G20 declaration stresses on transparent global market for low-carbon hydrogen

Posted By: Pawan George Posted On: Sep 10, 2023
India has been making efforts to boost the domestic green hydrogen economy and also is looking at becoming an export hub for green hydrogen. (REUTERS)

New Delhi: The G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration emphasized the importance of speeding up the transition towards clean, sustainable, and equitable energy, utilizing different methods. They also expressed their backing for the establishment of open and honest international markets for hydrogen generated from zero or low-carbon technologies.

The member countries committed their support towards the acceleration of production, utilization, as well as the development of transparent and resilient global markets for hydrogen produced from zero and low-emission technologies and its derivatives such as ammonia, by developing voluntary and mutually agreed harmonizing standards as well as mutually recognized and inter-operable certification schemes, the document said.

The focus on a "transparent" global market gains significance as major economies such as the US have announced hefty incentives for green hydrogen manufacturing which has raised concerns over a lack of level playing field for other economies.

"To realise this, we affirm the ‘G20 High Level Voluntary Principles on Hydrogen', to build a sustainable and equitable global hydrogen ecosystem that benefits all nations," said the declaration.

It also took note of the India's initiative to establish the Green Hydrogen Innovation Centre steered by the International Solar Alliance (ISA).

India has been making efforts to boost the domestic green hydrogen economy and also is looking at becoming an export hub for green hydrogen. Earlier this year, the government launched the National Green Hydrogen Mission including incentive schemes for production of green hydrogen and elecrtolyzers. India has also come up with its standard for green hydrogen.

Industry stakeholders have applauded the declaration and the emphasis on energy transition. Taking to X (formerly Twitter) Sumant Sinha, Founder, Chairman & CEO of ReNew said: "Under the leadership of Prime Minister @narendramodi, India takes forward the global decarbonisation agenda. The G20 Delhi Leaders Declaration is a firm commitment to sustainable and inclusive growth, advancement of renewable energy, and reforming financial institutions—including multilateral development banks—toward funding the energy transition."

In a statement, Vineet Mittal, founder of Avaada described the G20 Delhi declaration as a beacon of hope for a brighter, greener, and more inclusive future.

Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, Council on Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW) said that the focus on resource efficiency and the importance of sustainable consumption by the G20 members is critical. "This is highlighted through the mainstreaming of lifestyles for sustainable development, including the High-level Principles on Lifestyles for Sustainable Development," Ghosh said.

Source: Live Mint
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After Saudi Arabia

Posted By: Pawan George Posted On: Sep 15, 2023
United Arab Emirates has evinced interest in having grid connectivity with India. (File Photo: Bloomberg)

New Delhi: Days after India signed an energy agreement with Saudi Arabia, Union minister for new and renewable energy (MNRE) R.K. Singh on Friday said that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has also evinced interest in having grid connectivity with India.

On 10 September, India and Saudi Arabia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of energy, which also included cooperation in grid connectivity.

Singh said that connecting India's power grid with that of Saudi Arabia and the UAE would help India supply power to Europe as the European grid would also be connected to the grid in the West Asian region.

The minister said that the energy pact would encourage cooperation in the field of renewable energy, green hydrogen, good ammonia, among others. He said that finance from Saudi funds may be cheaper for India projects and the pact would also help Indian green energy companies to set up plants in Saudi Arabia.

The pact would help boost bilateral investment in the field of hydrogen and storage, and oil and gas, according to a statement released on 11 September. Carbon capture, utilization and storage were also covered under the MoU.

Both the countries would also cooperate in promoting digital transformation, innovation and cyber-security and artificial intelligence in the field of energy and develop qualitative partnerships to localize materials, products and services related to all sectors of energy, supply chains and its technologies.

"The MoU will develop a stronger partnership between India and Saudi Arabia in the field of energy. The MoU will support India's efforts for energy transition and transformation of global energy system towards combating climate change," the statement had said.

