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Sustainability Outlook Headlines

India needs structural reforms to boost growth, policymakers should lead way for climate action: UN report

In the face of an economic slowdown, India needs to continue structural reforms necessary to boost growth, said a United Nations report Friday. The UN report ‘World Economic Situation and Prospects 2020 (WESP)’ stated that, “The combination of fiscal stimulus and financial sector reforms, boosting investment and consumption, is expected to support a recovery in growth to 6.6 per cent, but it will take continued structural reforms to bring India’s growth back to its previous levels.” Even as the report expressed hope that a combination of fiscal stimulus and financial sector reforms will... Read more..

Source: The Indian Express

Climate change threatens around half of world GDP, says WEF study

Flagging huge risks to the economy from dangers of biodiversity loss and climate change, a WEF study on Sunday said businesses are more than dependent on nature with an estimated exposure of $44 trillion or half of the world GDP. Releasing the Nature Risk Rising Report ahead of its 50th Annual Meeting, the World Economic Forum said about 25 per cent of our assessed plant and animal species are threatened by human actions, with a million species facing extinction, many within decades. China, the EU and the US have the highest absolute economic value in nature-dependent industries. An... Read more..

Source: Business Standard

India’s renewable energy generation registers lowest growth in 4 years

India’s renewable energy generation grew at a dismal pace of 5.22 per cent in the first eight months of the current financial year (April-November 2019), the lowest rate of growth in the past four years since 2015-16, according to fresh data sourced from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), an arm of the power ministry. The combined generation from solar, wind, small hydro and biomass and bagasse based power plants stood at 93.69 billion units (BUs) in the April-November period, the CEA’s monthly Executive Summary report for November 2019 showed. This is against 89.04 BUs of green... Read more..

Source: ET Energy World

SECI's wind energy tender gets cold response for fourth time

State-owned Solar Energy Corporation of India's 1,200 MW wind tender has failed to get the minimum number of bids for the process to continue, the fourth time in a row, highlighting the difficulties faced by the country’s wind industry. Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), the renewable energy ministry's nodal agency that is responsible for conducting wind and solar auctions, had issued the tender on Friday with a ceiling tariff of Rs 2.93 per unit. A senior official of SECI confirmed the development, requesting not to be named. “The deadline for bidding would be extended to January... Read more..

Source: ET Energy World

SC seeks Centre’s reply on PIL for converting public transport, govt vehicles into electric ones

The Supreme Court on Friday sought response of the Centre on a PIL seeking implementation of its policy on gradually converting all public transport and government vehicles to electric vehicles to curb air pollution and carbon emission. A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde took note of the plea filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, an NGO, alleging that the government has not done enough in pursuance of its own policy of converting public transport and government vehicles into electric vehicles. The bench, which also comprised justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant, issued... Read more..

Source: The Hindu Business Line

India will have 225 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, including large hydro: MNRE Secy

India will have an installed renewable energy generation capacity of 225 Gigawatt (GW) by 2022, including large hydro projects, Anand Kumar, Secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), said today. Speaking at an industry event here, Kumar said the ministry is not only confident of achieving the 175 GW target of RE by 2022 but will exceed the set target, adding the country had 14.7 GW of installed RE capacity in 2010 which has grown to 86 GW now. "Currently under 36 GW of RE projects are under various stages of installation and additional 30 GW projects are under various... Read more..

Source: ET Energy World

India to come up with S&T Innovation Policy soon

India in next six months will draft a National Science and Technology Innovation Policy to devise country’s strategy to tackle emerging challenges, said Dr K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister on Thursday. “The last time, we had a policy on science was in 2013, which was drafted by the Science Advisory council, of which I was a member. It was good, but there were some issues which had to be rectified. The new Science and Technology Innovation policy which we plan to bring now, would be more forward looking," said Raghavan. The new policy to be helmed by the... Read more..

Source: Livemint

Renewable Investments up 1% YoY in 2019, India Records 14% Less

Investments in renewable energy capacity worldwide was USD 282.2 billion last year, up 1 percent from 2018’s USD 280.2 billion, with the world’s biggest market (China) slipping back, but it’s second-largest (the US) hitting a new record. India, on the other hand, saw an investment of only USD 9.3 billion, into green energy, 14 percent less than in 2018. The latest data from research company BloombergNEF (BNEF), shows how what had been a subdued first few months of 2019 gave way to a busier second half, with the highlights including US onshore wind and, in particular, offshore wind in China... Read more..

