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Energy- policy news

Gives the updates on latest news in the energy policy sector.

India’s first biofuel powered flight undertakes maiden voyage

A historic flight powered by indigenously produced aviation biofuel based on patented technology of CSIR-IIP Dehradun made its maiden voyage from Dehradun airport to Delhi.

Spicejet - as the lead organization for the demonstration flight - and Chhattisgarh Biofuel Development Authority- the supplier of the jatropha oil for the flight, sourced from over 500 farmers, received considerable policy and regulatory support from the MOPNG Working Group on Biofuels and the Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) in making this flight happen.

With this maiden flight India joins the exclusive club of nations using biofuel in aviation.The use of bio jet fuel, apart from reducing greenhouse gas emissions by about 15 percent and sulfur oxides (SOx) emissions by over 99 percent, is expected to provide indigenous jet fuel supply security, possible cost savings as feedstock availability at farm level scales up, superior engine performance and reduced maintenance cost for the airline operators.

Source : PIB

Government declares national targets for off-shore wind power

The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy recently invited Expressions of Interest (EoI) for the first 1 GW offshore wind project in India, which has evoked keen response from the industry both global and Indian. Now to give confidence to the wind industry, the Ministry has declared medium and long term target for off-shore wind power capacity additions, which are 5 GW by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030. While this may look moderate in comparison to India’s on-shore wind target of 60 GW and its achievement of 34 GW and solar target of 100 GW by 2022, this would still be challenging considering the difficulties in installing large wind power turbines in open seas. It may be mentioned that offshore wind turbines are of much larger dimensions and capacities than onshore turbines.

Offshore wind power would add a new element to the already existing basket of renewable energy for the country.

The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy had notified National Off-Shore Wind Policy in October 2015 to realize the offshore wind power potential in the country. Preliminary studies have indicated good wind potential for off-shore wind power both in southern tip of Indian peninsula and west coast. Two regions where preliminary studies are conducted are off coast of Gujarat and that of Tamil Nadu. For precise wind quality measurements one LiDAR has been installed near Gujarat coast which is generating data about quality of off-shore wind since November, 2017. Encouraged by quality of off-shore wind, a private sector player has also installed LiDAR in Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat for offshore wind resource measurements. Plans are afoot to install more of such equipment in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. Surveys to understand the oceanographic and sea bed condition within identified zones off the coast of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have been planned. Globally there has been installation of about 17 to 18 GW of off-shore wind power led by countries such as UK, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands & China. Recent years have witnessed fall in off-shore wind tariff in some of these markets.

Source : PIB

Cabinet approves National Policy on Biofuels 2018

The Union Cabinet has approved National Policy on Biofuels – 2018.

Salient Features

  • The Policy categorises biofuels as "Basic Biofuels" viz. First Generation (1G) bioethanol & biodiesel and "Advanced Biofuels" - Second Generation (2G) ethanol, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to drop-in fuels, Third Generation (3G) biofuels, bio-CNG etc. to enable extension of appropriate financial and fiscal incentives under each category.
  • The Policy expands the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing use of Sugarcane Juice, Sugar containing materials like Sugar Beet, Sweet Sorghum, Starch containing materials like Corn, Cassava, Damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice, Rotten Potatoes, unfit for human consumption for ethanol production.
  • Farmers are at a risk of not getting appropriate price for their produce during the surplus production phase. Taking this into account, the Policy allows use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with petrol with the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee.
  • With a thrust on Advanced Biofuels, the Policy indicates a viability gap funding scheme for 2G ethanol Bio refineries of Rs.5000 crore in 6 years in addition to additional tax incentives, higher purchase price as compared to 1G biofuels.
  • The Policy encourages setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds, Used Cooking Oil, short gestation crops.
  • Roles and responsibilities of all the concerned Ministries/Departments with respect to biofuels has been captured in the Policy document to synergise efforts.

Source : PIB

Diu becomes first UT to run 100% on solar power

The harnessing of solar energy has made Diu the country’s first energy surplus Union territory and a model for an effective way for people to harness this renewable energy source. In just three years, Diu has made rapid progress in solar power generation. The Union territory has an area of just 42 square kilometres. Despite scarcity of land, solar power plants have been installed over more than 50 acres.