Source: Live Mint
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Avaada to set up green hydrogen plant at Tata's Gopalpur Industrial Park

Posted By: Ramesh Sharma Posted On: Sep 07, 2023
The green hydrogen space in India has gained momentum after the government rolled out the national green hydrogen mission earlier this year. (Photo: Bloomberg)

New Delhi: Renewable energy company Avaada Group on Thursday announced setting up a green hydrogen and ammonia manufacturing unit at Gopalpur Industrial Park of Tata Steel SEZ Ltd in Odisha.

The announcement follows Avaada's signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tata Steel Special Economic Zone Ltd (TSSEZL).

Earlier, TSSEZL had signed an MoU with ACME Clean Energy.

"The MoU is a crucial milestone in our journey towards the fruition of our green ammonia venture," said Vineet Mittal, chairman, Avaada Group.

The project is slated to generate around 1,600 direct and 4,000 indirect job opportunities, a company statement said, and will aim to curtail annual carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 2 million tonne.

The green hydrogen space in the country has gained momentum after the government rolled out the national green hydrogen mission earlier this year.

The renewable energy group has set ambitious targets to achieve 11GW of operational projects by 2026 and 30GW by 2030.

It has an operational renewable energy capacity of 4GW, and 3GW under construction. Apart from investing in solar and wind energy projects and green hydrogen projects, the company has ventured into solar module manufacturing, as well as manufacturing of electrolyzers.

Mint recently reported that the company is set to expand its workforce by nearly 3,000 employees in the next two years. At present, Avaada employs nearly 700 people. The expansion is aligned with its increasing activities in solar module manufacturing as well as green hydrogen operations.

In June, the company secured the largest funding in India's renewable energy sector worth $1.3 billion. While Brookfield Global Transition Fund invested $1 billion, existing shareholder Global Power Synergy Public Co. raised its stake in Avaada Energy Pvt Ltd through an infusion of $233 million.

Source: Live Mint
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Can Mukesh Ambani disrupt India's wind energy sector

Posted By: Pawan George Posted On: Sep 07, 2023
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani. (PTI)

Mumbai: Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's proposed plan for Reliance Industries' foray into the wind energy space could disrupt the sector in the same way his group did with refineries, petrochemicals, telecom, and retail.

To his credit, Ambani has created the world's largest grassroots petroleum refinery at Jamnagar, Gujarat, doubling its capacity from 33 MTPA in 2010 to over 72 MTPA now.

Ambani launched the retail business in 2010 and today Reliance Retail Ltd is the largest retailer in India. RIL launched telecom services under the Jio brand in 2016, and it is now the largest telecom operator in India. In 2020, RIL raised a record $20 billion by selling stakes in its digital and retail businesses.

Under Mukesh Ambani, RIL's market capitalization has grown from $5.5 billion in 2002 to over $200 billion now.

With Ambani announcing his mega wind energy plans, the industry could be in for a rapid makeover.

On 28 August, Mukesh Ambani addressed shareholders at his $200 billion RIL group's annual general meeting, stating that RIL's large-scale "carbon-fibre" manufacturing capabilities (used to make wind turbine blades) could place the company in a unique position to reduce the cost of wind turbines.

“We will be partnering with the world's leading technology players in wind equipment manufacturing to deliver most cost-efficient solutions," said the billionaire business tycoon.

Ambani's plan to rope in global firms for wind energy business came as a bit of a surprise because RIL's first priority, according to Ambani, is to deliver a fully integrated, end-to-end Solar PV manufacturing ecosystem, which is something similar to plans of solar-cum-wind energy hybrid renewable power production plans being drawn by Adani Group and other conglomerates in India.

Ambani says RIL will set up one of the largest, most technologically advanced, flexible, and most cost-competitive solar giga factory globally, and will be converting sand into solar PV modules.

"Our Solar giga factory will include manufacturing of PV Modules, Cells, wafers and ingots, polysilicon, and glass at a single location in Jamnagar. We will target to bring the factory on-stream in a phased manner by the end 2025," said Ambani in the AGM, adding that RIL will also pursue cost-effective wind power generation through in-house carbon fibre blade making capacity.

Adani group has already installed a hybrid renewable energy capacity of 8.5GW through solar and wind.

Ambani feels integration of energy storage with wind and solar power generation is critical to providing grid-connected, round-the-clock electricity.

