National Clean Energy Fund : a review

The budget for 2017-18 projected an estimate of nearly 30,000 Cr being collected in the form of Clean Environment Cess and transferred to the National Clean Environment Fund. The National Clean Environment Fund (NCEF) was created in 2010 by introducing a clean energy cess of ₹ 50/tonne on coal produced or imported along the lines of ‘polluter pays’ principle. The cess was increased to ₹ 200/tonne in 2015 and doubled to ₹ 400/tonne in 2016. The overall objective of the NCEF is financing and promoting clean energy initiatives, ‘funding research and innovative projects in clean energy technologies’.

Has the NCEF achieved its objectives?

A brief released by the Govt. on the performance of NCEF in 2016 showed that out of nearly 55,000Cr (up to FY 17) collected since its inception only 50% was transferred to NCEF and a further 50% was used to finance projects. One of the reasons for poor performance could be due to the functioning of the NCEF which needs an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) to approve projects to be funded from the NCEF.

NCEF

Source: Ministry of Finance, 2016

MNRE: The big gainer, but is it enough?

The Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) seems to be the big gainer from the NCEF. Over 90% of the funds from the NCEF have been transferred to MNRE.

CSE

Source: CSE, 2017

The Renewable Energy (RE) capacity addition has nearly doubled in the last couple of years however, the funds to MNRE has not been proportionally increased.

NCEF_MNRE

Source: Budget 2017-18

The same was confirmed by the minister in the house.

Interestingly, R&D which was one of the core objectives of the NCEF has seen a reduced allocation in the last couple of years. Although the increased coal cess has been in the news on a positive note, the performance of the NCEF overall has been relatively poor. There is a need for better review and handling of the NCEF at the IMG level  if the objective of the NCEF has to be realized along with the RE targets and the commitments made at COP21.

 

India ratifies Paris Agreement, what next?

The Indian Government surprised everyone when in 2015 it released its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) on Gandhi Jayanthi invoking his thoughts on the moral responsibility of human beings in preserving natural resources. An even bigger surprise followed in 2016, when intense speculation on India’s stance on the accord preceded its sudden decision to ratify the agreement, again on Gandhi Jayanthi (Read more).

The Paris agreement was subsequently ratified by a few more countries (75 as on date) and will come into force on Nov 4th, 2016. (How the entire process unfolded?)

UNFCCC.png

Cty:UNFCCC

Upon ratification countries are expected to submit their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) which will serve as a yardstick for monitoring by all the parties at the meetings of Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA). India however has submitted its INDC as its first NDC which brings the focus back on the INDC (India’s INDC:Towards Climate Justice; An earlier blog post).

The premise of the INDC brings in the equation of ‘Climate Justice’ , clearly highlighting a need to consider the past of the global emitters.

co2-emissions-metric-tons-per-capita

co2-emissions-metric-tons-per-capita (Cty:WB)

A need to clearly map the present and future scenarios was illustrated in the INDC.

india-present-future

Cty:INDC

A key point of contention that will remain is the electricity demand per capita.

electric-power-consumption-kwh-per-capita

electric-power-consumption-kwh-per-capita (Cty: WB)

INDC key highlights

  • India plans to cut emissions by 33-35% by 2030 from 2005 level.
  • India projects to achieve a renewable energy capacity addition of 175GW by 2022 and increase the renewable energy in the mix to 40% by 2030. It seeks funds explicitly from the Green Climate Fund. (The fund the developed countries agreed to create for projects in under developed/developing countries).
  • To create a carbon sink of 2.5-3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through forests and trees by 2030.
  • India estimates its Climate Change mitigation plan will cost $2.5Trillion between now and 2030.

The way forward will see some challenges

  • Enforcing policy regulations.
  • Creating a finance mechanism that utilizes the coal cess, Renewable Purchase Obligation(RPO), Perform Achieve & Trade (PAT) etc.
  • Creating a Green Energy Corridor (est. $6Bil) to facilitate power evacuation from renewable energy plants.
  • Not to compromise on Human Developmental Index of the nation. 300Million people in India still have no access to electricity. Hopefully we achieve the national target of ‘Electricity for All’ by 2019.
  • A need to cut subsidies and increase tax in fossil fuels.
  • Securing fuel for proposed 63GW of nuclear power projects.

At the moment, Indian government through its various ministries is trying to establish a framework to gather emissions data from concerned sectors. Recently aviation sector which dint find traction @ COP21 managed to agree for a global cap by 2020(Read more). India however decided to remain out of the pact until it establishes relevant frameworks in the sectors (read more). The next phase in this deal will be more clear once it is enforced and the first meeting kicks off in COP 22 until then its fair to rejoice the moment of clinching this deal.

Pole To Paris: Time for Climate Action

Pole to Paris reached Cambridge en route the journey to Paris and Cambridge University hosted an event on climate change.

Erlend Knudsen began the evening with the story and inspiration behind the Pole to Paris Campaign.

Erlend Knudsen explains the begining.

Erlend Knudsen explains the beginning.

The need to do the campaign in this scale??

WP_20151108_18_20_38_ProOnly 57% of the general public believe that climate change is real and happening whereas 99% of climate scientists are sure of it.

Why is he optimistic about a deal being signed in Paris COP21?

  • The build up has been good with countries sending in their pledges already.
  • The big countries have declared the emission cuts well in advance.
    The time to act on climate change is now!!

    The time to act on climate change is now!!

    But..

  • There is a need for a deal which incorporates sanctions as we don’t want to end up with another Kyoto protocol.
  • The Green Climate Fund is a good thought but it needs to be put in action.
  • Everything will fail unless there is a motivation for the people to act!!

James Pope of the British Antarctic Survey spoke next on the climate modelling tools.

The three big Olympic questions on Climate Change

WP_20151108_18_30_56_ProWhere are we headed with mean global temperatures?

James Pope talks about the global temperature predictionsJames Pope talks about the global temperature predictions.

Only the best case scenario (not business as usual) will keep us within the 2deg limit.

And it is also predicted there could be a 10% precipitation difference in Amazon because of climate change which could be catastrophic because Amazon is a massive carbon sink.

WP_20151108_18_39_16_ProIt is strange that it took us 21 COPs to agree to a climate change deal argued Tony Juniper a climate change specialist who has seen it all right from the Rio Earth summit in 1992 where it all began.

Tony Juniper delivering the talk

Tony Juniper delivering the talk

Tony criticised the current UK Govt. for its recent renewable energy policy goof-up. It took them only 6 months to bury our 30 years of work he argued.

Tony believes acting on climate change will not only save the plant but it will also help countries by strengthening the economy (more jobs in the process), enhanced security (energy) and to build resilient cities.

He also went on to discuss what is now referred to as impact on climate change on civil unrest. For more info check “Can climate change spark a war?”

Pippa Heylings of Climate and Development Knowledge Network
describes this situation as a ‘Tipping Point’. She believes our past deeds have now left us with no option but to act.

WP_20151108_19_21_10_ProPipa Heylings “COP 21 is the biggest experiment in rules making”

The Final Word

WP_20151108_19_28_29_ProHow can we make the deal work?

The success of the deal will not depend on what the sanctions are going to be or will it be imposed. It depends on the people and how they act. All the experts were unanimous in their opinion that only people can make the deal a success. They have to believe that every action they do counts. They should be vocal in appraising the progress of their respective governments at regular intervals. Its only peer pressure among the nations that will make the deal click.

Time to act on Climate Change is NOW!!