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legislation would ensure that India gets 20 percent of its
electricity from renewable sources with ten years. It would
also set the country’s first mandatory energy efficiency
standards for vehicles, appliances and buildings.
minister Jairam Ramesh
says efforts like these show that India is doing its part
on climate change.
announcing the new energy policies, Ramesh has become a
target of criticism at home, with many legislators accusing
him of selling India out to the West. But the promises actually
come with a big caveat: India wants developed countries
to help fund the transition to a lower-carbon economy. And
that could be a big sticking point, especially since India
continues to refuse the binding emissions caps that some
in the West are demanding.
without funding aid, India’s homegrown green energy
industry may continue to spin its wheels. Government scientists
have been researching clean technologies in a sprawling
solar development facility outside Delhi for more than 30
years. India created a ministry devoted to renewable energy
back in the 1970s, but in all that time, researchers haven’t
made any major breakthroughs.
researchers have helped improve solar heaters and lanterns
for use in rural areas. Wind power is also taking root in
some parts of the country. But while other countries, from
Germany to Japan, have made big strides in clean energy,
India has little to show for its efforts. And it still depends
on highly-polluting coal for more than half of its electricity.
many in India believe that the country is already on a less
polluting path than industrial nations took.
energy consumption is increasing at a much lower rate than
our growth, which is a very good sign," said Chandra
Bhushan, a climate researcher with the Center
for Science and the Environment in Delhi.
that, Bhushan partly credits the Indian government, which
charges industry some of the highest energy rates in the
world in an effort to conserve resources.
says Indian companies must also report their energy use.
"India was probably the first country in the world
to demand energy data disclosure in the financial reports.
Every company in this country has to say what they’ve
done for conservation of energy."
agrees that there’s plenty of room for improvement,
though. Roughly a third of India’s electricity is
lost to theft and leakage. And while India’s per capita
carbon emissions are among the lowest of the major world
economies, that’s because more than half the population
has no access to electricity at all.
inevitable that will change. India is now promising that
many of those hundreds of millions will get their power
from renewable sources. Much of the rest of the world is
hoping the country makes good on that promise.
from # http://www.pri.org/science/environment/india-green-energy-promises1770.html