Inside RIL's solar energy plans, a key attempt is the deployment of grid-scale of batteries to convert intermittently captured photons (from the Sun) into electrons and make them available round the clock for RIL's captive requirements, as well as for India's growing energy needs.

"Reliance has a golden chance to enable India to transform itself from a net energy importer to a net energy exporter. Therefore, as I look into the future, I can clearly see Reliance creating substantial wealth for India and for all our shareholders in perpetuity," said Ambani in his AGM speech.

Ambani's statements in RIL's 46th AGM not only indicates that India could be leading from the front in Asia's net-zero journey but also hints that a fierce battle may be in the making in the world of wind energy.

Why is RIL, the country?s most valuable private firm, keen to enter wind energy biz?

India is the world's third-largest carbon emitter, after China and the US. India is also the world's third-largest wind energy producer, catering to both onshore and offshore consumers. The government wants to curb dependence on imports of oil and gas. For this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has committed to meeting 50% of energy demand through renewable sources and reducing the carbon intensity of the economy by more than 45% by 2030.

According to a 29 June ICICI Securities report, Indian power grid needs more wind in its mix.

Alongside, clean energy transition is a global priority aiming to restrict the average global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050, forcing companies across the globe to pace up their multi-billion dollar green energy transition roadmaps and large investment managers to shift their bets on green energy-compliant firms. Asia alone accounts for over 50% of global carbon emissions.

In hindsight, clean energy has emerged as one of the most promising businesses of the future for many global industrial groups, including RIL. With oil prices breaching the $90 per barrel due to prolonged supply cuts from Russia and Saudi Arabia, the migration to renewables such as wind and solar could be faster.

“Towards this, we have made significant progress in developing a manufacturing ecosystem critical to achieving cost-efficient Wind Power generation at giga scale.," said Ambani.

RIL wants to leverage its engineering capabilities, along with its giga-scale manufacturing ecosystem, to accelerate installation of at least 100 GW of renewable energy generation by 2030, said Ambani.

RIL owns a vast land at Jamnagar, Gujarat that may help it integrate capacities at mega-watt scale in the next few quarters.

Billionaire Gautam Adani-led Adani group too has set an ambitious green energy target, entailing investments worth $50 billion. But, RIL sees the enormous business opportunity, which is why it accelerated the journey to achieve Net Carbon Zero by 2035 and has mentioned that the group is ready to double its investment to Rs. 1.5 trillion to establish renewables and green bioenergy business.

“We are well on our way to build the New Energy ecosystem of manufacturing solar, wind…," said Ambani, who is competing with the likes of Tata, Vedanta, Adani group and L&T among others in the race to go green.

Currently, Suzlon is the leader in domestic wind energy space, with a market share of 33% (based on total installations).

However, RIL's entry may change the wind energy landscape altogether, given its financial superiority compared to hundreds of other Indian and global firms.

Currently, India's top wind energy production and services firms include Vestas India with installed capacity of 57 GW across 70 countries; Chennai-based Regen Powertech Pvt. Ltd. which manufactures wind turbines and erect wind energy projects; Suzlon Energy Ltd producing 23 GW in wind energy across 30 countries; Enercon India Pvt. Ltd. (runs under the brand Wind World Ltd.) can produce 28 GW of wind energy and is a part of the top 500 companies of Engineering News Record (ENR).

Then, firms including GE Wind Energy Ltd.(26 GW capacity); Chennai-based Indowind Energy Ltd., Gamesa Wind Turbines Pvt. Ltd. , Orient Green Power Ltd. (with capacities in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh), and Noida-based Inox Wind Ltd., are engaged in wind energy business.

Will India?s wind energy journey be smooth?

India's fast economic growth has so far largely been fuelled by coal ‐ the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel, which accounts for over 70% of India's power mix.

Ambani said the next few years are going to be “transformational" for RIL, which will help position India to be a world leader and trendsetter in energy transition.

Even though wind generates power in monsoon and nights when solar generation is low, and higher wind will lead to lower battery storage requirement for a decarbonised grid, growing demand for wind energy will require substantial land and air space.

