Climate crisis intensifies: Coastal areas may become unliveable by 2100, flags report

Climate crisis intensifies: Coastal areas may become unliveable by 2100, flags report

People living in and near the coastal areas in India may be compelled to stay indoors during working hours for more than half of 2100. Severe heat conditions — and not the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic — would be driving people to do so, a recent report by Climate Trends has flagged.

Millions in India are currently reeling under a severe heat wave. Scientists have warned that the rising climate crisis will make the situation more unbearable in the coming years.

The report said most parts of India experience 12-66 days of potentially deadly heat and humidity combinations in a year — expressed by ‘wet bulb temperature’. It is an index that measures the impact of heat and humidity on the human body.

A temperature increase of 4.3 degrees Celsius by 2100 relative to pre-industrial temperatures may happen under RCP (representative concentration pathway) 8.5 scenario, the report pointed out. The wet bulb temperature will cross the deadly threshold for six months or more by another nine decades, it said.

Aarti Khosla from Climate Trends said:

“Even fit and acclimatised people can’t work at a wet bulb temperature of 32°C; at 35°C, even fit and acclimatised people sitting in the shade die within six hours. Climate change is making these wet bulb temperatures more likely.”

Heat and humid hotspots to suffer most  

Most of India experiences 12-66 days of a combination of potentially deadly heat and humidity with hotspots along the east coast.

The report predicted that under RCP 8.5 scenario such days may increase to:

  • 221 from 124 in Kolkata
  • 253 from 171 in Sundarbans
  • 282 from 178 in Cuttack
  • 285 from 173 in Brahmapur
  • 365 from 113 in Thiruvananthapuram
  • 309 from 140 in Chennai
  • 261 from 47 in Mumbai
  • 131 from 63 in New Delhi

“The west coast will be increasingly affected with around 269 days of wet bulb temperature days in Goa (up from 35 currently); 362 days in Kochi (up from 98); and around 349 days in Mangalore (up from 72 currently),” the report said.

The report warned of a substantial worsening of situation even by 2050. Kolkata may experience 176 deadly heat-humid days; the Sundarbans 215; Cuttack 226; Brahmapur 233; Thiruvananthapuram 314; Chennai 229; Mumbai 171; and New Delhi 99.

Under RCP 2.6 — a very stringent pathway that requires carbon dioxide emissions to start declining by 2020 and go to zero by 2100 — the number of critical heat-humid days will be 157 in Kolkata; 193 in the Sundarbans; 216 in Cuttack; 218 in Brahmapur; 240 in Thiruvananthapuram; 179 in Chennai; 112 in Mumbai; 81 in New Delhi; 94 in Goa; 163 in Mangalore; and 206 in Kochi by 2100.

“Air can hold more moisture with more heat, and the combined impact of heat and humidity becomes critical. With more warming under climate change impact, the combined impact of heat and humidity is set to rise,” said Roxy Mathew Koll, a climate scientist from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune.

Koll pointed out that so far, neither Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change nor India’s own official assessment has considered the combined impact of weather-related events and suggested that such studies and assessment needed to be undertaken at the earliest.

Heat humidity combination may affect health, productivity

The report warned:

“In hot conditions, humans cool themselves by sweating; but if the humidity is too high, sweating no longer works, and we risk dangerous overheating. Heat stroke can cause symptoms from light-headedness and nausea to organ swelling, cell signalling disruption, unconsciousness and death.”

There are five physiological mechanisms, according to the report, which are triggered by heat exposure: Ischemia (reduced and restricted blood flow), heat cytotoxicity (cell death), inflammatory response (swelling), disseminated intravascular coagulation (abnormal blood clotting), and rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of muscle fibres).

These mechanisms affect seven vital organs: Brain, heart, intestines, kidneys, liver, lungs and pancreas. “There are 27 lethal combinations of these mechanisms and organs that have been shown to be caused by heat,” the report said.

A recent paper authored by top meteorologists in the country, including M Rajeevan, secretary in the Union ministry of earth sciences, and published in journal Weather and Climate Extremes claimed that heat waves caused 17,362 deaths during the last five decades. These accounted for 12 per cent of total deaths due to extreme weather events.

According to the study, India experienced 73 heat wave spells in 2019 against an average of 17 as measured during 1986-2016.

It also warned that most of India is presently facing a ‘high’ risk to workability during the hottest months with wet bulb temperature ranging from 30-33°C. It estimated that India currently loses an estimated 21 per cent of effective outdoor working hours due to extreme heat and humidity.

A McKinsey report, published 2020, stated that under the worst possible climate impact scenario of RCP 8.5, the loss of outdoor working hours may increase to 24 per cent by 2030 and 30 per cent by 2050.

