India plans petrochemical hubs around 22 refineries

Jun 25, 2016 0

New Delhi– The government said on Friday it will set up petrochemical complexes around all the 22 refineries in India to help generate one crore jobs, even as it urged industry to rid its overdependence on the state and become competitive.

“The government has decided to establish petrochemical hubs in and around all 22 refineries,” Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar said at a seminar here on “Sustainable chemistry.”

“This will result in savings as cluster approach can reduce costs. The projects need not be confined only to greenfield projects but also cover brownfield projects already running at various places,” he said.

The proposed plan, which is expected to attract major investment and generate one crore jobs, will soon be discussed with Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, he added.

The minister also urged the chemical industry “not to just rely on government incentives but become competitive” in feed stock, procurement of natural gas and production of end-products, towards doubling the sector’s growth to $400 billion by 2021.

“The government is a facilitator. We are here to support you. Please don’t just rely on incentives. That will be there. Become more competitive,” he said.

The government can help by providing common facilities in these clusters, such as infrastructure, effluent plants, testing and trading facilities, which can help in cutting down the cost by 25-30 per cent, he added.

According to the minister, the proposed petrochemical complexes would not just be confined to Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and parts of Tamil Nadu, but would be set up in other states as well.

As per official data the Indian chemicals and petrochemicals industry is growing at the rate of 11-12 per cent and producing output worth $200 billion annually.

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India has done little to bridge energy supply-demand gap

Jun 25, 2016 0

New Delhi– India has done very little in the last few decades by way of harmonizing its governance structures to secure its energy needs despite a surging demand to fuel its growing economy, and the crisis may worsen in the coming years, a policy discussion forum here was told.

Vikram Singh Mehta

Vikram Singh Mehta

“We have done very little over the last few decades to make the policy linkages between energy-environment and climate change. We did not pay enough attention on energy infrastructure, conservation, subsidisation of LPG and petrol. These are all policy inadequacies that contributed to the increase in demand of energy,” said Brookings India Chairman Vikram Singh Mehta, who previously served with Shell India as its CEO.

Mehta was speaking at a roundtable, ‘India’s Energy Security and Climate Change Commitments: Policy Challenges’, organized by Delhi-based think tank Society for Policy Studies (SPS) in association with the India International Centre (IIC) on Friday evening.

He said government policies had failed to balance the pace between surging demand and supply constraints that caused the current energy crisis in India, the fifth largest energy consumer in the world.

India is home to nearly 18 per cent of the global population but uses only six per cent of the world’s primary energy resources and the country is set for a sustained growth in energy demand with its growing economy, according to the Energy Outlook 2015.

“The energy crisis facing India is because the demand is surging and the supply is failing to keep pace with demand,” Mehta said, pointing out that the demand was due to the rising population and growing prosperity in the country.

“India has a large population. And the youth are aspirational too. We have developed and are now entering the high energy trajectory of consumption,” said Mehta, who also served as strategic planning advisor in the state-run Oil India Ltd.

He said since the current government’s policies were focused on modernization and expansion of its manufacturing sector “into higher gear” with the Make in India initiative, the country needed “to create jobs which are energy intensive”.

He also said “India is the driver of energy demand in the world” after China with India’s share in world energy demand rising by nearly 6 per cent over the last 15 years. Demand for energy for the rest of the world increased by 2.5 per cent during this period.

Mehta also warned that India must be ready to tackle the crisis that can get worse as countries on which “we are dependent are either in huge political or economic crisis”.

Asked if the present Bharatiya Janata Party-led government was different from the previous rule in tacking the crisis, Mehta said: “The NDA has benefited from the drop in global oil prices. Earlier oil companies were bearing the burdens of subsidies. This government and the Prime Minister in particular are aware of how technology can enhance energy security and availability..”

Karthik Ganesan, a research fellow at Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), in his presentation of his study focused on the development of long-term energy scenarios in India and energy efficiency improvements in the industrial sector of the country.

Ganesan drew attention to India’s commitments at the Paris climate change conference and the need for informed clean energy policy initiatives based on life cycle analysis. (IANS)

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Renewables sector set to get $7.8 trillion investment by 2040: Report

Jun 14, 2016 0

Paris– The currently weak coal and gas prices will not stop record investment of nearly $7.8 trillion in the world renewable energy sector over the coming decades as the cost of generating clean energy drops, a report said on Tuesday.

With renewables set to attract $7.8 trillion by 2040, the impact of cheap gas and coal will be offset by drops of 41 per cent and 60 per cent respectively, the Bloomberg New Energy Outlook 2016 said.

Jon Moore, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in a statement that though compared to a year ago, coal and gas prices are projected to go “significantly lower”, the report “strikingly, still shows rapid transition towards clean power”.

