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Sustainability Outlook Headlines

Cabinet approves mining reforms

India on Wednesday liberalised the mineral sector paving way for large private investments through auction of nearly 500 leases, doubling production in the next 4-5 years, sources said. The amendments, now to be laid before Parliament in the Budget session, do away with distinction between captive and non-captive mines, allowing transfer of mining leases. Comprehensive license for exploration and production, clarity in illegal mining, national mineral index and joint auctions of bauxite and coal mines for aluminium sector are some of the other proposals that have been approved by the... Read more..

Source: The Economic Times

Tesla may kickstart India ops with sales and R&D to follow

Tesla is looking to open its first sales outlet in India, possibly in Bengaluru, even as it continues talks with the Karnataka government on setting up a research and development (R&D) centre in the state, two people aware of the development said. The billionaire Elon Musk-led electric vehicle maker (EV) maker has registered a new entity, Tesla India Motors and Energy Pvt. Ltd, with an office in Bengaluru, as part of the initial steps towards starting operations in India. “They will introduce their products here and set up outlets. There are ongoing talks for a R&D centre (in... Read more..

Source: Live Mint

Fuel prices on fire as crude price tops $57 a barrel

Petrol price made a new record at Rs 84.45 a litre in Delhi and crossed Rs 90 in Mumbai on Wednesday in tandem with crude topping $57/barrel for the first time since February 2020 as economic optimism outweighed concerns over fresh virus scare in Europe and China. Diesel price made a fresh record at Rs 81.34 in Mumbai and narrowed the gap with previous peak in Delhi as state-run fuel retailers, who dominate the market, resumed daily price revision after a 5-day gap to pass on the impact of crude’s week-long rally. After the latest hike, diesel costs Rs 74.63 a litre in Delhi, 82 paise... Read more..

Source: The Economic Times

China's Baidu to create an intelligent EV company with automaker Geely

China's search engine giant Baidu Inc said on Monday it will set up a company to partner with car maker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group to make smart electric vehicles (EV), the latest move by a tech company in the fast-evolving sector. Baidu, which has been developing autonomous driving technology and internet connectivity infrastructure, said the new EV company will count on Baidu's intelligent driving capabilities and Geely's car manufacturing expertise. Geely will also be a strategic investor in the new company, which will be an independent subsidiary of Baidu, Baidu said in the statement... Read more..

Source: The Business Times

Tesla drives into Bengaluru with new company

Tesla has made its debut in India. On January 8, it registered a company named Tesla India Motors and Energy in Bengaluru. It’s not clear what exactly the company will do – R&D, sales or manufacturing. Founder Elon Musk, the world’s second richest man, had indicated last year that Tesla would start selling its cars in India in 2021. Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari had said in December that Tesla will commence sales in India in 2021, and would evaluate assembly or manufacturing based on the market response it receives. The US electric carmaker is known to be... Read more..

Source: The Times of India

Hero Electric, Earth Ride partner to lease e-bikes

Hero Electric on Monday said it has partnered with Delhi-based start-up Earth Ride, to provide e-bikes to the youth searching for new business enterprises. It will lease e-bikes to help the youth earn a living through the last-mile deliveries model of Earth Ride, which offers a unique Lease-Earn-Own model that allows individuals who might not have the capital to buy a new electric scooter, the company said in a statement. Earth Ride provides electric two-wheelers to riders on a long-term lease. They will procure over 1,000 customised Nyx-HX and other e-scooters through the next financial... Read more..

Source: Business Line

Odysse E2Go electric scooter launched: 60 km range and portable battery pack

Odysse Electric Vehicles, an electric two-wheeler manufacturer, today launched a new low-speed scooter, E2Go for the Indian market. Available in two models of lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries, these e-scooters do not require registration or license to ride. The E2go and E2Go Lite are priced at Rs 52,999 and Rs 63,999, respectively (ex-showroom Ahmedabad). The models are available in five colour options – Azure blue, Scarlet Red, Teal green, Midnight black, Matte black. “The E2Go is targeted towards the urban women and youth market where everyone wants to have their mobility in their own... Read more..

Source: The Financial Express

Tata Motors plans series of ‘affordable’ e-vehicles

In one of the most ambitious plans made around electric mobility and affordability, homegrown auto giant Tata Motors has said that it plans to price its green cars at “not more than 15-20% premium” to conventional petrol/diesel vehicles, while offering a battery range at least in excess of 200km on a single charge. The statement comes just as Tata Motors drives on a path of resurgence in the Indian passenger vehicles market, making significant gains in share in just about a year. Riding high on healthy demand for products such as the Tiago mini, Nexon compact SUV and the Altroz hatch, the... Read more..