Source Link: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/climate-crisis-intensifies-coastal-areas-may-become-unliveable-by-2100-flags-report-77830

Global Green Bond Issuance Reached a Record High of $269.5 Billion in 2020: Report

Global Green Bond Issuance Reached a Record High of $269.5 Billion in 2020: Report

Global green bond issuance reached a record high of $269.5 billion in 2020, a 1.12% increase compared to $266.5 billion in 2019, due to a late surge in the second half of 2020, Climate Bonds Initiative has said in a report.

Green bonds are financial instruments designed to raise money for climate and environmental projects.

“The impact of COVID-19 in 2020 proved a huge economic and social negative. In that context, the resilience of green finance markets led to a record year of issuance. 2021 may enable a sustained resurgence,” the report said.

The U.S. President Joe Biden’s announcement to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, governments, policymakers, and investors’ growing focus to support the decarbonization of energy-intensive industries can play key roles in increasing green bond issuance in 2021.

In 2020, the cumulative green bond issuance crossed over $1 trillion and stood at $1.05 trillion, an average annual growth of 60% since 2015.

Green Issuance 2015-2020

Last year, the United States led the way by issuing green bonds with a total value of $51.1 billion, followed by Germany at $40.2 billion and France at $32.1 Billion. China and the Netherlands issued green bonds worth $17.2 billion and $17 billion, respectively. The top 20 countries cumulatively issued green bonds worth $243.8 billion, out of total green bond issuance of $269.5 billion.

Fannie Mae, a U.S. government-sponsored enterprise, issued the most green bonds with a total value of $13 billion, followed by Germany, with its debut sovereign green bond issuance worth $12.8 billion.

The proceeds of green bonds were mainly utilized in the energy sector, with investments worth $93.6 billion, representing 35% of total issuance in 2020, followed by low-carbon buildings amounting to 26% of total issuance, with investments worth $70.6 billion. Low-carbon transport, with investments worth $63.7 billion, represented 24% of total issuance.

Use of Proceeds 2020

According to the report, urban transport operators, including New York MTA, SNCF, and LA MTA, dominated the list of top certified issuers green bond issuers. Societe du Grand Paris, a French government entity with green bond issuance worth $12.2 billion, was the biggest certified issuer in 2020.

The climate bonds certification program, a labeling scheme for bonds and loans, continues to grow in line with the market as $150 billion of certifications was passed in 2020, a 20% annual increase as of October 2020.

Green bonds have been an attractive source of funds for renewable energy companies in India and globally. In October 2020, independent power producer ReNew Power raised around $325 million through overseas green bonds, and CLP Wind Farms secured ₹2.96 billion (~$40.51 million) through its green bonds.

Source Link: https://mercomindia.com/green-bond-issuance-reached-record-high/

World energy transitions outlook: 1.5°C pathway

World energy transitions outlook: 1.5°C pathway

This report by IRENA outlines a pathway for the world to achieve the Paris Agreement goals and halt the pace of climate change by transforming the global energy landscape. It presents options to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and bring CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050

The World Energy Transitions Outlook outlines a pathway for the world to achieve the Paris Agreement goals and halt the pace of climate change by transforming the global energy landscape. This report presents options to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C and bring CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050, offering high-level insights on technology choices, investment needs, policy framework and the socio-economic impacts of achieving a sustainable, resilient and inclusive energy future. This Outlook presents several prerequisites which underpin the theory of change behind IRENA’s 1.5°C Pathway.

Source Link: http://admin.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/reports-documents/world-energy-transitions-outlook-15%C2%B0c-pathway-0

Government Approves Net Metering for Rooftop Solar Systems Up to 500 kW Capacity

Government Approves Net Metering for Rooftop Solar Systems Up to 500 kW Capacity

The Ministry of Power (MoP) has finally issued the much-awaited amendment to the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) 2020 Rules concerning net metering for rooftop solar installations. The amendment permits net metering to the prosumer for loads up to 500 kW or up to the sanctioned load, whichever is lower.

Under the latest Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Amendment Rules, 2021, the arrangements for net-metering, gross-metering, net-billing, or net feed-in would follow the regulations made by the State Commission from time to time.

The Amendment

The latest amendment considers net billing or gross metering for rooftop solar systems over 500 kW capacity. For the net metering facility, a single bidirectional energy meter is used at the point of supply where the energy imported from the grid and the energy exported from the grid-interactive rooftop solar system of a prosumer is computed at two different tariffs.

As per the new amendments, net metering will be allowed to the prosumer for loads up to 500 kW or up to the sanctioned load, whichever is lower, and gross metering for loads over 500 kW.