Diu generates a total of 13 megawatts of electricity from solar power generating facilities daily. Around 3 MW is generated by rooftop solar plants and 10 MW by its other solar power plants. Three years ago, the people of Diu consumed electricity supplied from the power grid owned by the Gujarat government, resulting in huge line losses. Once the local power company started generating electricity from solar energy, the electricity loss was significantly reduced.

Source : Economic Times

Indian Railways to Provide 100% LED Lighting on All Its Stations by the End of Current Financial Year

Ministry of Railways is actively working to provide 100% LED lighting for its most of the Non-traction Energy needs like Railway Staff Colonies, Railway Stations, Railway Platforms etc. Under this 100% LED initiative, Ministry of Railways has decided to make all railway stations 100% LED lit by the end of current financial year i.e. by 31st March, 2018. It is a huge initiative to provide energy efficient lighting which will eventually greatly help in conservation of environment as well.

With these initiatives in combination with several others in 2016-’17, 5.5% reduction was achieved in non-traction energy consumption in the year 2016-17 i.e. 4.1% reduction in energy consumption despite increase in load by 1.4% thus giving a savings of Rs 100 Cr. In the current year (6 months period i.e. April- September 2017) 7% reduction in non-traction energy consumption had already been achieved giving savings of Rs 62 Cr. This in-fact was a quantum jump against the earlier average of 2% and transformed Energy Saving Pattern for railways.

Source : PIB

Guidelines issued for procurement of wind power through tariff based competitive bidding process

Government has issued Guidelines under Section 63 of the Electricity Act, 2003 providing a framework for procurement of wind power through a transparent process of bidding including standardisation of the process and defining of roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders. These Guidelines aim to enable the Distribution Licensees to procure wind power at competitive rates in a cost effective manner.

The Guidelines are applicable for procurement of wind power from grid-connected Wind Power Projects (‘WPP’) having

  1. individual size of 5 MW and above at one site with minimum bid capacity of 25 MW for intra-state projects; and
  2. individual size of 50 MW and above at one site with minimum bid capacity of 50 MW for inter-state projects.

Key components the Guidelines include that for compensation for grid unavailability and backing-down, robust payment security mechanism, standardisation of bidding process, risk-sharing framework between various stakeholders through provisions like change in law, force majeure, measures in case of default of procurer as also by generator, etc.

In view of very competitive tariffs of Rs. 2.64 per unit discovered through SECI’s second bid, the availability of these guidelines for states, the wind power sector is poised for a strong growth path towards achievement of 60 GW by 2022.

These Guidelines are available at following link - http://powermin.nic.in/sites/default/files/webform/notices/Resolution_on_wind_Bidding_Guidelines_dated_8th_Decemeber_2017_Eng.pdf

Source : PIB

Daily price revision of Petrol and Diesel from June 16, 2017

Petrol and diesel prices are to be revised daily from June 16, 2017. The price change will take place at 6 a.m every day. Under the new daily revision system, even the smallest change in international oil prices can be passed down to consumers.

Till now, Three PSU oil marketing companies revised the rates on the 1st and 16th of every month based on average international crude oil prices and foreign exchange rates. Daily price revision follows a successful experiment in five cities - Chandigarh, Jamshedpur, Puducherry, Udaipur and Vizag - where daily price change started from May 1.

Users can know the daily price by visiting the link https://www.iocl.com/TotalProductList.aspx or through the mobile app Fuel@IOC - IndianOil (available for Android and iOS users).

Source : NDTV

BS-IV grade transportation fuels launched across the country

The increasing consumption of oil is directly linked to atmospheric pollution, and the health impact of the deteriorating ambient air quality linked to combustion of fuels is of serious concern in urban areas worldwide.

The Government of India has taken several policy measures and significant interventions to reduce vehicular emissions and improve fuel efficiency.  India has followed the regulatory pathway for fuel quality and vehicle emissions standards termed as Bharat Stage (BS). The transition has been in phases, considering the time and money that is required at the refinery end and in terms of vehicle production.

