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India needs over $200 bn of investment in renewable infrastructure

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Bonn, Nov 21 : India is on track to catalyse $200-300 billion of new investment in its renewable energy infrastructure in the next decade with global capital inflows playing an increasingly crucial role, a top financial analyst with a leading US-based institute foresees.

India’s decarbonisation policy is in line with global trends which, since 2011, have been seeing investments in renewable energy infrastructure running at two-three times of that for new fossil fuel capacities, Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies Australasia with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA),
said.

At present, India relies on thermal power generation for 80 per cent of its electricity, while hydro supplies a significant 10 per cent and renewables just seven per cent.

However, India has set an ambitious but achievable national target of 275 GW of renewable capacity installed by 2027.

Changes to tap renewable resources are on the way.

Indeed, the tipping point may have been 2016-17, when the net thermal capacity plummeted and renewable installs more than doubled, Buckley said in his report “Indian electricity sector transformation” made public on Tuesday.

These developments continued into 2017 with costs of both falling by an unprecedented 50 per cent and recent tenders now pricing renewables at 20 per cent below the average price on existing Indian thermal power generation.

The report examines the rapid transformation in India’s electricity market, showing how renewable energy and energy efficiency measures can help the country minimise the growth of coal-fired electric generation.

Electricity demand in India is expected to double over the coming decade, and how this electricity will be generated is important for both India and the world.

“We present an electricity sector model out to 2027 showing how India can meet almost all of its growing electricity needs via increasingly cost-competitive renewable energy resources and numerous energy efficiency measures, while at the same time keeping its coal use in check, at perhaps no more than five-10 per cent above current levels,”
Buckley told IANS in an email response.

India is the world’s second-largest producer, consumer and importer of thermal coal. It’s also the third largest electricity user in the world after China and the US.

Toeing the path of developing renewable energy infrastructure, prices of both wind and solar power have recently fallen significantly in India with record low prices seen this year.

As a result, for the first time in India, addition of new renewable generation topped that of thermal power in 2016-17.

During this period, net thermal power addition fell to just 7.7 gigawatts, well below the roughly 20 GW added annually in the prior four years, while renewable additions jumped to 15.7 GW, the report said.

India’s draft national electricity plan calls for renewable energy installs to average 21-22 GW annually going forward.

Given the rapidly improving economics of renewable, solar’s cost is down 50 per cent in just two years, for example hovering at about $0.038 per kilowatt-hour, making this an achievable target.

Some in India have been concerned about rising module prices in the near term, but IEEFA pointed to the record low $0.018 and $0.021/kWh tariffs awarded in Mexico and Chile respectively this past week.

Clearly India can look forward to further renewable energy tariff reductions medium term, the report said.

While renewables are expected to surge, IEEFA forecasts that net thermal power capacity additions are likely to remain below five GW annually in the next decade, held in check by increased retirements of highly polluting, end-of-life sub-critical coal-fired power plants.

“We expect retirements to average more than 2.5 GW annually, but with coal-fired power plant utilisation rates averaging just 56.7 per cent in 2016-17 and little prospect of this improving over the coming decade, retirements could well accelerate to four-five GW annually,” said Buckley.

These retirements are likely to be pushed forward by the reality that solar and wind already are being deployed at tariffs below those of even existing domestic thermal power generation.

India’s target to all but cease thermal coal imports by the end of this decade is now the logical economic outcome, especially since plants using expensive imported coal are increasingly the high-cost dispatch option.

As the second largest importer of thermal coal globally, this is a materially adverse development for nations exporting thermal coal.

“The challenges to integrating India’s 40 per cent renewable energy target by 2030 are real, but the momentum over the past three years, gained through government policy and economic merit, give us confidence India will stay the course,” the report said.

India is ranked 14th in the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2018 out of 56 nations and the European Union by environmental organisation Germanwatch, an improvement from its 20th position last year, for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by opting to transform its electricity sector towards green technology.

China, with its high emissions and growing energy use over the past five years, still ranks 41st, says the Germanwatch’s report released last week.

At the just-concluded UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, a coalition led by Canada and Britain jointly launched the Powering Past Coal Alliance with more than 20 partners, and even a US state, to move away from coal, a major source of air pollution.

A climate expert told IANS that this is a first-of-its-kind attempt to phase out the traditional coal power on such a massive scale after the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement that aims to keep global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius by cutting greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.

(Vishal Gulati was in Bonn at the invitation of Global Editors Network
to cover the COP23. He can be contacted at [email protected])

By Vishal Gulati

IANS

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Delhi Riots: Jamia student released on parole to sit for exams

The court said that clearing the exams is necessary for Tanha to pursue M.A. in Persian, and that leniency must be shown to the accused by allowing him to appear for the said exams.

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Asif Iqbal Tanha

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Friday released Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha — who was arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to organise riots in North-East Delhi in February this year — on three-day custody parole to appear for his compartmental examination in December.

