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March 22, 2011

Sustainable development in India 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).

India's sustained efforts 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.

Major Achievements

The number of carbon credits issued for emission reduction projects in India is set to triple 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 megawatt (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, Regional Industry Director, Asia Infrastructure and Natural Resources, International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Growth in use of green technologies has put India on the green-building leader board with countries such as the US. "About 2-3 per cent 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 per cent, which will put us on top," as per the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).

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.

On the back of the incentive package for electric vehicles announced by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, average monthly sales of electric two-wheelers has risen 20 per cent, according to Sohinder Gill, Director, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles.

Backing the ‘polluter must pay’ principle to deal with the issue of residual pollution, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has endorsed proper enforcement of regulatory standards to prevent green damage. He also inaugurated the 'Delhi Sustainable Development Summit' (DSDS), organised by The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI), on February 3, 2011.

National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO), the Navratna PSU, under the Union Ministry of Mines, Govt. of India, has become the first PSU in the country by implementing a pilot-cum-demonstration project on Carbon Sequestration in its captive power plant at Angul. The project is expected to go a long way towards addressing the issue of bringing down GHG, a NALCO spokesperson said.

Currently, India has 18,655 MW of installed renewable energy, accounting for a total of 11 per cent of the total capacity of 168,954 MW. The target includes adding 20,000 MW of solar energy by 2022, which would take the share of renewable energy in the total electricity generation capacity of the country to 15 per cent, said Dr Arun Tripathi, a director and a scientist at the ministry. He added that the Indian government's goal is that renewable energy should account for 30 per cent share of the total electricity capacity by 2032.

Investments

India expects investments to the tune of US$ 55 billion by 2015 in the renewable energy sector which is expected to produce 35 giga watt (GW) of power, according to Mr Debashish Majumdar, Chairman and Managing Director, Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd (IREDA).

According to a recent study on India attractiveness survey by Ernst & Young, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Renewable Energy in India witnessed a 105 per cent rise. Wind energy is the fastest growing renewable energy sector and the FDI inflow in the sector has been increasing over the years.

Private equity investment in renewable energy sector picked up pace in the country from 2004. According to a report by 3i Network – IDFC, from a private equity investment of US$ 851 million in 2005, inflows into the renewable sector in India soared to US$ 2,136 million in 2008. Separately, a study by the Word Resources Institute recently estimated a renewable energy market of over US$ 2 billion a year in India.

Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in this sector appear to provide attractive investment opportunity for private equity funds as a result of policy and regulatory developments such as generation-based tariffs, renewable energy tariffs and the national solar mission. Companies such as Auro Mira Energy, Greenko, Orient Green Power and Green Infra have been cited in the report as some of the IPPs which received funding from investors such as IDFC PE, Axis PE, Baring PE and Global Environment Fund.

With the proposed commissioning of a 50 MW tidal power project off the coast of Gujarat in 2013, India is ready to place its first “seamark” that will be a first for Asia as well. London-based marine energy developer Atlantis Resources Corporation, along with Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Gujarat government to start this project.


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