Published on: November 16, 2022

India’s Net Zero Plan

India’s Net Zero Plan

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solely India announces long-term strategy at COP-27. It will help the nation be carbon neutral by 2070, a commitment made by Prime Minister at Glasgow.

Highlights:

  • It is premised on expanding its nuclear power capacity by at least threefold in the next decade,
  • Becoming an international hub for producing green hydrogen and increasing the proportion of ethanol in petrol
  • While 195 member countries, only 57 obliged to sign the document while India is the latest addition

What are the Long  Term-Low Emission Development Strategy(LT-LEDS)?

  • The LT-LEDS are qualitative in nature and are a requirement emanating from the 2015 Paris Agreement whereby countries explaining their transition  and work towards the larger climate objective of cutting emissions by 45% by 2030 and achieve net zero around 2050.
  • The document has been prepared in the framework of India’s right to an equitable and fair share of the global carbon budget
  • The strategy emphasises energy security, energy access, and employment, while keeping focus on our vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat

What are India’s various policy intiatives for carbon neutral 2070?

Solar Energy

  • 3 of the world’s top 5 largest solar parks are in India including world’s largest Bhadla Solar Park in Rajasthan and world’s second-largest solar park of Pavgada Solar Park Tumkur in Karnataka and Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh.
  • India and France launched the International Solar Alliance which aims to promote and develop solar power amongst its members and has the objective of mobilising $1 trillion of investment by 2030.

Nuclear power

  • India had 10 nuclear reactors under-construction with a combined capacity of 8 GW and 23 existing nuclear reactors in operation in 7 nuclear power plants
  • It is the fifth-largest source of electricity in India after coal, hydroelectricity, solar, wind and gas power.

Biomass

  • In 2018, India has set target to produce 1.5 crore tons of biogas/bio-CNG by installing 5,000 large scale commercial type biogas

Waste to energy

  • Long involvement with anaerobic digestion and biogas technologies.
  • Waste water treatment plants in the country have been established which produce renewable energy from sewage gas. Prominent companies in the waste to energy sector include: A2Z Group of companies, Hanjer Biotech Energies and Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd etc

Wind power

  • The installed capacity of wind power in India was mainly spread across Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh

Green hydrogen policy

  • In 2021, the National Hydrogen Mission was launched to meet climate targets and to turn India into a “green hydrogen hub”

Energy Conservation Act in 2022

  • This act regulates energy consumption by equipment, appliances, buildings and industries.
  • It mandates the use of non-fossil fuel sources for industries, such as mining, steel, cement, textile, chemicals and petrochemicals.
  • The amendments also allow industries to buy renewable energy directly from the producers enabling renewable energy producers price certainty.

Electric vehicles

  • At COP26, India signed the 100% EV declaration with a focus on two and three-wheeler auto-rickshaws.
  • 100% EVs declaration agreed that 100% of new car and van sales in 2040 should be electric vehicles, 2035 for leading markets

Clean Fuel

  • India strengthened its fuel/emissions standards by adopting Bharat Stage VI emissions standard for vehicle
  • With ethanol blending to reach 20% by 2025 and a “strong shift” to public transport for passenger and freight traffic.
  • Focus on improving energy efficiency by the Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme, the National Hydrogen Mission, increasing electrification, enhancing material efficiency, and recycling and ways to reduce emissions
  • Government has announced that it plans to increase its share of gas and transform the country into a “gas-based economy”. It has set a target to increase the share of gas in its energy mix from 6% in 2021 to 15% by 2030
  • Significant initiatives to support the expected import growth through the expansion of LNG terminals and re-gasification capacity, and infrastructure development to facilitate LNG transportation

Rail

  • In July 2020, Indian railways announced plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.
  • Indian railway is also planning to increase use of renewable energy and will install 20 GW of solar capacity

Buildings

  • Initiatives like the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), voluntary initiatives on green building guidelines and a push for the adoption of thermal performance in building design, and construction materials can help reduce the internal heat load and lower space cooling requirements in buildings

Agriculture

  • The PM-KUSUM scheme aims at setting up 10 GW decentralised grid-connected solar capacityin barren land
  • The government has also implemented measures to reduce N2O emissions associated with fertiliser (urea) use and has programmes in place to assist farmers in reducing emissions and building resiliency
  • The National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) , seeks to climate-proof and reduce emissions in the agriculture sector,
  • NABARD also has a number of initiatives facilitating climate change mitigation and adaptation, g. by educating farmers on the impacts of climate change.

Forestry

  • The National Mission for a Green India was launched to protect, restore and enhance India’s forest cover as a response towards climate change.
  • Under this mission, the aim is to convert 10 mha of forest and non-forest land for increasing the forest cover and to improve the quality of existing forest.

What are the roadblocks to India turning net zero?

  • Nation is world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases faces many challenges, including a heavy dependence on coal
  • Stumbling block is the availability of funding and future technologies,
  • India has not committed to phasing out coal, coal power generation would need to reduce significantly by 2030
  • High import dependency on both oil and gas, and domestic production of both oil and gas is insignificant. It also planning to increase its investment in overseas oilfields in Russia and Brazil.
  • Lack of access to peer networks and cross-sector communities is a top challenge impeding climate collaboration.
  • India still lacks clear sectoral direction and targets for polluting sectors

Way forward

  • Rapid electrification for development and focusing on green electrification will make India achieve (the emissions target) faster
  • Transmission, distribution, and storage would need rapid improvement, with a strategy of green electrification.”
  • It is important for financial institutions to bolster the transition towards net-zero emissions through continued efforts in financing green infrastructure in the country.