Source: The Times of India

Triton set to enter Indian market with N4 electric sedan, to start at Rs 35 lakh

US-based Triton Electric Vehicle on Monday said it aims to introduce N4 sedan in India with price starting at Rs 35 lakh. The electric sedan, which would be manufactured in the US, is going to be available in four different variants and a high-performance limited edition in the country, the company said in a statement. Only 100 units of the limited edition version - N4-GT - would be produced, it added. The N4 model comes powered by 75Kwh and 100 Kwh battery options giving the vehicle a range of up to 523 km and 696 km respectively, it added. "The base model will be priced at Rs 35 lakh... Read more..

Source: The Times of India

Coronavirus causes largest U.S. greenhouse gas emissions drop since World War Two - report

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell 10.3 per cent in 2020, the largest drop in emissions in the post-World War II era, as the coronavirus crippled the economy, according to a report released Tuesday by the Rhodium Group. The economic fallout from the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 - especially in big emitting sectors like transportation, power and industry - resulted in a sharper emissions drop than the 2009 recession, when emissions slid 6.3 per cent. The drop means that the United States would outperform its pledge made under the Copenhagen climate accord to reduce greenhouse gas... Read more..

Source: The Economic Times

Japan extends fresh loan to India to combat socio-economic impacts of Covid

Japan on Friday decided to assist India by providing a loan of up to 30 billion yen (appx. INR 2,129 Crore) for its efforts to mitigate socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 here. The Exchange of Notes for the COVID-19 Crisis Response Support Loan for Social Protection were signed by SUZUKI Satoshi, Ambassador of Japan to India and Dr C. S. Mohapatra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs. This yen loan is the latest addition to Japan’s supports to India in its fight against COVID-19. After the outbreak of the pandemic, Japan provided swift assistance to India, which includes... Read more..

Source: The Economic Times

Goldman expects Brent oil prices to reach $65/bbl in summer 2021

Brent oil prices could rise to $65 per barrel by summer 2021, Goldman Sachs said on Monday, driven by output cuts in Saudi Arabia and the implications of a shift in power to the Democrats in the United States. The Wall Street investment bank had previously predicted oil would hit $65 by year-end. The Democrat-led sweep of the U.S. Senate runoff elections and Saudi Arabia's recent announcement of unilateral production cuts have left commodity markets with a "tighter" medium-term outlook, analysts at the bank said in a note. Last week, the bank said Saudi Arabia's pledge to cut its output by... Read more..

Source: The Economic Times

Crude oil prices sapped by rising coronavirus cases

Oil prices slipped on Tuesday as investors remained concerned about climbing coronavirus cases globally, though an anticipated drawdown in crude oil inventory in the United States for a fifth straight week stemmed losses. After falling on Monday, Brent crude oil futures slipped by 9 cents, or 0.2 per cent, to $55.57 a barrel by 0135 GMT while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell by 8 cents, or 0.2 per cent, to $52.17 a barrel. Worldwide coronavirus cases surpassed 90 million on Monday, according to Reuters tally, as nations around the globe scramble to procure vaccines and continue to... Read more..

Source: The Economic Times

Companies may get grant to set up strategic oil reserves

The government plans to offer viability gap funding (VGF) to attract bidders for the second phase of Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves, which will add 12 days of crude oil storage, two government officials aware of the matter said. The move is part of India’s efforts to enhance energy security. The second phase will require an investment of $1.6 billion under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode. The Union cabinet’s nod for the terms to be offered under the VGF route to bidders will be sought. The proposal is under discussion. This comes against the backdrop of tensions between... Read more..

Source: Live Mint

Covid-19 and cold has cooking fuel outpacing Gasoline in India

Consumption in 2020 of liquefied petroleum gas was higher than motor fuel for the first time ever over a calendar year, data from the govt showed India’s full-year consumption of gasoline never fully recovered from a collapse in demand during a nationwide lockdown in the second quarter of 2020 A fuel primarily used for cooking has surpassed gasoline as India’s second most popular oil product following a boost from a government buying program, cold weather and stay-at-home orders due to Covid-19. Consumption in 2020 of liquefied petroleum gas -- which is also used for heating -- was higher... Read more..

Source: Live Mint

Next tranche of commercial mining auction to be launched this month: Coal Minister

Minister Pralhad Joshi on Monday said the next tranche of commercial mines auction will be launched this month and stressed that further rounds will continue thereafter. Speaking at the agreement signing ceremony for commercial coal mining and launch of single-window clearance system, he said commercial coal mining has been made a part of the system now. "The next tranche of commercial mining auction would be launched in January 2021, and further tranches will continue thereafter," the minister said. Speaking at the function, Home Minister Amit Shah said the country has reached a position... Read more..

Source: The Economic Times

Every hydroelectric project under obligation to release minimum water downstream: NGT

The National Green Tribunal has directed state pollution control boards to ensure the release of minimum water downstream by hydroelectric projects, saying business or commercial interests cannot override the requirement of maintaining riverine ecology. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said every hydroelectric project (HEP) irrespective of the date of its commission is under an obligation to release minimum water downstream "This is a mandate of 'Sustainable Development' which is part of the right to life. Accordingly, the tribunal directed compliance by all the... Read more..

