ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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India’s Energy Policy

Historically, India has been an importer of its energy needs. Only the United States (us) and China consume more energy than India. In addition, it is the consumer with the quickest growth in the world, consuming 813 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2019 (MOPNG 2021). India’s energy needs are...

What Is Stopping the Obvious?

For the vast majority of human existence, international trade was fuelled by renewable energy. Trade winds were used to cruelly bring enslaved labour from Africa to grow cane, limes, bananas, and cocoa in the Caribbean and powered the windmills that turned the cane into molasses and sugar. The Gulf...

Unlocking Fortune at the Bottom of India’s Gobar Pyramid

A 2014 International Labour Organization study claimed that India can create millions of rural jobs by raising the value of gobar (manure) from the present `0.15–`0.30 per kg wet weight to `1.50–`2.00 per kg. This would benefit millions of landless and marginal dairy farmers who make a meagre income from gobar. Biogas technology is the answer, but its reach in rural India is insignificant. India’s biogas programme needs to make a quantum leap through initiatives that pilot new business models for village-scale plants with the support of dairy cooperatives. It needs to maximise the energy as well as nutrient value that can be derived from gobar, overcome farmers’ loss aversion by monetising benefits and costs, and incentivise the installation of biogas plants and optimise their operating performance.

Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020

The proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 aims to reduce subsidies and push for privatisation, especially in the distribution segment of the power sector. Undertaking structural changes in a core sector at a time of crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects defies logic. The proposed amendments are not only anti-people, but they also fail to address the long-term crises in the sector and will only accelerate its deterioration. The central government must hold off on passing any hasty legislation on the subject and adopt a more scientific and less ideological approach to deal with the travails of the power sector.

The Emerging Energy Industry Is Much More Revolutionary Than What Arvind Subramanian Imagines

Arvind Subramanian’s Darbari Seth Memorial Lecture last year was a status-quo view of a traditional industry with merely the arithmetical addition of renewables as a variable.

Smart Cities Need Smart Villages

The current Smart Cities Mission needs to be linked to India’s villages. The lacuna in the current mission mandate can be filled by directly addressing the opportunities provided by renewable off-grid production to increase employment and diversification in the rural economy, with a particular focus on India’s rural youth.

Enforcing Renewable Purchase Obligations

The Renewable Purchase Obligation mechanism and the trade of Renewable Energy Certificates were introduced to promote investment in renewable energy. However, the RPO requirement has not been met in many cases in India, which has resulted in low trading in RECs. While there are a few instances of state electricity regulatory commissions imposing penalties, a uniform enforcement of this mechanism by imposing specific penalties on non-complying entities can be recommended.

Reviewing India's National Mission on Electric Vehicles

In 2010, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy proposed a 20% subsidy for electric vehicles through a scheme called the Alternate Fuels for Surface Transportation Programme. This resulted in a big leap in sales of electric vehicles, mostly in the e-bikes segment. However, this initial spurt in sales was followed by a slump. This article analyses why electrical vehicles have not taken off in India, and suggests alternatives.

Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change has reiterated the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities, but has not referred to historical responsibility. How important is historical responsibility and what does it imply? How is one going to differentiate without historical responsibility? What would be India's responsibility? How do India's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution targets compare with its responsibility?

The Price of Renewable Energy

State of Renewable Energy in India: A Citizen's Report by Chandra Bhushan, Nayanjyoti Goswami, Aruna Kumarankandath, Kanchan Kumar Agrawal and Joel Kumar, New Delhi: Centre for Science and Environment, 2014; pp 198, Rs 690.

Climate Change as Meme

The ideas and concepts which make up climate change can be viewed through the theory of meme, as developed by Richard Dawkins. This helps us understand how these ideas emerged from the scientific discourse and have permeated social life and action, being transmitted and transformed in this act. A better recognition of how these memes function will help us understand the manner in which climate change is perceived and acted upon.
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