The government has instructed its state-run oil and gas companies to set up seven hydrogen pilot plants by the end of this financial year keeping its eye on its climate change commitment despite a second wave of the pandemic.
Despite fighting against a second pandemic wave which has surfaced in the country Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's government have not slipped on their efforts to double down on clean energy sources which is a crucial part of their commitments to achieve emission norms set under the 2015 Paris Climate Change Accord.
It is these positive steps which will continue to bolster the confidence and zeal of investors who wish to invest in India’s economic progress.
It has now come to light, according to a report by Reuters, that India will spend $200 million over the next five to seven years to promote the use of hydrogen. The development was made public by Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi, the top bureaucrat at India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, at a virtual industry event on Thursday.
The government has instructed its state-run oil and gas companies to set up seven hydrogen pilot plants by the end of this financial year according to the the country’s oil secretary Tarun Kapoor who spoke at the also said at the Hydrogen Economy - New Delhi Dialogue event.
The government has learnt vital lessons during the first wave of the pandemic which threatened to crush the economy but thanks largely due to the foresight of the administration India turned the corner to serve notice to the world that it has adopted and harnessed the policy of self-reliance. Internal efforts spread across platforms of policy making and business practices ensured that the country emerged with a new-found vitality. A second wave of infection threatens to dent that vigour but the Modi administration has not stopped believing in the processes which hauled them out of the crisis.
Renewable energy continues to one such strategy which cannot afford to be shelved. And with that in mind the emphasis has been on renewables, low carbon, carbon recycle techniques and breakthrough in renewable energy and energy storage and utilization.
Speaking at the online conference Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan emphasised on the government’s intent to double down and scale up use of hydrogen blended with compressed natural gas (H-CNG) as a transportation fuel.
"We are looking forward to introducing H-CNG as an intermittent technology in a big way for both automotive and domestic cooking applications," Pradhan said.
Renewables is the buzz word in the government’s climate control check-list. It has initiated reforms in this space in a bid to attract valuable foreign direct investment (FDI). It makes sense for India to push this sector given that India stands on the cusp of becoming the fourth largest renewable energy playground worldwide by 2030. Simply translated it could account for 9 percent of all global renewable energy use.
There are plenty of slices to go around for everyone interested in helping themselves to the renewal energy cake – economically and commercially. A 100% FDI facility offered by the authorities has been stipulated as a key reform policy for all renewables under the automatic route for renewable energy generation and distribution projects which can help generate easy transfer of capital and technology.
The tightening up of macroeconomic fundamentals to enable policy stability and the initiation of several fiscal incentives has resulted in a vault in India’s position in the EY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index where it ranks third, as well as the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business rankings and the WEF's Global Competitiveness Index.
Thanks to his ability to keep fixing India’s status among the global community on the issue of climate change Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is being viewed as a Renaissance Man. On the other hand, the administration of US President Joe Biden finds the country’s reputation torn to shreds, due to the policies of the previous government, ahead of a crucial climate change summit which the US will be hosting on April 22-23, on Earth Day.
According to Reuters, Washington will be hoping to restore its tattered reputation by pledging to cut its greenhouse emissions by at least half and securing agreements from allies for faster reductions, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Biden had reversed the climate change order which had been passed by former president Donald Trump, in 2017, and renewed the country’s commitment to the Paris Climate Accord, which his predecessor famously walked out of.
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A Reuters report adds that a 50% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030 is a minimum level urged by environmental groups, hundreds of corporations and European Union lawmakers. It would be the first upgrade of the US climate change target since 2015, when former President Barack Obama pledged a 26%-28% reduction by 2025.
Washington is also pursuing deals with the governments of Japan, South Korea and Canada to accelerate their targets to decarbonize, the two sources said. It was not immediately clear if those nations would make announcements at the event, and representatives of those countries have not commented on the discussions.
The stakes for the meeting are high. Leaders from roughly 40 countries including China, India, Brazil and Russia have been invited, with hopes they will double down on past pledges to reduce climate warming emissions. So far, international pledges to decarbonize would shave only 1% off global emissions by emissions by 2030 compared with 2010 levels, a fraction of what scientists say is needed to avert the worst impacts of climate change.
The US is aware of India’s heft in the climate change eco-system and this had prompted the Biden administration to send John Kerry, the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate on an official trip to deliberate with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on how the United States could assist India by mobilising finance to reduce risks in producing alternative energy in the fight against global warming. According to India's Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar India already has achieved 21% of its pledge to reduce the emissions intensity of GDP by 33-35% by 2030, on top of which Modi had updated Kerry on India’s commitment to meeting its pledges under the 2015 Paris climate change agreement and that, more importantly, it was on track to meet them.