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 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 place 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 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).
Growth in use of green technologies has put India on the green-building leaderboard with countries such as the US. "About 2-3% of all construction in India is green, as good as (in) the US. In the next two or three years, we want to bring it up to 10%, which will put us on top," as per the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).
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,
The US$ 1.79 billion Indian lighting market is estimated to be growing at 18 per cent annually and switching rapidly to energy-efficient systems. In value terms, about US$ 425.58 million of the current market size belongs to the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), according to Electrical Lamp and Component Manufacturers' Association of India (ELCOMA) statistics.
The Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) expects sales of electric two-wheelers to double in the coming months, on the back of a US$ 20.9 million incentive scheme announced by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
Compressed natural gas-powered vehicles in India have increased 30 per cent over 2009 to 1 million in 2010, said Mr David Aitken, Advisor, NGV India.
Vijayawada will be one of the 60 cities in the country that would be called solar cities, in the next five years. The project, for which the Centre has allocated over US$ 6.44 million with each city getting US$ 107,330 each, is part of the 11th Five Year Plan.
GeoSyndicate Power Pvt Ltd, a Mumbai-based energy company, plans to set up the country's first geothermal power plant of 25 mega watt (MW) in the Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh (AP) at an investment of US$ 64.7 million.