric power installed capacity from non-fossil based energy resources.

The Central Government has taken steps toward the development of renewable energy sources in Odisha.  The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has allocated 1000MW Solar Park to Odisha for development under the Ultra Mega Solar Power Park (UMSPP) Scheme. About 4000 acres of land has been identified at Bhograi and Bahanaga in Balasore district and Land identification across the other districts is also under progress for this purpose.

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