Source: Saur Energy International

First Session Of India-Norway Dialogue On Trade & Investment (DTI) Convened

The first Session of India-Norway Dialogue on Trade & Investment (DTI) was convened in New Delhi on 15-16 January, 2020. The session was based on the Terms of Reference (ToR) signed between India and Norway on 8th January, 2019 in New Delhi, during the visit of Prime Minister of Norway. This was the first meeting after the signing of DTI. The first Session was preceded by an industry interaction on 15th January, 2020 with the representatives from Indian industry, where discussions were held on various areas of mutual interest likeblue economy, shipping & maritime, ICT, renewable... Read more..

Source: Business Standard

TVS Electric Scooter Spotted On Test

A highly camouflaged electric scooter prototype has been spotted undergoing test runs near TVS Motor Company's factory in Hosur, Tamil Nadu. According to a report, the prototype scooter spotted and filmed by an enthusiast, has the characteristic whine of an electric motor, and has even published a video of the prototype scooter undergoing test runs. And from the video, it's clear that the camouflaged test mule resembles the sharp and sporty styling of the TVS Creon concept which was showcased at the Auto Expo 2018. While the front apron of the test mule looks similar to the Creon concept,... Read more..

Source: NDTV Car and Bike

Sea level rise to impact more population in Asia, including India: Moody’s report

The rise in sea level due to global warming will impact more people in Asian countries than any other region, Moody’s said in a report on the consequences of this inevitability and credit risk to such sovereign nations. Stating that Sovereigns in Asia, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and small islands were most exposed to rising sea levels, Moody’s said “ In absolute terms, the largest populations exposed are in Asia, including Bangladesh (Ba3 stable), China (A1 stable), Indonesia (Baa2 stable), and India (Baa2 negative).” “Some high-income economies, such as Japan (A1 stable) and the... Read more..

Source: The Hindu

BMTC board gives nod to procure new buses

In a relief for passengers, a Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) board meeting on Tuesday approved the procurement of new buses.

BMTC board has approved the procurement of 1,500 BS-VI diesel buses after the approval from the state government. BS-VI emission norms will come into effect from April 1,2020 in the country.

The board has also approved to induct 90 electric Metro feeder buses (9 metres long) which will be funded by Bengaluru Smart City Ltd. These which will be tendered soon will be deployed in major Metro stations across the city.

The board... Read more..

Source: The Times of India

Maharashtra: MSEDCL proposes astronomical GSC for solar rooftop

Even as solar rooftop consumers were celebrating the relief given to them by Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), MSEDCL has dropped a bombshell. It has proposed astronomical grid support charges, which will make solar power costlier than its own power.

The discom, it seems, is hell bent on scuttling the nascent solar sector in the state. MERC will have to once again reject its petition to save solar consumers.

MERC had recently dismissed the discom’s petition to make net billing compulsory instead of net metering. It had, however, allowed MSEDCL to levy grid... Read more..

Source: ET Energy World

Macquarie looks to offload entire stake in Soham Renewable

Australian Infrastructure investor Macquarie group is looking to exit Bengaluru-based hydropower developer Soham Renewable Energy India Pvt. Ltd, two people aware of the development said, requesting anonymity.

In November 2011, Macquarie had invested ₹375 crore in Soham Renewable through a fund managed jointly with India’s largest lender State Bank of India. The flagship entity of the Soham group operates hydropower projects with a cumulative capacity of 53.5 megawatt (MW) in Karnataka.

“The plan to sell its stake in Soham Renewables is part of Macquarie’s plans to exit... Read more..

Source: Livemint

Honda to start testing electric two-wheeler in India in 2020

Honda, India's second-largest two-wheeler maker, may finally jump onto the electric vehicle bandwagon as it prepares to take consumer feedback on a test vehicle later in the year.

The Japanese giant is the only scooter and motorcycle making company that was yet to firm up plans about electric scooters or electric bikes even as its rivals have been discussing launch plans of such vehicles.
Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of Activa 6G Minoru Kato, president, CEO and MD, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, said: "We will start testing an electric vehicle in India that... Read more..

Source: Money Control

EV makers target delivery, logistics firms to widen market

Electric vehicle makers are seeing traction in selling to ecommerce players, last-mile delivery providers and third-party logistics companies in a step to widen market access for green energy products, before they could make a dent in the passenger segment in the country.

Greaves Cotton-owned Ampere Vehicles has made its entry into the ecommerce segment through a deal with BigBasket.

With tie-ups with schools, hospitals and real estate companies for its range of electric vehicles, Ampere has a growing business-to-business vertical supporting its range: "We see a huge... Read more..

Source: ET Tech

2019 capped world’s hottest decade in recorded history

The past decade was the hottest ever recorded on the planet, driven by an acceleration of temperature increases in the past five years, according to data released Wednesday.

The findings, released jointly by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, detail a troubling trajectory: 2019 was the second-hottest year on record, trailing only 2016. The past five years each rank among the five hottest since record-keeping began. And 19 of the hottest 20 years have occurred during the past two decades.

