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Sustainability Outlook Headlines

Renewable energy potential of Assam stands at 14,487 MW, solar takes largest share

New Delhi: The northeastern state of Assam has a renewable energy potential of 14,487 megawatt (MW) with solar energy taking the largest share, new and renewable energy minister R K Singh said in a written reply in Parliament on Tuesday.

According to the data provided in Parliament, solar energy has the highest potential in the state with 13,760 MW capacity, followed by biomass with 279 MW, wind energy with 246 MW, and small hydro projects with 202 MW capacities.

It showed that geothermal energy and tidal energy had no potential in the state.

Source-wise renewable... Read more..

Source: Economic Times

Odisha has most contaminated sites in India: CPCB data

Odisha topped the list of states and Union territories with the maximum number of contaminated sites, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.

Of the 112 sites in India contaminated by toxic and hazardous substances, 23 were in Odisha followed by Uttar Pradesh (21) and Delhi (11), the CPCB data released March 7, 2021 said.

‘Contaminated sites’ are delineated areas in which “constituents and characteristics of the toxic and hazardous substances, caused by humans, exist at levels and in conditions which pose existing or imminent threats to human health and... Read more..

Source: Down to Earth

Global framework for investors to achieve net zero emissions alignment launched – $8 trillion investors put it into practice

The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) is today launching the ‘Net Zero Investment Framework’, enabling investors to maximise the contribution they make to decarbonisation of the global economy and tackling climate change1. This is achieved by ensuring investment portfolios are aligned with net zero emissions and investors are working in a comprehensive manner to help deliver on the goal of the Paris Agreement to keep global warming below 1.5°C. Building on IIGCC’s existing work to date, the finalised Framework is being published in partnership with other investor... Read more..

Source: IIGCC

India to levy import tax on solar modules, cells from April 2022 - memo

CHENNAI (Reuters) - India will levy a customs duty of 40% on solar modules and 25% on solar cells from April 2022, according to a government document and two industry sources familiar with the matter, as it looks to cut imports and boost local manufacturing.

India wants to ramp up its renewable capacity to 175 gigawatts by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030, from about 93 GW currently, as part of its commitment under the Paris climate accords.

“Proposal of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to impose Basic Customs Duty on solar cells and modules (without grandfathering of bid... Read more..

Source: Reuters

No plan to aid gas-based power plants at this juncture, says Power Minister RK Singh

The government has decided to not provide support to gas-based power plants that are stranded or running at a sub-optimal level in view of the states' reluctance to give any concession to these projects and rise in capacity utilisation of these plants, Parliament was informed on Tuesday.

"In the light of the reluctance of the States to give any waiver/ concession and the fact that gas-based power generation grew without any support, it was decided that there may not be any need to have any policy on providing support to the gas-based power plants at this juncture," Power Minister RK... Read more..

Source: Econommic Times

World Bank Approves $105 Million Project to Strengthen Solid Waste Management Systems in Kerala, India

WASHINGTON DC, March 09, 2021 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a $105 million project to support Kerala in strengthening its solid waste management systems and services. The project will directly benefit over 7.5 million people in all 93 ULBs across all 14 districts in Kerala.

The Kerala Solid Waste Management Project (KSWMP) will establish an integrated solid waste management system that includes a balanced mix of decentralized and centralized waste management interventions. It will support multiple activities at local and regional levels including... Read more..

Source: World Bank

Maharashtra Regulator Denies Solar Developer’s Plea to Return Bank Guarantee

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has dismissed ACME Solar’s plea for the return of performance bank guarantee (PBG).

It said that the power purchase agreement (PPA) specifies conditions for the return of PBG. The Commission noted that it could not go beyond the PPA provisions, nor was there any provision to replace PBG with any other instrument.

ACME Heergarh Powertech and ACME Solar Holdings had filed a petition requesting the Commission to direct the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) to replace the PBG of ₹420... Read more..

Source: Mercom India

Discom cannot terminate PPA with insolvent power company: SC

Gujarat electricity distribution and trading company - Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd - has been barred by the Supreme Court to terminate the power purchasing agreement (PPA) with an insolvent company - Astonfield Solar (India) Pvt Ltd.

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed an appeal by the GUVNL against an order by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), which had earlier stayed the termination of PPA on grounds that the power generator - Astonfield Solar (India) - had filed for insolvency.

The Gujarat power distribution company had moved Supreme Court saying that... Read more..

Source: Business Today

Praj wins breakthrough order to set up Compressed Biogas plant from HPCL

Pune, March 08, 2021: Praj Industries bags the prestigious breakthrough order from Hindustan
Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) for setting up Compressed Biogas (CBG) project at
Badaun in Uttar Pradesh. Praj is offering its State of the art, worlds’ first of its kind RenGasTM
technology developed using proprietary microbe to produce CBG from rice straw.

