Sustainable development in India now encompasses a variety of development schemes in social, cleantech (clean energy, clean water and sustainable agriculture) and human resources segments, having caught the attention of both the Central and State governments and also public and private sectors.
In fact, India is expected to begin the greening of its national income accounting, making depletion in natural resources wealth a key component in its measurement of gross domestic product (GDP).
As per a report by UN Environment Program (UNEP), 'Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2010', released on July 2010, India was ranked eighth in the world in terms of investment in sustainable energy. The report further stated that India invested around US$ 2.7 billion in sustainable energy in 2009.
Wind energy attracted 59 per cent of financial investment in clean energy in India. India was placed fifth in the world for installed wind power during the year.
Biomass and waste was the second largest sector recipient of investment, generating US$ 0.6 billion of new financial investment or 22 per cent of the total.
India's sustained effort towards reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) will ensure that the country's per capita emission of GHG will continue to be low until 2030-31, and it is estimated that the per capita emission in 2031 will be lower than per capita global emission of GHG in 2005, according to a new study. Even in 2031, India's per capita GHG emissions would stay under four tonnes of CO2, which is lower than the global per capita emission of 4.22 tonnes of CO2 in 2005.
India has been ranked ninth in the tree planting roll of honour in 2009 in a campaign to plant a billion trees, which was launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in November 2006.
The Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Mr. Vijay Sharma, announced that India has joined the United Nations Environment Programme's Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign (BTC) by planting two billion trees since 2007.
The number of carbon credits issued for emission reduction projects in India is set to triple over the next three years to 246 million by December 2012 from 72 million in November 2009, according to a CRISIL Research study.
This will cement India's second position in the global carbon credits market (technically called Certified Emission Reduction units or CERs). The growth in CER issuance will be driven by capacity additions in the renewable energy sector and by the eligibility of more renewable energy projects to issue CERs. Consequently, the share of renewable energy projects in Indian CERs will increase to 31 per cent.
CRISIL Research expects India's renewable energy capacity to increase to 20,000 mega watt (MW) by December 2012, from the current 15,542 MW.
The contribution of renewable energy to the power business in India has now reached 70 per cent, compared to 10 per cent in 2000, in terms of project numbers and dollar value, according to Anita George, Director, Infrastructure, International Finance Corporation (IFC).
As per industry estimates, private equity and global venture capital companies will invest up to US$ 1 billion in high-growth, incentive-driven renewable energy companies by the end of the current fiscal. Companies such as Moser Baer and Caparo Energy along with state-owned companies are planning to raise funds for clean energy projects. Recently, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank arm, committed US$ 10 million in Azure Power India, a solar energy producer.
India's first-ever 3 MW solar photovoltaic power plant, developed by the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL), the state-owned power generating company, was dedicated to the nation at Yalesandra village in Kolar district on June 17, 2010. The plant, which uses modular crystalline technology to generate solar energy, has been set up at a cost of US$ 1.29 million.
India is the fifth largest wind energy producer in the world, with installed capacity of nearly 10,500 MW and a target to scale up capacity to 14,000 MW by the end of 2011.