In 2003, when Minnesota-based DanMar & Associates placed an order for 24 wind turbines first time with an Indian wind energy firm -- Gujarati businessman Tulsi Tanti-led Suzlon Energy Ltd., several Indian business houses were possibly enthused to redraw their diversification roadmaps.

But in 2012, the market was shocked when India's biggest convertible debt default occurred as Suzlon failed to repay $209 million, following reports of orders running dry, top level exits and poor quality of blades – the most expensive component of a wind turbine, whose one rotation covers an area equal to the size of a standard soccer turf and can generate power that is enough for an American home for a day, according to global reports.

Technological advancements

“Wind power industry faces size problem as blades get longer than football pitches· The growth in offshore wind turbine size is accelerating," said a 29 August report by Financial Times.

“The 169 wind turbines spinning off the Yorkshire coast are an engineering feat: each eight-megawatt model erected by Danish developer Orsted can power a home for 24 hours with a single rotation of its 81-metre turbine blades," said the FT report.

Dozens of miles north, the FT report said, rival wind farm developer SSE is already upping the ante with its newest turbines, where a single rotation of the 107-metre blade can power a home for two days.

The jump in turbine size in the offshore wind industry, where blades can reach higher than New York's Rockefeller Center and provide electricity for millions of homes, reflects the fierce race for scale over the past decade or more.

As a result, windmills will require larger spaces in the future. There is a possibility that RIL, which has built offshore rigs, will now build mega-windmills offshore as well.

A windmill to generate 1 MW energy costs at least ₹10 crore and it requires more land than any other power generation plant. The upfront cost is high but the production cost is cheaper.

However, wind energy could be the trickiest of all the energy businesses.

Wind's occurrence is beyond human control and given the climate change (like the ongoing El Nino storm) wind's intensity pattern may completely change from one geography to another.

While RIL and Adani group are setting up their wind energy capacities in Gujarat, Suzlon already has an 1100 MW wind park in the Kutch district. Apart from Gujarat, Indian companies have set up windmills in Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Also, windmills are set up typically in the countryside since enough lands are not available in cities. Any growth in wind energy business will need more land acquisition, which has been a decades-old problem in India due to fragmented land ownership, importance of agriculture, farming, and changing political influences that impact land acquisition and habitat. With India's population surpassing 1.4 billion, this may turn out to be a major issue.

In India, wind energy business could be even trickier with most of the windmills located in the top-most earthquake-prone states including Gujarat. Any adverse seismic event in these states, where companies like RIL and Suzlon are betting on the most, could expose the wind energy business to bigger threats that could completely disrupt India's wind energy ambitions.

Source: Live Mint
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Mandatory storage for renewable energy projects likely

Posted By: Aditya Gogoi Posted On: Sep 07, 2023
The power ministry has said that energy storage system capacity may be considered during the bidding stage itself. (Bloomberg)

The Centre looks likely to mandate renewable energy projects with more than 5 megawatt (MW) capacity to install energy storage systems (ESS).

In its recently released national framework for promoting energy storage systems, the ministry of power said such ESS capacity may be considered during the bidding stage itself and can either be collated with the renewable energy project or integrated with any other storage located elsewhere.

“In order to ensure adequate storage capacity to supply reliable power, new RE (renewable energy) projects (excluding hydro projects) with an installed capacity of over 5MW or as specified by the central government may be mandated to install ESS (of at least 1-hour storage) for minimum 5% of the RE capacity," it said.

The ministry said more steps are required to be taken at the policy and regulatory levels for ensuring an enabling ecosystem for storage systems, which are either under active consideration or may be considered later.

The proposal gains significance as it would bring under its ambit almost all utility-scale green energy projects given that the capacity bid out is mostly much higher than 5MW.

The ministry also suggested that hydro projects be encouraged to have minimum pondage (small water storage) capacity to manage variability and peak demand.

In renewable energy projects operating in off-grid mode, it said the storage capacity could be enhanced keeping in view the seasonal variation of renewable energy and demand.

The framework also said that in order to promote the development of energy storage systems, connectivity to the nearest inter-state transmission system (ISTS) should be granted on a priority. Connectivity to the intra-state transmission and distribution system may be facilitated by the respective state commission and state transmission utility.