  • India’s fuel quality standards have been gradually tightened since the mid-1990s. The fuel upgradation programme took off with notification of vehicular emission norms for new vehicles in 1991.
  • The emission norms were revised in 1996. Low-lead gasoline was introduced in 1994 in the four metros, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
  • On Feb 1, 2000, unleaded gasoline was mandated nationwide.
  • BS 2000 (Euro I equivalent, Bharat Stage I) vehicle emission norms were introduced for new vehicles from April 2000.
  • Bharat Stage II (Euro II equivalent) emission norms for new cars were introduced in Delhi from the year 2000 and extended to the other three metro cities in the year 2001.
  • The emission norms for CNG and LPG vehicles were notified in the year 2000 and 2001, respectively. BS-III was implemented in phases during 2005-2010.
  • The current BS-IV fuel with 50 ppm (parts per million) sulphur was introduced in the year 2010 and it was to cover the entire country by 1-4-2017.
  • In 2016, the Govt. of India decided to meet international best practices by leapfrogging directly from BS-IV to BS-VI norms by skipping BS-V altogether by 1st April, 2020.

Migration to BS-IV fuels shows India’s resolve to cut down emissions.

Source: PIB

Record Capacity Addition of Wind Power of 5400MW in Last Fiscal

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has set another record in the wind power capacity addition by adding over 5400 MW in 2016-17 against the target of 4000 MW. This year’s achievement surpassed the previous higher capacity addition of 3.423 MW achieved in the previous year.

The leading States in the wind power capacity addition during 2016-17 are Andhra Pradesh 2190 MW, followed by Gujarat 1275 MW and Karnataka 882 MW. In addition Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra ,Telangana and Kerala have reported 357 MW, 288 MW, 262 MW, 118 MW , 23 MW and 8 MW wind power capacity addition respectively during 2016-17. These figures are tentative.

During 2016-17 MNRE has taken various policy initiatives in the wind energy sector that includes Introduction of Bidding in Wind Energy Sector, Re -powering Policy, Draft Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy, New Guidelines for Development of Wind Power Projects, etc.

Source: PIB

Solar Energy Scheme for Small Powerloom Units

Government has approved a new scheme to provide financial assistance/capital subsidy to small powerloom units, for installation of Solar Photo Voltaic (SPV) plant, in order to alleviate the problem of power cut/ shortage faced by decentralized powerloom units in the country.

Under the Solar Energy Scheme, the plants have two options:

  • On-Grid Solar Power Plant where power cut/shortage is negligible and power tariff is high
  • Off-Grid Solar Power Plant in areas where there is power shortage & on-grid power is not continuously available.

Financial assistance/capital subsidy to be given under the scheme is as follows:

Sl. no

Capacity in terms of Kilo Watt Pick (KWP)

Estimated cost of Equipment and component

Maximum subsidy

( in rupees)

For On-Grid Solar Power Plant

For Off-Grid Solar Power Plant

For On-Grid Solar Power Plant

For Off-Grid Solar Power Plant

1

4 KWP (Typically suitable for 04 looms)

General @ 50%

4,50,000/-

 

5,50,000/-

 

2,25,000/-

 

2,75,000/-

 

SC @ 75%

3,37,500/-

4,12,500/-

ST @ 90%

4,05,000/-

4,95,000/-

2

6 KWP (Typically suitable for 06 looms)

General @ 50%

6,00,000/-

7,50,000/-

3,00,000/-

3,75,000/-

SC @ 75%

4,50,000/-

5,62,500/-

ST @ 90%

5,40,000/-

6,75,000/-

3

8 KWP (Typically suitable for 08 looms)

General @ 50%

7,50,000/-

9,50,000/-

3,75,000/-

4,75,000/-

SC @ 75%

5,62,500/-

7,12,500/-

ST @ 90%

6,75,000/-

8,55,000/-

 

The Scheme came into force with effect from 01.04.2017.

Source: PIB

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