India, U.S. to collaborate on reaching green energy targets

The United States is to collaborate with India to work towards installing 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030.

“We look forward to partnering with India in bringing finance, technology and other elements needed to achieve it,” said John Kerry, United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, on Monday.

Currently India’s installed power capacity is projected to be 476 GW by 2021-22 and is expected to rise to at least 817 GW by 2030.

Mr Kerry is on an official visit to India from September 12-14 and is meeting ministers and industrialists to “raise global climate ambition and speed India’s clean energy transition,” according to a communique from the U.S. State Department.

Mr. Kerry was speaking at a public function following a bilateral meeting with Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, at the launch of the Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD). This was one of the main tracks of the U.S.-India Agenda 2030 Partnership that President Biden and Prime Minister Modi announced at the Leaders Summit on Climate in April 2021.

Mr. Kerry said that Monday’s dialogue would serve as a “powerful avenue” for U.S.-India collaboration and would have three pillars: One would be a “climate action pillar” which would have joint proposals looking at ways in emissions could be reduced in the next decade. The second pillar would be setting out a roadmap to achieving the 450GW in transportation, buildings and industry. The final pillar, or the ”Finance Pillar” would involve collaborating on attracting finance to deploy 450 GW of renewable energy and demonstrate at scale clean energy technologies. Six banks in the U.S., Mr. Kerry said, have already committed to “investing” $4.5 trillion in the next decade towards clean energy.

Following his meeting, Mr. Yadav tweeted: “CAFMD will provide both countries an opportunity to renew collaborations on climate change while addressing financing aspects and deliver climate finances primarily as grants and concessional finance as envisaged under the Paris Agreement.”

A key mission of Mr. Kerry is to build global support for ‘Net Zero’, or carbon neutrality, which is when more carbon is sucked out from the atmosphere or prevented from being emitted than what a country emits and is critical to ensuring that the planet doesn’t heat up an additional half a degree by 2100.

“We have to reach a net zero global standard by 2050. This is not a matter of politics or ideology but one of arithmetic and physics,” said Mr. Kerry.

A major theme building ahead of the climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, this November is the question of how many nations can commit to a net zero target and by when. A little over 120 countries have committed, with varying degrees of firmness, to reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. Five countries have net zero pledges set for after 2050, including Australia and Singapore, which haven’t set a firm target yet.

The United States has set a target of halving pollution by 2030 from 2005 levels towards the net zero target. President Joe Biden has also committed to phasing out the use of fossil fuel by 2035 for power generation.

India has so far abstained from committing to a net zero goal but is on a climate pathway that is compatible with keeping global temperatures to below 2C by the end of the century. On the other hand, current commitments by the U.S. and Europe, according to analysts T. Jayaraman and Tejal Kanitkar, see them occupy more than their fair share of the current available carbon budget given their historical emissions.

India has reportedly installed 100GW of renewable energy and committed to 175GW by 2022, nearly 100GW of which will come from solar power.

Mr. Kerry also called upon Power minister, R.P. Singh and External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar.


India to increase nuclear energy capacity three times in next 10 years to reduce its carbon footprints

NEW DELHI: With India is exploring multiple options to lower its carbon footprints, the government on Tuesday said the country would produce three times more nuclear power from its current level and called for greater India-US cooperation for clean energy sectors such as biofuels and hydrogen.

The issue of ramping up efforts to produce more nuclear power in the next 10 years was discussed in a meeting of junior minister in the PMO and minister of state (atomic energy) Jitendra Singh with the US delegation led by the country’s visiting deputy secretary of energy, David M Turk.

Singh informed the delegation that India will produce more than three times nuclear power and its installed capacity is expected to reach 22,480 MW by 2031 from the current 6,780 MW as more nuclear power plants are also planned in future.

The move will help India substantially increase its share of non-fossil fuel in total energy mix in sync with its pledges under the Paris Agreement. Though India’s share of installed capacity of non-fossil fuel-based electricity generation has already reached nearly 39% of its total power generation capacity against its existing target of 40% by 2030, the step towards nuclear energy would help it upgrade its climate action goal.

Singh during the meeting called for greater India-US cooperation in the field of clean and green energy , and reiterated India’s commitment to promote atomic/nuclear programmes for providing not only a major source of clean energy but also as a major tool of application in areas like healthcare and agriculture sector.

Both sides also discussed revamping their strategic partnership to focus on clean energy sectors, such as biofuels and hydrogen, aligning it with the ‘India-US Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership’ which was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and American President Joe Biden at the leaders’ summit on climate in April.


India’s smart meter rollout timeline released

India’s Ministry of Power has issued the timelines for the nationwide replacement of existing meters with smart meters by 2025.

In the rollout, all electricity consumers – other than agricultural consumers – in areas with a communication network will be supplied with smart meters operating in prepayment mode.

Union territories and electrical divisions having more than 50% consumers in urban areas with aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses of more than 15% in the financial year 2019-20 must be metered with smart meters by December 2023.

Other electrical divisions with AT&C losses more than 25% in FY 2019-20 as well as all government offices at block level and above and all industrial and commercial consumers also must be metered with smart meters by December 2023.

The state regulatory commission may, however, extend these implementation periods up to two times and for not more than six months at a time for a particular class or classes of consumers or for specific areas.

All other areas are required to be metered with smart meters with prepayment mode by March 2025.

Exceptions are areas without a communication network where the state regulatory commission may permit installation of standard prepayment meters and consumer connections having current-carrying capacity beyond that specified in the relevant standard who may be provided with meters with smart meters with automatic meter reading facility.

All feeders and distribution transformers must have meters with an AMR facility or covered under AMI.

The feeders must be metered by December 2022. Metering for the distribution transformers has similar December 2023 or March 2025 timelines to the division consumer and loss breakdowns above, excepting distribution transformers and HV distribution system transformers having capacity less than 25kVA, which may be excluded.

India’s smart meter programme is being driven by a government JV IntelliSmart Infrastructure through a BOOT (Build, Own, Operate, Transfer) model, with new funding commitments as part of a broader distribution sector reform intended to meet these targets.