The project has capacity to process 35000 MT of rice straw as feedstock to generate 5250 MT of
CBG annually. In addition, the project will also generate 23,000 MT high quality solid biomanure and 350,000 MT... Read more..

Source: PRAJ

IFRS Sets Strategic Direction for Sustainability Reporting Standards Board, with Initial Focus on Climate

The Trustees of the IFRS Foundation met 2-4 March 2021 to continue their analysis and discussions of the feedback received to their Consultation Paper on Sustainability Reporting (2020 Consultation).

Feedback to the 2020 Consultation confirmed an urgent need for global sustainability reporting standards and support for the Foundation to play a role in their development. The Trustees are therefore continuing their work on the establishment of an international sustainability reporting standards board within the existing governance structure of the IFRS Foundation, as set out in the... Read more..

Source: IFRS

BBVA announces coal phase-out

BBVA will reduce to zero its exposure to coal-related activities, stopping the financing of companies in this business by 2030 in developed countries, and by 2040 in the rest of the countries of its footprint. This decision, which is included in the updated BBVA’s Environmental and Social Framework, is in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) proposal. This aims to limit the rise in temperatures to a maximum of 1.5ºC and achieve the ambition of a carbon neutral economy in 2050.

“At BBVA, sustainability is an essential part of our strategy, including the... Read more..

Source: BBVA

Wells Fargo is the last of the Big Six banks to issue a net-zero climate pledge.

Wells Fargo announced today a series of environmental sustainability initiatives, including setting a net zero 2050 target, encompassing financed emissions. The company also announced the launch of an Institute for Sustainable Finance to manage the deployment of $500 billion of financing to sustainable businesses and projects by 2030, to support science-based research on low-carbon solutions, and to advocate for policies that enable client transitions.

In setting its new net zero pledge, Wells Fargo joins other major Wall Street banks who have also recently set goals for Paris... Read more..

Source: ESG Today

Anthesis secures investment to help eliminate 3 gigatonnes of CO2e by 2030

Anthesis, the largest group of dedicated sustainability professionals globally, and one of the UK’s fastest-growing private companies [1], has secured a significant minority investment from Palatine Private Equity, a responsibly-driven, mid-market private equity firm.

This backing from a top private equity house comes as Anthesis also achieves the prestigious B Corp accreditation, given to businesses that are shown to meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and legal accountability. Both announcements cement Anthesis’ position as the firm... Read more..

Source: Anthesis Group

China Huadian to shut 3 GW of coal-fired power capacity by 2025- chairman

BEIJING (Reuters) - China Huadian Corp aims to close more than 3 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired power capacity in the next five years and increase renewables to make up half of its total power generation mix, company chairman told Reuters on Monday.

Huadian, China’s third largest power generator by capacity, aims to add 75 GW renewable power capacity over the 2021-2025 period and to bring its carbon emissions to a peak by 2025, Wen Shugang, chairman of Huadian Group, said in a written response to Reuters questions on the sidelines of China’s annual parliament meeting.

“Huadian... Read more..

Source: Reuters

Adani beats the clock on 100MW wind in India

A subsidiary of Adani Green Energy has commissioned a 100MW wind farm in Gujarat, India, five months ahead of schedule.

The project in Kutch has been developed by Adani Wind Energy Kutch Three.

It has a 25-year power purchase agreement with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) at Rs2.82 (€0.032) a kilowatt-hour.
It brings Adani Green Energy's total operational wind energy capacity to 497MW and total renewables capacity to 3345MW.

The newly commissioned plant will be managed by the Adani Group’s Intelligent Energy Network Operation Centre platform that... Read more..

Source: Renews

Delhi Govt to provide scrapping incentives under Delhi EV Policy: Gadkari

New Delhi: Scrapping incentives, including up to Rs 7,500 per vehicle for auto and light commercial vehicle, is being provided by the Delhi Government under Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy 2020, Parliament was informed on Monday. The Delhi government notified the Delhi EV Policy 2020 on Aug 7, 2020, with an intention to promote the adoption of clean mobility solution.

The policy aims to establish the feasibility for large scale adoption of electric passenger four wheelers, through transitioning its entire government fleet to electric.

"Under the provision, all leased/hired cars... Read more..

Source: Econommic Times

World Bank okays $86 mln for energy efficiency in Vietnam

HANOI March 8, 2021 — The World Bank, acting on behalf of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), has signed a US$11.3 million grant with the State Bank of Vietnam to support the development of a commercial financing market for industrial energy efficiency investments. The total financing support from GCF also includes a US$75 million guarantee.