It also said the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and the Central Transmission Utility of India (CTU) may include ESS while planning the ISTS system.

With an ambitious target of 500GW installed renewable energy capacity by 2030, movement on both the policy and investment fronts has gained momentum as storage systems would be key for grid stability along with storing the additional green energy produced during a particular time.

The Centre has already released guidelines for tariff-based competitive bidding process for procurement of round-the-clock (RTC) power from grid-connected renewable energy power projects, complemented by power from many other sources or storage. Under these guidelines, power from storage can be utilized to balance renewable energy and provide RTC power to the power distribution companies, thereby facilitating the state load despatch centres in ensuring grid stability and security within their control jurisdiction.

Source: Live Mint
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Net-zero target calls for tech innovation

Posted By: Ajay Rawat Posted On: Aug 29, 2023
(From left) Goutam Das, Editor-Long Story and Mint Primer, Mint; Sumant Sinha, founder, chairman and CEO, ReNew; R.P. Gupta, chairman and managing director, Solar Energy Corporation of India; Kanika Pal, South Asia Sustainability Director, Hindustan Unilever; Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, CEEW. (Mint)

India’s long-term target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2070 would need appropriate technology, financial resources at a reasonable cost, and increased participation by various stakeholders, a panel of experts said at the recent Mint Sustainability Summit.

In the next 10-15 years, many new technology-led solutions would be available, said Sumant Sinha, founder, chairman and chief executive, ReNew, who believes India can reach its target perhaps even before 2060. “What India will discover is that either we stay outside some of these technologies and business models that evolve, or decide actively to get into those earlier and become leaders in those solutions. As we do that, and the cost comes down and usage increases, moving towards net zero becomes much faster."

While 2070 may seem like a moonshot target, think tank CEEW's CEO Arunabha Ghosh thinks the individual steps and milestones taken towards that are critical. “The issue is not about setting the target, but more about the money and how to bring down the cost of financing. We have to also think about the materials challenge, and the design of our power and energy markets have to change. That will give the real push," he said.

Some companies have set themselves an accelerated target. FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), for instance, wants to achieve net zero emissions from all its products by 2039. The company is nearly 100% renewable energy based for its electricity needs, with a 40% reduction in energy consumption, said its South Asia sustainability director, Kanika Pal. “Water will be critical in sustainability. We have enabled a 48% reduction in our water requirements to a 2008 baseline, and we have also enabled improved utilization and conservation. As a result, we have enabled more than 100 billion litres of water saved," she said.

R.P. Gupta, chairman and managing director, Solar Energy Corporation of India said while the cost of renewable energy is still higher compared to thermal, the (pricing) gap has narrowed due to policy push, tech innovations and entrepreneurs in India. He added: “The challenges which discoms were facing have been addressed with policy regulations, ensuring the payments are made on time."

With India chasing the target of 500 GW of clean energy capacity by 2030, financing and the cost of capital will be critical. Sinha said to set up 50GW of renewable energy capacity every year would need roughly $50 billion of investment annually. While both equity and debt are available, the cost of financing remains higher than other parts of the world, which “translates into higher tariffs that ultimately our consumers have to pay".

Source: Live Mint
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What does the perfect carbon price look like

Posted By: Anita Mamgai Posted On: Aug 18, 2023
According to the World Bank, there are now 73 carbon-pricing schemes across the world, covering 23% of global emissions, up from just 7% a decade ago (Source: HT)

To most economists, putting a price on greenhouse-gas emissions is the best way to tackle climate change. It is efficient, allowing society to identify the cheapest unit of carbon-dioxide equivalent to forgo. It is fair: polluters pay; the proceeds can be redistributed. And it aids other forms of decarbonisation: complying with a carbon price forces companies to track their emissions and investors to work out which of their assets are the dirtiest.