The shift to a low-carbon energy sector will not happen quickly enough to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius, the report said.

The Paris Agreement last December calls for capping the earth’s average surface temperature at “well below” 2 degrees Celsius.

Additional investment of $5.3 trillion in zero-carbon power, over the projected $7.8 trillion would be needed by 2040 to achieve even the two-degree target, the report added.

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Havells enters full spectrum of solar biz

Jun 13, 2016 0

Mumbai–Electrical goods maker Havells India here on Monday announced foraying into the solar solutions business.

“The company is launching solar solutions, including solar power generating systems, home lighting kits, solar pumps, solar street lights,” Havells India said in a filing with the BSE.

Havells will roll out the solar products across the country in phases, starting from this month itself.

Its products will be manufactured and assembled in Neemrana, Rajasthan, the statement said.

The company will cater only to the domestic market, it said.

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ABB connects 648 MW solar plant in TN to national grid

Jun 13, 2016 0

Bengaluru–Engineering company ABB has commissioned five sub-stations to integrate a 648 MW solar power project at Kamuthi in Tamil Nadu to the national transmission grid, it said on Monday.

“ABB connects power to the Indian grid from one of the world’s largest solar plants,” a company statement said.

“The project was awarded by independent power producer Adani Group in 2015, and completed on schedule.

“The solar photovoltaic project — made up of five plants at a single location — is the largest of its kind in the world. This facility will account for nearly 10 per cent of the country’s current solar capacity of around seven gigawatts (GW),” it added.

As part of the government’s plan of achieving 100 GW of solar power by 2022, the Centre has issued a proposal to implement 25 ultra-mega solar power projects with capacity of 500 to 1,000 MW over a period of five years, ABB said.

“This project exemplifies our end-to-end power and automation system integration capabilities and reinforces our commitment to the renewable energy sector — a key component of company’s next level strategy,” ABB Power Grids division president Claudio Facchin said.

According to ABB, the project includes two 230 kilovolt (kv) and three 110 kv outdoor switchyards to connect to the local transmission grid, and it will enable clean power supply for around 150,000 households based on average national per capita consumption.

The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people, the statement added. (IANS)

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World Bank nod for $625 million loan to Indian solar program

May 16, 2016 0

New Delhi–The World Bank said on Monday it has approved a $625 million loan to support India’s grid connected rooftop solar programme to generate clean energy.

“The project will finance the installation of at least 400 MW of grid connected rooftop solar photovoltaic (GRPV) across India,” the multilateral lender said in a statement here.

Onno Ruhl

Onno Ruhl

The World Bank Board has also approved a co-financing loan of $120 million on concessional terms and a $5 million grant from Climate Investment Fund’s (CIF) Clean Technology Fund, it added.

“India is endowed with huge solar energy potential, and the World Bank is strongly supportive of the government’s plans to harness this potential and increase India’s solar PV capacity to 100 GW, said World Bank country director in India Onno Ruhl.

“This project will support this target, by providing financing to some of the 40 GW of solar PV which will be placed on rooftops,” he added.

The project will be implemented by the State Bank of India (SBI), which will on-lend funds to solar PV developers, aggregators and end-users, who wish to invest in mainly commercial and industrial rooftop PV systems.

Financing will be provided to those with sound technical capacity, relevant experience, and creditworthiness as per SBI standards.

The World Bank loan has a 19.5 year grace period, and a maturity of 20 years. The loan from CIF’s Clean Technology Fund has a 10 year grace period, and a maturity of 40 years. The overall potential demand for rooftop solar is estimated at about 124,000 MW, the release said.

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19 thermal power plants in India not complying with pollution norms

May 11, 2016 0

New Delhi–A total of 19 thermal power plants across India were found violating the environment guidelines, including on installation of pollution control equipment, parliament was told on Tuesday.

“Polluting industries including Power plants are required to install pollution control equipment to meet the prescribed effluents and emission standards as specified in the environment clearance, consent and the guidelines to control the emissions of highly polluting industries,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

He said that according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), 19 thermal power plants were found to be not complying with the prescribed norms.

“CPCB has issued directions to the non-compliant thermal power plants,” he said.

According to the data, four of these plants are in Chhattisgarh, three each in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand and two each in Bihar and West Bengal. Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan also have one such power plant.

India has over 200 thermal power plants, out of which about 116 are coal-based. (IANS)

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India’s renewable energy congress concludes on optimistic note

May 4, 2016 0

New Delhi– India’s Renewable Energy Congress (InREC) conluded here on a highly optimistic note in view of the recent tariff poicy and the government’s new solar power capacity target of 100 gigawatt (GW) by 2022, InRec said on Wednesday.

