India is anticipated to be the biggest contributor to the renewables boom in 2021, with the country’s annual growth in renewables doubling from 2020. Recently, the Prime Minister of India mentioned about having huge renewable energy deployment plans for India for the next 10 years which are likely to create business opportunities of around $20 billion a year.
What is the Context?
- PNGRB will launch the 11th City Gas Distribution round soon
- The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas released a draft city gas distribution policy
- The Union budget 2020 declared that about 27,000 km of national gas grid pipeline would be completed in the coming years connecting Kutch to Kohima and Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
A few years back, Beijing and Delhi were competing with each other for being some of the most polluted cities in the world. Between 2000 and 2009, Beijing was far worse than Delhi in terms of air pollution. However, in recent years, the air quality of Beijing began improving while Delhi’s pollution levels continued to increase. In 2017, the concentration of PM 2.5 (particulate matter with a size of 2.5 microns or less) in Beijing was less than half that of Delhi. The number of “very unhealthy” days in Delhi is four times more than that of Beijing. The reason behind Beijing’s successful reduction of atmospheric pollution is due to the series of stringent measures to reduce the carbon emission into the atmosphere. One among them is the focus on the automobile sector. In 2017, the quota for new vehicles was fixed at 150,000 cars of which 60,000 was allotted only to the fuel-efficient cars. In 2018, this quota was reduced to 100,000. Although an average Indian contributes only a microscopic amount of transport-related carbon dioxide emissions to the global climate change, congested streets and polluted air are common aspects seen in the Indian metropolises. It is not only discomforting on a daily basis but is also a long-term health hazard to those who are living in big cities like Delhi.
On early September this year, the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs, headed by the Prime Minister, has approved the hike of the procurement prices of ethanol. This move comes amidst the crisis of sugar surplus and increasing tensions between Iran and the US.
This move is of significance as the high prices are being offered for the procurement of ethanol that is manufactured from all the sugarcane-based routes including the partial sugarcane juice routes. This move has also, for the first time, has allowed the use of sugar and sugar syrup for the ethanol production.
The world is currently facing high fuel prices due to the brewing tensions in the Middle East. India must take all steps necessary to reduce the oil consumption to reduce the dependence on oil imports. The promotion of ethanol manufacturing to increase its production is a need of the hour.