Renewable Energy Current Affairs - 2020

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India plans to boost clean energy sector

The Government of India is planning to integrate largest lenders to the power sector in order to help clean energy firms clear their dues. It includes Rural Electrification Corporation (REC), Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA). The integration will help resolve growing crisis in the clean energy sector and also aid India achieve its ambitious targets in renewable energy.

Issue

The discoms are delaying their payments to the generators. This creates difficulties to the banking sector whose repayment is delayed. Eventually further loan processes get delayed. This creates a vicious cycle where the expansion of clean energy sector gets affected ultimately. The current issue hinders India from achieving an ambitious target of 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022.

Measures to increase Solar Energy

Recently GoI launched several steps to achieve the target of 100 GW of solar energy by December 2022. It includes waiver of Inter State Transmission System charges and losses for projects that are commissioned up to December 2022. The Union Government also permitted 100% FDI in the solar energy sector. Apart from these various schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan Yojana (PM-KUSUM) and Solar Roof Top programme were launched.

Measures to increase Wind Energy

In 2016, the Government issued Guidelines for Development of Onshore Wind Power Projects. It included site feasibility, online registry, real time monitoring, compliance of grid regulations and decommissioning plan. In 2017, the Guidelines for tariff based competitive bidding process for wind power projects were issued. Apart from these, the government is also promoting Generation Based Incentives for wind projects.

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5th India – Europe 29 Business Forum held in New Delhi

The 5th edition of India-Europe 29 Business Forum was recently held at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi from 20 to 21 November 2019. It was organized by industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Union Ministry of External Affairs. It saw participation of some 400 delegates from 29 European countries. The focus sectors for this edition of forum were Smart Cities, IT & ITES, Renewable Energy, Pharma and Artificial Intelligence (AI). India-Europe 29 Business Forum is India’s largest European Platform.

Background

Europe 29 region: It stretches from Switzerland in west to Turkey in the east and Norway in the north to Cyprus in the south. It comprises following countries:  Austria, Albania, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Moldova, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Malta, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Romania, Finland, Serbia, Greece, Cyprus, Montenegro, Iceland, Sweden, Latvia, Czech Republic Slovak Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Switzerland and Turkey.

China’s “16+1″ mechanism

China is making inroads into this Europe 29 region with increased investments and joint ventures. In 2012, it launched so called “16+1″ (i.e. China+16 European countries) mechanism to boost cooperation between the two. The stated aim of this mechanism is to enhance and expand investment, financial, scientific, transportation, educational and cultural cooperation between China and Central and East European (CEE) countries. China has prioritized three areas of economic cooperation: high-technology, green technology and infrastructure development under this mechanism. Most of the 16+1 countries are European Union (EU) members, but the grouping also includes five non-EU states. According to some critics, there are major misgivings in Europe over 16+1 format as in it seen in EU as an attempt by China to divide union by offering investments to less-developed members of EU in exchange for political influence.

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