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Renewable Energy Newsletter
 
Date: September, 2013
 

Dear Reader,

In this eighth edition of the Renewable Energy (RE) newsletter, RE team brings you detailed research on the environmental impact of renewable energy. Two reports have been published in the last quarter detailing the issues around the growing adverse impact of renewable energy projects on the environment. Our report Green Norms for Small Hydro Power provides detailed analysis of hydropower projects in Uttarakhand and Karnataka and the report Green Norms for wind power provides detailed analysis of wind power projects in India.

Conferences on Renewable Energy

Green Norms for Small hydro power

Small hydro power plants (with capacity less than 25 megawatt) have grown at a rapid pace across India. In the last seven years, one plant has been sanctioned every week. They are promoted as ‘green energy’. But without proper environmental regulations, they cause major ecological impacts.

CSE organized a conference in Dehradun to discuss the environmental impacts of these projects, specifically in Uttarakhand, and how to combat them without hindering the growth of the sector. The notion is to utilize the hydro power potential in an ecologically sustainable manner. There should be guidelines and norms put in place so that there is much needed balance between environment and development.

Green Norms for Wind Power

India is the only country in the world with sizeable wind power installations but very little green norms to manage its environmental fallouts. Ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) data since 1980 reveals that 3,932 hectares have been diverted for wind power, without any Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies. The pace of forest land diversion for wind projects has increased manifold during the last seven years.

CSE organized a public meeting in Pune to release and discuss its report “Green Norms for Wind Power”. It was attended by stakeholders including civil society groups, wind power experts, industry and government officials. The conference focused on making the wind power development in the country sustainable and free of any negative impacts.

Workshops on Renewable Energy

Scaling up renewable energy based micro/ mini grids for rural electrification in India

In the last few years, mini-grids have largely been developed by independent developers, non-governmental organizations and social businesses using external funds, and notable projects by state governments. CSE organized a workshop (Workshop on Scaling up Renewable Energy based mini-grids for Rural Electrification) in collaboration with Chhattisgarh Renewable Energy Development Agency (CREDA), to identify the business model/ policy framework that would help in rightly incentivizing this sector.

The workshop included a field visit to few notable remote villages in the Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary which engaged the participants into understand the operation model employed by CREDA. The consultation insisted on the view that urgency is required from the government in order to scale up the setting up of mini-grid projects in the country. The participants unanimously agreed that correct financial incentives coupled with good transmission infrastructure at the tail end of the grid are the need of the hour.

Environmental Impact Assessment Training for Wind Power Projects, Pune

The objective of this programme is to enable stakeholders to understand the likely impacts of the project and allows them to make sound decisions during various stages of project development. CSE’s two day training programme held in Pune on 29 – 30, August, 2013, addressed the need for an EIA for wind power projects covering the environmental and social impacts associated with the sector. The workshop also briefed the participants on applicable policy, guidelines, and legal provisions for the wind power sector in India. It detailed stakeholders on how to prepare a Environmental Management Plan for wind power projects.

 
Upcoming meetings
September 16 - 18,
Bengaluru
Swati Singh Sambyal
(swati@cseindia.org)
- EIA Workshop on Wind Power
     
September 24,
Gandhinagar
Aruna Kumarankandath
(k_aruna@cseindia.org)
- Future of solar energy in India
     
 
Renewable Energy
 
Cover Story

Germany in transition
Sep 15, 2013
Germany has one-third of all the solar PV installed in the world. For the past 10 years it has been a net exporter of electricity. This is true even after eight nuclear power plants were shut down in 2011. Its share in electricity has jumped from 7 per cent in the year 2000 to the current 23 per cent—among the highest in the world. However, the country also faces challenges around this tremendous growth. Although Germany has been producing more energy than it requires, electricity price in the country has been increasing every year. But clearly Germany has overcome its major hurdles and is making giant steps towards clean energy future. The story analyses the above aspects in detail.

 
 
Reporter’s Desk

Solar Energy not war
Jun 15, 2013
It describes the trade wars between countries in the solar sector. The big issue underlying these “wars” is the role of solar energy—a new source of power to lead the world to a low-carbon future and thus, away from the looming climate crisis. The Indian government must continue with its policy to mandate domestic content in solar installations.

Crores to gamble
Jun 30, 2013
It describes how the national fund for research in clean energy being ill-utilised. Analysts say India can learn from funding models operating in other countries.

SC stays quashing of Gujarat’s green cess act
Jul 4, 2013
The Supreme Court on July 3 stayed the Gujarat High Court judgement on quashing the Green Cess Act of the Gujarat government. The apex court admitted the state government's plea to levy green cess on every unit of electricity generated though conventional sources in the state.

Feed-in-tariff in solar power in Gujarat could reduce soon
Jul 11, 2013
The Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL), the off-taker of power in the state, filed a petition in the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) asking the regulator to intervene and facilitate the re-negotiation of tariffs for the already-installed projects.

EU, China settle row over solar panel dumping
Jul 29, 2013
The European Union (EU) and China have settled the row over dumping of Chinese solar panels in the EU. They have agreed on a floor price for imported Chinese solar panels. The move has upset the European solar panel manufacturing industry. While the floor price has not been disclosed, media reports suggest that it is €0.56 a watt.

Budgeting power
Jul 31, 2013
Neechli Babhan, a small village in Rajasthan’s Pali district, has a smart meter installed in 80 of its 150 houses. The smart meter forces people to use electricity diligently.

Karnataka receives lowest solar bid till date
Sep 2, 2013
The state received the lowest bid so far in the solar segment ever in India. Sun Pharma made the successful bidding by quoting an all time low of Rs 5.51 per unit of solar-based electricity, which is the rate at which it will supply to the state power utility.

 
Thank you for taking your time for reading our newsletter
 

Renewable Energy Unit
Cent
re for Science & Environment
New Delhi
 

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