According to the World Bank, there are now 73 carbon-pricing schemes across the world, covering 23% of global emissions. That is up from just 7% a decade ago. The bank's tally includes both emissions-trading schemes, where polluters can trade permits in a market, and carbon taxes, where a government sets a price directly. The largest scheme is in China and was launched in 2021. It covers the country's energy industry, and therefore 9% of global emissions. Even in America, which is immune to the charms of carbon pricing at a federal level, an increasing number of states are setting their own prices. Washington state, the latest convert, launched its emissions-trading scheme in January.

Yet a growing number of centre-left economists, who might be expected to be vociferous supporters of carbon prices, have soured on the policy. These critics focus on two points. The first is that carbon prices are not aggressive enough. The EU's emissions-trading scheme, one of the most comprehensive, nevertheless excludes buildings and transport. Allowances are given to airlines and heavy industry in the name of competitiveness. Prices are relatively high in Europe, reaching a record €100 ($107) a tonne of carbon-dioxide equivalent in February, but too low elsewhere. The World Bank reckons less than 5% of emissions are priced at or above the level that would be required, by 2030, in order for temperature increases to be limited to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

This tentative action reflects the critics' second worry: equity. They argue that rather than ensuring polluters pay, the cost of carbon prices falls too heavily on the poor. Such initiatives raise energy prices—usually the only area of the economy that is entirely subject to them—and push industrial jobs overseas, beyond the reach of emissions-trading schemes. Anticipating pushback on these grounds, politicians water down the schemes. Therefore the promised emissions cuts never materialise.

These are the arguments. How does the evidence stack up? Measuring the impact of carbon prices is challenging. Carbon prices, like interest rates, both affect and are affected by the economy. All else being equal, a higher carbon price will lower economic activity and raise consumer prices. But a stronger economy will also raise the price of a carbon permit. Politicians may also be more comfortable raising carbon taxes when the economy is booming. They might take steps to cut them in bad times. For instance, in May last year the European Commission announced an auction of surplus permits during the energy crisis that followed Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in order to bring down prices

Thankfully, there are ways to disentangle cause and effect. Marion Leroutier of the Stockholm School of Economics uses a “synthetic control" method to examine a top-up tax on the eu's emission-trading scheme that was introduced by Britain in 2013. To see the effect of this higher carbon price, Ms Leroutier employs data from other eu countries to fashion a hypothetical version of Britain that did not introduce the tax—akin to a control group in an experiment. In reality, interconnectors allow Britain to import electricity from neighbours, potentially making the control group also subject to the treatment. But having included an estimate of such “spillovers", Ms Leroutier estimates that the tax led to a 20-26% reduction in emissions from the energy industry.

In a forthcoming paper Gilbert Metcalf of Tufts University and James Stock of Harvard University attempt to account for the broader economic context. They look at 31 European countries, controlling for past emissions and economic growth, in order to isolate variation in carbon prices that is unexplained by the state of the economy. The authors find that carbon taxes reduce greenhouse-gas emissions much as economists have previously predicted. Significantly, they also find virtually no effect, either positive or negative, on economic growth and employment, perhaps because there was more innovation than anticipated.

A final method of disentangling cause and effect is to employ an “event study". These are often used to assess the impact of monetary-policy decisions. By looking at the near-instantaneous reaction of carbon prices to a policy announcement, it is possible to remove the effects of background economic conditions, which do not change at the same speed. The impact of the change in price can then be tracked through the economy. In a recent working paper Diego Känzig of Northwestern University did just this, finding that higher carbon prices lower emissions and encourage green innovation. Yet these gains come at a cost. The higher prices raise energy costs and thus reduce the incomes of the poor.

Get the green right

Carbon prices have successfully cut emissions when used. They could be more palatable, however. In another paper, Mr Känzig compares the EU's emissions-trading scheme and national carbon prices. Although national taxes are more likely to lead to leakage, where polluting activity shifts across borders, they are less of a drag on the economy, helping neutralise criticism from centre-left critics. This is because revenues are often recycled using tax cuts, which can be aimed at the poor.

The World Bank estimates that carbon taxes and emissions-trading schemes will raise $100bn for governments this year. As carbon-pricing schemes expand, the amount will only grow. By itself, this will help tackle one criticism: that the measures are insufficiently aggressive. To tackle the other—that they harm the poor—policymakers must embrace the importance of recycling.