The warming trend also bears the unmistakable sign of human... Read more..

Source: The Washington Post

Alliance, Grameen Creative Lab Form Partnership to Address Plastic Waste in Cities

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) today announced a partnership with the Grameen Creative Lab to support development of Zero Plastic Waste Cities to reduce plastic waste leaking into the environment.

Zero Plastic Waste Cities are being developed by the Grameen Creative Lab, an organization founded and led by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus. This project will develop and implement social businesses – tackling one or more social problems in a financially self-sustaining way – to enable improved municipal waste management systems. Starting in 2020, projects will be... Read more..

Source: India Education Diary

Mercedes-Benz launches EQ brand in India

Mercedes-Benz India on Tuesday announced its entry in the electric space in the domestic market with the launch of its EQ brand. The luxury car maker plans to come out with its first full electric vehicle EQC in April.

The launch of EQ brand underlines Mercedes-Benz India's strategic initiative in the EV domain to establish luxury electric motoring in the country, the company said.

"The first vehicle that the brand as such as a full EV been able to deliver or aiming to deliver is the EQC, which is a sporty SUV, which has been unveiled today," Martin Schwenk, MD and CEO,... Read more..

Source: ET Brand Equity

Global green tech revolution at risk, India can play role in reforming mining practices: Experts

Green technology comes at a price and India can play a pivotal role in breaking the "green curse" by persuading South Asian countries to adopt sustainable practices in mining critical minerals needed for solar power devices and the like, say experts. Researchers, including Salim H. Ali from the University of Delaware, published a study recently to discuss how the global revolution to develop green, or low-carbon technology, could be at risk unless new international agreements are put in place to ensure a sustainable supply of rare minerals and metals. "Many countries are now stricken with... Read more..

Source: The Economic Times

Renewable energy share in power generation remains stable over the decade: IEA

The share of renewables in electricity generation has remained stable at about 16 per cent over the past decade amid increasing electricity consumption, according to a recent report by the International Energy Agency. “The share of renewables in India’s energy system has fallen for decades, except in electricity generation where the rapid growth in renewables has kept up with the increase in capacity,” according to the report titled ‘India 2020-Energy Policy Review’. According to the report, the traditional use of biomass for heating and cooking in households is by far the largest source... Read more..

Source: ET Energy World

Maharashtra: MERC withdraws compulsory gross metering for solar power

The Maharashtra Energy Regulatory Commission (MERC) has done away with the plan to have a compulsory gross metering for solar power generation. The measure was one of the alleged provisions in the draft regulations that did not find any place in the final regulations declared by the regulatory body. While the draft regulations had also envisaged an arrangement by which the power supplying companies were entitled to bill the power produced by solar users at allegedly higher rate, this too has been also made consumer-centric now. TOI had reported the outrage on part of stakeholders about the... Read more..

Source: ET Energy World

Tamil Nadu: Bright spot eludes solar powered agri income plan

Solar farms of private companies have been sprouting up on arid lands in Tamil Nadu to generate power, but ‘solar panels’ on fertile agricultural lands too may soon come up if the Tamil Nadu Energy Agency (TEDA) has its way. TEDA has drawn up a plan to enlist farmers from across the state and supply them solar panels free of cost to generate power. While farmers could use the generated power to run their agricultural pump sets to irrigate farmlands, they will also get to export the surplus power to the grid and earn money for it. Solar panels with a power generating capacity of 11KW would... Read more..

Source: ET Energy World

Chandigarh: 300 govt houses to get solar panels in Crest’s Rs 15cr project

Making way for more solar power generation in the city, Chandigarh Renewal Energy and Science and Technology Promotion Society (Crest), under the aegis of the environment department of Chandigarh administration, will install rooftop solar panels in 300 government residences of different categories. Under the project, which is estimated to cost Rs 15 crore, government schools were left with some room for more solar panels on their roofs in the previous drive will also be covered in this installation exercise. Since the work has started in some areas, its expected completion by March 31 will... Read more..

Source: ET Energy World

Centre eases CRZ rules for ‘Blue Flag’ beaches

The Environment Ministry has relaxed Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules that restrict construction near beaches to help States construct infrastructure and enable them to receive ‘Blue Flag’ certification. Last year, the Ministry selected 13 beaches in India to vie for the certificate. This is an international recognition conferred on beaches that meet certain criteria of cleanliness and environmental propriety. The earmarked beaches are — Ghoghala beach (Diu), Shivrajpur beach (Gujarat), Bhogave beach (Maharashtra), Padubidri and Kasarkod beaches (Karnataka), Kappad beach (Kerala),... Read more..

Source: The Hindu