Power Minister Piyush Goyal

Power Minister Piyush Goyal

The two-day conference of global investors, developers and manufacturers in the renewable energy sector was supported by the Independent Power Producers Association of India (IPPAI), and coordinated by UK-based Green Power, the statement said.

“The timing of this event couldn’t be better. India has set targets of 100 GW of solar capacity and 70 GW of wind capacity; so let us learn for each other as well as the international community to understand success strategies,” Shirish M. Navlekar, director of Mytrah Energy India, said in the statement.

Rahul Goswami, MD of Greenstone Energy Advisors, said: “Open and honest discussion were held to find out the best practices, whether it’s new investment models, innovative technologies or improving project efficiency.”

The union cabinet in January approved the new power tariff policy designed to promote clean energy, better regulation of distribution companies and ease of the process of doing business in the sector. It also raised the power utilities’ renewable purchase obligations.

“In order to promote renewable energy and energy security, eight percent of electricity consumption, excluding hydroelctricity, shall be from solar energy by March 2022, as part of the revised Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO),” Power Minister Piyush Goyal had told reporters. (IANS)

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India will add over 10,000 MW solar energy this fiscal

Apr 30, 2016 0

New Delhi– India will achieve the target for adding 10,500 MW solar power capacity in the current fiscal, New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday.

“The way things are progressing in solar energy sector, we will definitely achieve our target. Solar energy is economically viable,” he said at the Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST) and Solar Cooker Excellence Awards ceremony here.

Power Minister Piyush Goyal

Power Minister Piyush Goyal

“A target of adding 10,500 MW solar power has been set for this fiscal. It is four to five time more than last year (target of 2,000 MW). For achieving this target we have already floated tenders for 21,000 MW solar power projects during last fiscal,” he said.

“With 21,000 MW of new solar projects out in the market, India has signalled to the world that we’re ready to lead.

“The preliminary studies have found that there is potential of 7.5 Lakh MW solar energy in the country which is a big target. India will achieve this target,” he added.

Goyal further said that India has exceeded solar targets by 116 percent this year in comparison to last year, and had already awarded solar projects of 11,000 MW.(IANS)

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Investors can be convinced of future returns from green investments: Singhi

Apr 23, 2016 0

By Arul Louis

United Nations– Investors and corporate boards can be convinced to make green investments by showing them the value of tangible and intangible future returns, industrialist Mahendra Singhi has said.

Singhi, Group CEO of Dalmia Cement, said here on Friday that many green initiatives – to reduce the carbon footprint of industries and make them environmentally sustainable – will not require much additional investments.

Mahendra Singhi, the Group CEO of Dalmia Cement,  addresses a news conference at the United Nations, Friday, April 22, 2016, on "The Impact of the Paris Climate Agreement on Business and Investors."

Mahendra Singhi, the Group CEO of Dalmia Cement, addresses a news conference at the United Nations, Friday, April 22, 2016, on “The Impact of the Paris Climate Agreement on Business and Investors.”

But some initiatives, like using waste for power generation or adopting certain low carbon technologies, do need larger investments, he said. Whenever there are such projects that may not produce “normal investment return”, the cost of the green initiative is noted.

“They may not be the right return today, but considering the problems of climate and the future benefits we do convince the board as well as the the investors to support those projects,” he said.

Singhi briefed the news media about the “Impact of the Paris Climate Agreement on Business and Investors”. In recognition of Indian businesses vigorously joining the climate change battle, he was one of the two Indian industrialists showcased by the UN at the Paris Agreement signing events. The other was Anand Mahindra, the CEO of Mahindra Group, who spoke on behalf of the corporate world at the opening ceremony.

Many green projects requiring large investments but low returns are beyond the reach of industries in developing countries and are not being implemented, Singhi said. “That is why there is the demand from developing countries for green funds,” he said. “Developed countries should support developing countries for achieving” environmental goals.

He said his company decided it would “walk the talk” on sustainable development and adopted voluntary targets. These were ensuring that its carbon footprint should be one of the lowest in the industry, which it has achieved, and becoming “water positive” so that more water is conserved, he said.

“We are also working in a big way on renewable power,” Singhi said. “Almost seven percent of our power consumption is from renewable resources and we will make it to 20 percent by 2019.”

The company has also started to convert the waste of other industries into power and projects its message of “waste to wealth”, he said. “We conserve the very important resources of our planet.”

“We have worked on corporate social responsibility for serving the poor part of society so that we don’t become an island of prosperity, but we create prosperity for all. We follow the philosophy of total prosperity shared with all stakeholders including the poor in our society.” (IANS)

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