Tanha, who is pursuing his B.A. (Hons) in Persian, had moved the court seeking interim bail from November 30 to December 7 to prepare for three backlog exams scheduled to be held on December 4, 5 and 7.

“The court deems it fit to allow the accused on custody parole for appearing in the said examinations. Accordingly, custody parole is granted to accused Asif Iqbal Tanha on December 4, 5 and 7,” Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat ordered.

The court said that clearing the exams is necessary for Tanha to pursue M.A. in Persian, and that leniency must be shown to the accused by allowing him to appear for the said exams.

After advocate Sowjhanya Shankaran, representing Tanha, submitted that her client didn’t not have the required reading material to prepare for the exams, the judge directed the Tihar Jail superintendent to provide necessary assistance, provided it is within the permissibility of the jail rules.

Tanha was arrested on May 19 in connection with the case and has been in the custody since then. On October 21, he was granted one-day interim bail for taking the entrance examination for M.A Persian at the Jamia Milia Islamia University.

In September, his named figured in the chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police in connection with the riots that broke out in North-East Delhi in February after clashes between pro and anti-Citizenship Amendment Act supporters spiralled out of control, leaving 53 people dead and 748 injured.

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India enters recession: GDP drops by 7.5% in July-September quarter

The National Statistical Office (NSO) data on Friday showed that the Q2FY21 GDP on a year-on-year basis contracted by (-) 7.5 per cent from (-) 23.9 per cent in the preceding quarter.

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National debt under Modi govt surges

New Delhi: Even though India’s economic recovery accelerated in Q2FY21 from the lows of the pandemic-induced lockdown, the country for the very first time since Independence entered into a technical recession.

The National Statistical Office (NSO) data on Friday showed that the Q2FY21 GDP on a year-on-year basis contracted by (-) 7.5 per cent from (-) 23.9 per cent in the preceding quarter.

Though not comparable, the GDP had grown by 4.4 per cent in the corresponding quarter of FY2019-20.

In financial parlance, an economy is said to have entered a technical recession after it consistently remains in the negative output territory for two subsequent quarters.

This trend underscores the reduction in purchasing power along with lower tax collection for the government, likely defaults on debt and falling Capex spends.

According to the NSO, the GDP at ‘Constant (2011-12) Prices’ in Q2FY21 is estimated at Rs 33.14 lakh crore as against Rs 35.84 lakh crore in Q2FY20, showing a contraction of 7.5 per cent as compared to 4.4 per cent growth in Q2FY21.

“Quarterly ‘GVA at Basic Prices at Constant (2011-12) Prices’ for Q2 of 2020-21 is estimated at Rs 30.49 lakh crore, as against Rs 32.78 lakh crore in Q2 of 2019-20, showing a contraction of 7 per cent,” the NSO said in the estimates of Q2FY21 GDP.

“With a view to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, restrictions were imposed on the economic activities not deemed essential during Q1. Though the restrictions have been gradually lifted, there has been an impact on the economic activities,” it added.

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Black Friday Deals: Realme to bring offers on Realme X3 Superzoom, X50 Pro, Buds Air Neo and more

The Black Friday sale will take place on Realme’s online store, Flipkart and Amazon.

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Realme X2 Pro

Over the last few years, online and offline retailers have been offering their Black Friday deals for almost an entire week ahead of Thanksgiving, and some of these deals and offers last well after the Cyber Monday sale.

Black Friday Sale is here!!

After Xiaomi, handset maker Realme on Thursday announced a Black Friday Sale that would arrive with several offers and discounts on a range of its products. The Black Friday Sale would be live for 24 hours and would start November 27, 12:00 AM. The sale would see massive discounts on a range of Realme smartphones including Realme 6i, Realme 6, Realme X3 Superzoom and X50 Pro, and various AIoT products such as Realme Buds Classic, Realme Smart Watch, Realme Buds Air Neo and Realme Smart Cam 360°.

“Realme would also be hosting the ‘Realme Days’ sale offering similar discounts on its own website Realme.com, Flipkart and Amazon.in,” the company said in a statement.

The Black Friday sale will take place on Realme’s online store, Flipkart and Amazon. In addition to the discounts, SBI credit cardholders can avail of 5% cashback on EMI transactions.

  • Realme is offering discounts from Rs 1,000 up to Rs 7,000 for its Black Friday sale. Realme X50 Pro has received the biggest discount of Rs 7,000 bringing its price down to Rs 34,999 from Rs 41,999. Realme X50 Pro with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage also gets a discount making its offer price Rs 40,999.
  • Realme X3 SuperZoom will be available with a Rs 4,000 discount on all three variants. Realme X3 has also received a Rs 3,000 discount on both its variants. Realme C3, Realme 6, Realme 6i, and Narzo 20 Pro can be purchased with a discount of Rs 1,000.
  • In the AIoT portfolio, Realme Buds Air Neo would be available at a discounted price of Rs 1999, along with the Realme Buds Wireless Pro for Rs 3199 and Realme Buds Air Pro at a special price of Rs 4299. These offers would be applicable on all purchases made through Realme’s official website Realme.com.
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