Source: The Economic Times

SECI may reduce solar tender size due to high tariff concerns

The Solar Energy Corporation of India is likely to reduce the size of its latest solar tender as well as change location specifications, sources said. The size is being brought down from 2,500MW to 1,800MW. While earlier the projects were to be located at the solar park in Koppal district of Karnataka, SECI has now identified three other spots in the same state where the projects, once they are auctioned, can be built. SECI is the nodal agency through which the renewable energy ministry conducts wind and solar auctions. It has had second thoughts about Koppal fearing the cost of setting up... Read more..

Source: The Economic Times

Wind-solar hybrid tariffs to continue at premium over solar for now: Ind-Ra

The upcoming wind-solar hybrid renewable energy auctions would spark cautious optimism among independent power producers in India, according to reseearch agency India Ratings (Ind-Ra). It added that technical complexities related to grid integration and inclusion of floor capacity proportion of wind projects -- at least 33 per cent of the total contracted capacity -- in the hybrid mix could weigh on the project economics and tariff assumptions. This is despite the competitive bidding guidelines addressing many of the issues hampering the growth of hybrid projects in the past. On the... Read more..

Source: The Economic Times

Solar power park to be expanded under smart cities mission

With the phase I of its solar power park at Panjappur on the Trichy-Madurai national highway nearing completion, Trichy corporation has proposed to expand the green energy production facility under the smart cities mission. The mission’s board has approved the proposal for phase II expansion at a cost of Rs 37.5 crore. While the existing solar power park has a capacity to generate 2.4MW power, phased II will have 7.2 MW capacity. It will come up at about 3 to 5 kilometres from the existing plant situated near Madurai road and Trichy-Madurai NH intersection. About 26 acres of land has been... Read more..

Source: The Times of India

HSBC to face shareholder heat on fossil fuels lending in AGM vote

For the first time, the BowMajor HSBC shareholders are calling on Europe's biggest bank to toughen its commitment to cut lending linked to fossil fuels and to turn its climate "ambitions" into targets. Investors collectively managing some $2.4 trillion in assets have filed the resolution to be voted on at HSBC's annual general meeting, after HSBC in October stated its ambition to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. "HSBC is strongly committed to addressing climate change, in line with our clear ambition to align our financed emissions of our entire business portfolio to net zero by... Read more..

Source: The Economic Times

Omega Seiki expands electric three-wheeler dealership network to South India

Omega Seiki Mobility (OSM), part of Anglian Omega Group, has announced a new venture with Green Drive Auto Services to open a new dealership in South India. The dealership is located at Singasandra, Bengaluru. Green Drive Auto Services deals in electric two-wheeler space and with this alliance, the company will now foray into electric three-wheelers. Omega Seiki Mobility states that it has been receiving great response for their commercial EV Rage+ in the southern region. Recently, the company unveiled new vehicle ranges, namely Sun-Ri (three-wheeler cargo), Ride (e-rikshaw), and Stream (e... Read more..

Source: The Financial Express

Oil prices fall on renewed coronavirus concerns as China cases mount

Oil prices fell on Monday on renewed concerns about global fuel demand amid strict coronavirus lockdowns in Europe and new movement restrictions in China, the world's second-largest oil user, after a jump in cases there. Brent crude oil futures fell 42 cents, or 0.8%, to $55.57 a barrel by 0146 GMT after earlier climbing to $56.39, its highest since Feb. 25, 2020. Brent rose in the previous four sessions. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) slipped 22 cents, or 0.4%, to $52.02 a barrel. WTI rose to its highest in nearly a year on Friday. "Covid hot spots flaring again in Asia, with 11... Read more..

Source: The Economic Times

Nokh solar park to attract Rs 3,300 crore investments: RRECL CMD

Nokh Solar Park in Jaisalmer having 925MW capacity will fetch an investment Rs 3,300 crore the state. The government expects to meet the deadline of completing the project by March 2022 despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. Meeting the deadline is important to avail the central financial assistance extended to the park. Last year, public sector major NTPC and Rajasthan Development Company Ltd (RSDCL), a subsidiary of Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd (RRECL), had signed an agreement. As per the agreement, RSDCL will develop infrastructure in the solar park and NTPC will... Read more..

Source: The Economic Times

Green push: 7 points picked in Delhi for first e-vehicle charging stations

Delhi government has identified seven sites in the capital where the first charging stations for electric vehicles will come up. The government plans to create up to 250 charging stations within a year and around 100 by mid-2021. Delhi’s transport minister Kailash Gahlot told TOI that the government is going to sign a MoU with the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), an energy service company under the Union ministry that has already installed charging stations in some parts of south Delhi. Gahlot said that while the Delhi Transco Limited (DTL) is the state nodal agency for EVs,... Read more..

Source: The Economic Times