US$8.3 million from the grant will be used to build capacities for the private sector to identify, appraise and execute energy efficiency projects. It will also provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Industry and Trade and relevant... Read more..

Source: World Bank

Cleanmax Solar moves into the wind-solar hybrid space

Leading rooftop solar developer Cleanmax Solar, backed by marquee investors such as Warburg Pincus and International Finance Corporation, has moved into the wind-solar hybrid projects space for the first time, commissioning 110MW of projects. It has another 62MW of such projects in the pipeline.

Cleanmax was prompted by new policies of the Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh state governments into taking this step. "In a few states, particularly Gujarat, there are supportive policies for wind-solar hybrid projects,” said Andrew Hines, Chief Commercial Officer, Cleanmax Solar. “Gujarat... Read more..

Source: Econommic Times

NITI Aayog to release the SDG India Index & Dashboard, 2020-21 on 10th March 2021

The third rendition of India’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Index will be launched by NITI Aayog on 10 March 2021. First launched in December 2018, the index has become the primary tool for monitoring progress on the SDGs in the country and has simultaneously fostered competition among the States and Union Territories. Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, will launch the SDG India Index & Dashboard, 2020-21 in the presence of Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, Dr K. Shivaji, Secretary, Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation, Ms. Renata Lok-Dessallien,... Read more..

Source: PIB

SEC Announces Enforcement Task Force Focused on Climate and ESG Issues

Washington D.C., March 4, 2021 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the creation of a Climate and ESG Task Force in the Division of Enforcement. The task force will be led by Kelly L. Gibson, the Acting Deputy Director of Enforcement, who will oversee a Division-wide effort, with 22 members drawn from the SEC’s headquarters, regional offices, and Enforcement specialized units. Consistent with increasing investor focus and reliance on climate and ESG-related disclosure and investment, the Climate and ESG Task Force will develop initiatives to proactively identify ESG-... Read more..

Source: SEC Gov

Goldman Sachs to Align Financing Activities with 2050 Net Zero Pathway

Just over a year ago, we developed a framework to put climate transition and inclusive growth at the forefront of our work with clients. And to demonstrate the depth of our commitment, we announced that we would target $750 billion in financing, investing, and advisory activity to nine areas focused on these two priorities by 2030.

We took this step because we saw that climate transition and inclusive growth were increasingly central issues for markets and economies.

And now that we are one year in, I thought it was appropriate to update you on where we are. In the past... Read more..

Source: Goldmansachs

Three free LPG cylinders likely again for Ujjawala subscribers

New Delhi: Government may examine a proposal to extend provision of free LPG cylinders for Ujjwala scheme beneficiaries for three months again in FY22 to provide relief to over 83 million BPL households from rising price of the cooking gas.

The 14.2-kg cylinder's price has risen by over Rs 125 per cylinder since January in the wake of a global price hike. This has taken up the price of a LPG cylinder to Rs 819 from Rs 694 in January. In fact since May last year the price of cooking gas has risen by Rs 237.50 in Delhi.

Sources said that with Covid pandemic still affecting... Read more..

Source: Economic Times

Space-starved Singapore builds floating solar farms in climate fight

SINGAPORE: Thousands of panels glinting in the sun stretch into the sea off Singapore, part of the land-scarce city-state’s push to build floating solar farms to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

It may be one of the world’s smallest countries, but the prosperous financial hub is among the biggest per capita carbon dioxide emitters in Asia.

And while authorities have been pushing to change that, renewable energy is a challenge in a country with no rivers for hydro-electricity and where the wind is not strong enough to power turbines.

So the tropical country turned to... Read more..

Source: DAWN

International coalition set up to help India achieve renewable energy goals, says US

Washington: A top Biden Administration official Friday said the US has put together a coalition of several countries to help India achieve its ambitious target of producing about 450 gigawatts of renewable power by 2030, costing around USD600 billion.

John Kerry, the special presidential envoy for climate, said the US has set up a consortium of several countries eager to help India with funds and knowhow to achieve this ambitious goal.

Kerry made this remark to former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz during a virtual Fireside Chat at IHS CERAWeek, the world’s premier energy... Read more..

Source: The Print

India Grid Trust inks largest transmission deal with Sterlite Power

India Grid Trust, India's first power infrastructure investment trust (InvIT), on Saturday signed a share purchase agreement to acquire NER-II Transmission Limited from Sterlite Power as part of the Framework Agreement.
The indicative value of the acquisition is ₹4,625 crore and would boost IndiGrid's AUM (asset under management) by 34 per cent to over ₹20,000 crore ($2.8 billion).
Post completion, the platform's asset portfolio would consist of 13 power transmission projects, with a total network of 38 power transmission lines and 11 substations extending over 7,570 circuit... Read more..

Source: Business Insider