The amendment further adds that in either case of net-metering or gross metering, DISCOM may install a solar energy meter to measure the gross solar energy generated from the grid-interactive rooftop solar system for renewable energy purchase obligation (RPO) credit, if any.

The amendment has also permitted gross metering for prosumers who would like to sell all the solar energy generated to DISCOM instead of using net metering. The Commission would decide the generic tariff for gross-metering as per tariff regulation.

Another important point added in the order is that the state regulatory commissions may choose to introduce time-of-the-day tariffs where prosumers are incentivized to install energy storage for storing the solar energy or feeding it to the grid during peak hours. This could help the grid to manage the demand response.

“This order approving net metering for solar systems up to 500 kW removes the uncertainty that was hanging over the market and allows the rooftop market to get moving again,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

Background

Net metering, one of the vital policy drivers for rooftop solar adoption, has witnessed a series of revisions in India in the past few months.

Net metering for rooftop solar systems was capped at 1 MW until the government proposed to drastically cut it to 10 kW in December 2020. Several stakeholders believed the government’s proposal would destroy the rooftop solar market. After severe opposition and representation by the industry, the government relented, considering net metering for capacity up to 500 kW.

Source Link: http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/content/470878/asia-and-the-pacifics-progress-towards-sustainable-development-goal-7/

Renewable energy sector in India gets $70 bn investment in 7 years

Renewable energy sector in India gets $70 bn investment in 7 years

Power Minister has said that as much as USD 70 billion (about Rs 5.2 lakh crore) has been invested in across the country in the past seven years.

This assumes significance in view of India’s ambitious target of having 175 gigawatts (GW) of by 2022.

Singh was addressing at an event on ‘Accelerating Citizen Centric Energy Transition’ yesterday evening, organised by The Ministry of New and (MNRE). It was conducted in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of India (PMI) to the United Nations and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).

The virtual event was organised on the sidelines of the Ministerial Thematic Forums week (June 21-25) for the UN High Level Dialogue on Energy to be convened on September 20 this year.

India has been designated a Global Champion for Energy Transition, one of the five themes at the dialogue.

Singh said, “During the past seven years, over USD 70 billion investment has been made in renewable energy in India. India has a liberal foreign investment policy for renewables allowing 100 per cent FDI through the automatic route in sector.”

He added that ensuring ‘ease of doing business’ is the government’s utmost priority. “Our continuous focus is on maintaining sanctity of contracts and safeguarding investments.”

The minister also talked about the establishment of dedicated project development cells (PDC) and foreign direct investment (FDI) cells in all ministries for handholding and facilitating domestic and foreign investors.

Adequate measures and safeguards have also been undertaken to address the concerns of businesses and investors arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic, Singh added.

He launched a booklet on ‘The India Story’, a compilation of Indian initiatives that are shaping India’s energy transition.

The minister said ‘The India Story’ booklet captures the essence of some of the flagship initiatives that have accelerated energy transition.

“These will continue to power our ambitious renewable energy programmes, with the end goal of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, while always keeping the citizen at the center of this transition,” he added.

He also launched a website (www.energytransition.in), which will act as a repository of energy transition related knowledge resources from around the world.

Singh further said a Renewable Energy Investment Promotion and Facilitation Board (REIPFB) portal has also been developed to provide a one-stop assistance and facilitation to the industry and investors for development of projects and bringing new investment to the renewable energy sector in India.

He lauded the commitment shown by the Indian industry to India’s energy transition plans.

Several members from the industry have voluntarily declared RE goals and committed to the carbon disclosure project (CDP), renewable 100 per cent and science-based targets (SBTs).

Many of them are also preparing substantive energy compacts for the September Dialogue.

He was pleased to inform that JK Cement, UltraTech, Toyota and NTPC have already submitted their energy compacts.

While talking about the initiatives that will pave the way for future of energy transition in India, Singh said rules are being framed for ‘green tariff’ policy.

The policy will help electricity distribution companies (discoms) supply electricity generated from clean energy projects at a cheaper rate as compared to power from conventional fuel sources.

In addition to that, the government is promoting Green Hydrogen with obligations for Fertilisers and Refining industries (Green Hydrogen Purchase obligations).

The minister also mentioned about the recent initiatives in the renewable energy sector such as viability gap funding options for offshore wind energy, launching of green term ahead market and green day ahead market.

Rules for facilitating RE through open access and RE procurement through exchanges will also be notified to promote non-conventional resources of energy.

Singh said that in the past six years, India’s installed renewable energy capacity has increased by over two-and-a-half times and stands at more than 141 gigawatts (including large hydro), which is about 37 per cent of the country’s total capacity (as on June 16, 2021).

