Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 22 June 2023
- A Bold Step to Sustainability: India’s Clean Energy Transition
- Gati Shakti Scheme: Accelerating Connectivity, Infrastructure Development and Private Investments
India’s decision to stop building new coal-fired power plants, aside from those that are already under construction, underlines its commitment to battling climate change and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. This action fits well with worldwide trends that call for phasing out coal, ensuring energy security, upgrading air quality, and decreasing pollution. India needs to switch to cleaner energy sources because of the country’s strong reliance on coal for electricity production.
GS Paper 3 – Environment and Ecology – Clean Energy
In light of India’s commitment to battling climate change and promoting renewable energy, discuss the relevance of its decision to halt the construction of new coal-fired power plants. What obstacles does India have to overcome in order to lessen its reliance on coal, and what steps should be made to address them? (150 words)
What level of commitment does India have to clean energy?
India wants to achieve a goal of 500 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2030 and achieve net zero carbon neutrality by 2070 by moving away from coal and embracing renewable energy.
- Demonstrates India’s commitment to battling climate change and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
- Backs international initiatives to phase out coal and advance cleaner energy alternatives.
- Promotes the growth of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.
- Enhances public health and air quality by lowering pollutants from coal combustion.
- Improves energy security and lessens India’s reliance on coal imports.
- Complies with India’s aims for renewable energy and the objective of net carbon neutrality.
Challenges in reducing reliance on coal
- Power distribution companies’ (DISCOMs) financial difficulties have an impact on the viability of renewable energy projects.
- Inadequate storage and grid infrastructure for integrating varying renewable energy sources.
- There are few domestic finance options available for renewable energy projects.
- A lack of knowledge and comprehension about the advantages of renewable energy among investors, small enterprises, households, and rural areas.
- DISCOM reforms to improve operational effectiveness, revenue collection, and prompt generator payments are the way forward.
- Investing in transmission and distribution networks, installing battery storage and pumped hydro storage technologies, and strengthening grid infrastructure and storage capacity.
- Developing financial intermediaries and instruments like green bonds and green banks to raise domestic finance for renewable energy projects.
- Expanding the transmission of information, the development of capacity, and technical support to encourage the use of renewable energy options.
- Promoting consumer involvement and education about the benefits of renewable energy.
India’s decision to stop building new coal-fired power plants is an important step in the fight against global warming, lowering pollution, and switching to cleaner energy sources. India can accomplish its renewable energy targets, boost energy efficiency, and support global sustainability goals while assuring a cleaner and more sustainable future by embracing renewable energy and making the required reforms and investments.
The ambitious Gati Shakti programme, also known as the National Master Plan for multimodal connectivity, has been introduced by the Indian government.This extensive programme intends to hasten infrastructure growth, lower logistical expenses, and draw in private capital investments.
The industry and CII have asked for access to the PM Gati Shakti platform.
GS Paper 3: Infrastructure – Investment
How does the Gati Shakti initiative intend to solve the difficulties India faces in developing its infrastructure, including fragmented planning, a lack of standards, and delays in project implementation? (150 words)
With regards to the Gati Shakti Scheme:
- Purpose: The Gati Shakti initiative intends to guarantee integrated planning and implementation of infrastructure projects over the following four years, with a focus on accelerating work, cutting costs, and creating employment opportunities.
- National Infrastructure Pipeline Integration: To maintain continuity and thorough planning, the plan combines the National Infrastructure Pipeline, a project with a budget of Rs 110 lakh crore that was started in 2019.
- Goals: The plan aims to lower the cost of logistics, increase cargo handling capacity, speed up turnaround times at ports, build industrial and defence corridors, provide 4G connectivity to all communities, and increase the network of gas pipelines.
- Integrated Approach: To solve concerns with planning, standardisation, clearances, and the timely creation and utilisation of infrastructure capacities, the programme brings together 16 infrastructure-related ministries.
- Gati Shakti Digital Platform: As part of the plan, a digital platform will be created to make it easier for different ministries and departments to plan and coordinate infrastructure projects in real time.
- Mapping of connection Projects: The plan aims to map current and proposed connection projects, giving clarity on regional and industrial hub links, especially for last mile connectivity.
- Holistic Transport Connectivity: The programme supports the “Make in India” agenda and strives to create a comprehensive and effective transport connectivity plan by combining all means of transportation.
- Enhanced Competitiveness: India’s export competitiveness will increase on the international market thanks to lower logistical costs, supporting trade and economic expansion.
- Economic Growth and Employment: The construction of high-quality infrastructure is anticipated to boost economic activity, promote sustainable development, and produce numerous job possibilities.
- The industry, represented by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), requests access to the PM Gati Shakti portal’s data, excluding sensitive information. This access would help logistics firms plan operations and enable new capital spending across allied sectors.
Challenges to Overcome:
- For the Gati Shakti scheme to be implemented successfully, it will be essential to solve challenges like diminishing credit offtake, a lack of private demand, and structural problems like delayed land acquisition processes and litigation.
- To achieve long-term success, the programme should be supported by a consistent and predictable institutional and regulatory framework.
The Gati Shakti scheme acts as a catalyst for connectivity investments from the private sector for infrastructure growth. The programme seeks to lower costs, improve competitiveness, and stimulate economic growth by encouraging integrated planning, enhancing logistics, and encouraging public-private cooperation. Giving the sector access to the non-sensitive data on the PM Gati Shakti portal will improve planning, bring in much-needed private capital investments, and enhance India’s infrastructure foundation.