Read more from Free exchange, our column on economics: 

What performance-enhancing stimulants mean for economic growth

(May 25th) Robert Lucas was a giant of macroeconomics (May 18th)

A new world order seeks to prioritise security and climate change (May 11th)

For more expert analysis of the biggest stories in economics, finance and markets, sign up to Money Talks, our weekly subscriber-only newsletter.

© 2023, The Economist Newspaper Limited. All rights reserved. From The Economist, published under licence. The original content can be found on www.economist.com

Source: Live Mint
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Tata Power Delhi Distribution achieves 26% clean energy procurement

Posted By: Ramesh Sharma Posted On: Aug 10, 2023
Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd is a joint venture between Tata Power and the Delhi government. (File Photo:Mint)

New Delhi: Tata Power Delhi Distribution on Thursday said it has fulfilled its renewable purchase obligation for the third year in a row and bought 26% of electricity from clean energy sources in 2022-23.

Under the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO), discoms are required to source a fixed percentage of their total power purchase from renewable energy sources.

''Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd has fulfilled the RPO for the third consecutive year, a unique feat for any discom in the country,'' the company said in a statement.

The company, which supplies electricity to 70 lakh people in north and northwest Delhi, sourced 2,600 million units of green power in 2022-23 from various sources of renewable energy, including solar, wind, and hydro. Renewable power constituted more than 26 per cent of the total units sold by the company to its consumers, it added.

Popularly known as ‘RPO', the percentage varies from state to state and is fixed by the respective electricity regulatory commission of each state.

In the case of national capital, Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has fixed the RPO Obligation at 21.35% for FY 2022-23.

In the preceding two years FY 2021-22 and FY 2020-21, the company sourced 2500 and 2050 million units of green energy respectively and successfully met its RPO compliance.

Committed to the cause of green future, the compliance reflects company's steady resolve to make the environment healthier and sustainable. After discharging this obligation third time in a row, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited has become a fully RPO compliant power distribution company.

“We look at RPO compliance not just as a regulatory practice, but a part of our responsibility towards our consumers and environment. In all our activities, we are embracing sustainable practices and are extensively promoting the usage of green power. We are working in line with the Government's vision of becoming self-reliant in the field of energy and are targeting to achieve 50% of energy requirements from green sources over the next couple of years," said Ganesh Srinivasan, CEO, Tata Power-DDL.

Source: Live Mint
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Sucking a carbon-neutral fuel out of thin air

Posted By: Pawan George Posted On: Aug 08, 2023
For Porsche, cars powered by e-fuels will be a sideline rather than its main business (Photo: Reuters)

When in March the European Union approved a law requiring all new cars to have zero carbon emissions from 2035, Germany managed to wangle an exemption for vehicles running on “e-fuels". Some saw it as a charter for producers to continue flogging internal-combustion engined cars to petrol-heads. While it does, indeed, mean some petrol-powered sports cars are likely to remain in production in the future, the hope is they can be powered without overheating the planet.

E-fuels get their name because they are made synthetically, using electricity. The process involves combining hydrogen with carbon to produce various hydrocarbon fuels, such as diesel, petrol or jet fuel.

The hydrogen can be made by using electrolysis to split water into its constituent elements. The carbon comes from carbon dioxide, perhaps captured from an industrial chimney-stack, or even sucked directly out of the atmosphere via so-called direct-air capture systems. Provided both processes are powered by zero-carbon electricity, e-fuels are carbon neutral. After all, the carbon released back into the air when the fuels are burned is the same that was used to make them in the first place.

Although a handful of big plants already make e-fuels for aviation, most obtain their carbon from old cooking oil, animal fat and biomass. Some aim to use direct-air capture, although the technology is still largely at the prototype stage. One such plant is in southern Chile. It is run by a group of companies that includes Porsche, part of the German Volkswagen group. Chile is a windy place, so the factory is powered by a wind turbine. Until its direct-air capture system is ready, the plant is getting carbon dioxide from a brewery, where yeast produces it during fermentation.