During the same period, the installed solar energy capacity has increased over 15 times and stands at 41.09 GW. India’s renewable energy capacity is the fourth largest in the world.

India’s annual renewable energy addition has been exceeding that of coal-based thermal power since 2017.

Source Link: https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/renewable-energy-sector-in-india-gets-70-bn-investment-in-7-years-121062500953_1.html

Reliance to Foray into Solar, Battery Storage, Green Hydrogen, and Fuel Cell Production

Reliance to Foray into Solar, Battery Storage, Green Hydrogen, and Fuel Cell Production

Reliance Industries (RIL) will invest ₹750 billion (~$10 billion) to build an integrated solar photovoltaic (PV) factory, advanced energy storage battery manufacturing unit, green hydrogen, and fuel cell facility in Gujarat’s Jamnagar. The plans were announced by the Chairman, Managing Director, and largest shareholder of RIL, Mukesh Ambani, during the 44th Annual General Meeting of the shareholders.

Ambani informed his shareholders that RIL has started developing the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex on 5,000 acres of land in Jamnagar. The project is slated to be amongst the largest such integrated renewable energy manufacturing facilities globally.

RIL has plans to build four factories of gigawatt-scale that will manufacture and fully integrate critical components of the ‘new energy’ ecosystem.

One of them would be an integrated solar PV module factory. The first integrated solar PV gigawatt factory will start with converting raw silica to polysilicon, which we will then convert to ingot and wafers. These wafers would be used to make high-efficiency solar cells and finally assembled into high-efficiency solar modules.

The second set-up is meant for housing an advanced energy storage battery factory. RIL is exploring new and advanced electrochemical technologies that can be used for such large-scale grid batteries to store energy. The company plans to collaborate with global leaders in battery technology to achieve the highest reliability for round-the-clock power availability through a combination of generation, storage, and grid connectivity.

The third unit – an electrolyzer factory – would be used to produce green hydrogen. According to the company, green hydrogen is a unique energy vector that can enable deep decarbonization of many sectors such as transportation, industry, and power. One of the most common methods of generating green hydrogen is by electrolysis of pure water through electrolyzers. RIL will set up an electrolyzer gigawatt factory to manufacture modular electrolyzers of the highest efficiency and lowest capital cost. These can be used for captive production of green hydrogen for domestic use and global sale.

The fourth facility – a fuel cell factory – would convert hydrogen into motive and stationary power. “In the new era, fuel cells will progressively replace internal combustion engines. Fuel cell engines can power automobiles, trucks, and buses. They can also be used in stationary applications for powering data centers, telecom towers, emergency generators, and microgrids and industrial equipment,” Ambani said.

RIL would invest the amounts in these initiatives over the next three years to realize an end-to-end renewable energy ecosystem.

The Jamnagar complex will provide infrastructure and utilities to manufacture ancillary material and equipment needed to support these gigawatt factories to ensure all critical materials are available in time. RIL will also lend support to independent manufacturers with the right capabilities to be part of the ecosystem.

“RIL would invest an additional ₹150 billion (~$2.02 billion) in the renewables value chain, partnerships, and future technologies, including upstream and downstream industries. “Our overall initial investment from our internal resources in the new energy business will be ₹750 billion (~$10.11 billion) in three years,” Ambani added.

RIL also has plans to build two additional divisions.

The ‘Renewable Energy Project Management and Construction Division’ will provide gigawatt-scale end-to-end solutions for large renewable plants across the world. It will enable and partner with thousands of green micro, small and medium enterprise entrepreneurs, who can deploy kilowatt to megawatt-scale solutions in agriculture, industry, residences, and transportation.

The Renewable Energy Project Finance Division will provide financial solutions to the stakeholders providing a platform to source long-term global capital for green investments at attractive terms.

Ambani said, “We will seek support from our relationship banks and global green funds for this purpose. Simultaneously, we will also facilitate a platform to provide financing for the entire ecosystem of small businesses and entrepreneurs who invest alongside us.”

In 2017, the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) provided a loan to the tune of ₹3 billion (~$45.7 million) to Reliance Money, a brand by Reliance Commercial Finance Limited, a subsidiary of Reliance Capital Limited, for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. To date, Reliance Commercial Finance Limited has financed or co-financed renewable energy projects of more than 1,800 MW, including both wind and solar energy projects, according to the company.

The previous renewable energy investment of RIL was the acquisition of Kanoda Energy Systems a company with a presence in the fields of solar advisory, product design, and technology validation, engineering, procurement & construction, and operation & maintenance (O&M) of solar projects.

With the announcement of the production-linked incentive program of the government, large conglomerates and joining the renewable energy manufacturing drive.

Source Link: https://mercomindia.com/reliance-foray-into-solar-battery/