For Porsche, cars powered by e-fuels will be a sideline rather than its main business. The firm aims to have more than 80% of its vehicles running on batteries by 2030. Karl Dums, the firm's head of e-fuels, readily agrees that an electric car will always be inherently more efficient than one that runs with e-fuels. (This is because of the extra steps involved in turning electricity into synthetic fuel, rather than just charging a battery directly.) But, he says, there will still be plenty of internal-combustion vehicles on the road after 2030. These could be made greener by filling them with e-fuels.

Dr Dums reckons economies of scale could make e-fuels competitive with fossil ones, perhaps by the end of the decade. And, he says, they offer a convenient way to store surplus renewable energy, or to make it suitable for export. Chile has the potential to produce huge amounts of renewable power. But the wind and the sun are unpredictable, and on some days could produce more electricity than necessary. Chile lacks the long-range grids to transmit that surplus elsewhere. If it were turned into a liquid, though, it could be shipped abroad using existing infrastructure designed for fossil fuels.

“In the end," says Dr Dums, Porsche's business is “fulfilling dreams for our customers." Although electric cars are both smooth and nippy, some of those customers might miss the growl and thunder of a petrol-powered engine. If you do fancy a petrol-powered 911 in the future, e-fuels might allow Porsche to sell you one.

For more coverage of climate change, sign up for The Climate Issue, our fortnightly subscriber-only newsletter, or visit our climate-change hub.

© 2023, The Economist Newspaper Limited. All rights reserved. From The Economist, published under licence. The original content can be found on www.economist.com

Source: Live Mint
Related Posts: CLEAN ENERGY,EFUELS,ZERO CARBON EMISSIONS,EUROPEAN UNION,PORSCHE,ELECTRIC VEHICLES,EVS,RENEWABLE ENERGY,VOLKSWAGEN,CLIMATE CHANGE,CARBON EMISSIONS

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Tata Power inks pact with Maharashtra for 2800 MW pumped hydro storage projects

Posted By: Pawan George Posted On: Aug 08, 2023
Tata Power inks pact with Maharashtra for 2800 MW pumped hydro storage projects (Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint)

New Delhi: Tata Power has joined hands with the Maharashtra government to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of two pumped hydro storage projects (PSP) worth ₹13,000 crore.

The two projects will have a combined capacity of 2800 megawatt and help the state achieve its goal of becoming a $1 trillion economy by 2028. The two plants will be situated in Shirvata, Pune (1800 MW) and Bhivpuri, Raigad (1000 MW) and will generate employment for over 6,000 people.

Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis and Tata Power CEO Praveer Sinha attended the signing ceremony which was held in the Mantralaya in Mumbai.

“The signing of this MoU is a major step forward in Tata Power's journey towards clean and green energy future. Pumped Hydro Storage is a reliable and efficient way to store energy, and these projects will support the renewable solar and wind projects to ensure reliable, 24/7 consistent power supply. This is a historic moment for both Maharashtra and Tata Power, and we are proud to be a part of this initiative," said Praveer Sinha, CEO & MD, Tata Power.

During times of excess energy, water will be pumped from lower reservoir to higher reservoir, and during peak demand, the stored water will power turbines, thereby generating electricity. This initiative will significantly enhance energy security by providing peaking and continuous power supply along with other renewables such as solar and wind. With the setting up of 2800 MW pumped hydro capacity, these projects will significantly contribute to cleaner capacity addition in the country.

The Western Ghats, with their natural topography and favourable geology offer immense potential for pumped hydro storage projects. Tata Power's legacy in this region spans a century, operating three hydro power projects - Khopoli Hydro Generating Station, Bhivpuri Hydro Generating Station, and Bhira Hydro Generating Station that includes 150 MW Pumped Storage Hydro project, the company said.

The clean and sustainable power generated from these projects has played an important role in the economic and commercial development of Mumbai and its surroundings, while the water released from these plants has been instrumental in the overall economic growth of Raigad and Thane districts, it added.

Source: Live Mint
Related Posts: TATA POWER,MAHARASHTRA,PUMPED HYDRO STORAGE PROJECTS,MAHARASHTRA GOVERNMENT,PUMPED HYDRO STORAGE PROJECTS,RENEWABLE ENERGY,ENERGY SECURITY

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