India Energy Modeling Forum

  • Recently, in the joint working group meeting of the Sustainable Growth Pillar, an India Energy Modeling Forum(IEMF) was launched.


  • In March, 2019, the NITI Aayog and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) organized the first workshop on development of the IEMF.
  • It has been envisaged as a pan-stakeholder platform for debating ideas, scenario-planning & discussing the India's energy future.
  • Sustainable Growth Pillar is an important pillar of India–US Strategic Energy Partnership co-chaired by NITI Aayog and USAID.
  • The SG pillar entails energy data management, energy modelling and collaboration on low carbon technologies as three key activities.

About IEMF


  • Provide a platform to examine important energy and environmental related issues;
  • Inform decision-making process to the Indian government;
  • Improve cooperation between modelling teams, government, and knowledge partners, funders;
  • Facilitate exchange of ideas, ensure production of high-quality studies;
  • Identify knowledge gaps at different levels and across different areas;
  • Build capacity of Indian institutions.


  • The forum would include knowledge partners, data agencies and concerned government ministries.


  • NITI Aayog will initially coordinate the activities of the forum and finalizing its governing structure.


  • Energy modelling can play an important role in decision-making.
  • It particularly laid focus on bridging the rural-urban divide and factoring in energy pressures from the informal economy within models.

Energy Modelling Forum (EMF)

  • It was established at Stanford University (US) in 1976 to bring together leading experts and decisionmakers from government, industry, universities, and other research organizations to study important energy and environmental issues.
  • It seeks to improve the use of energy and environmental policy models for making important corporate and government decisions.

Guiding Goals: Three major goals guide this effort:

  • Harness the collective capabilities of multiple models to improve the understanding of important energy and associated environmental problems,
  • Explain the strengths and limitations of competing approaches to the problem, and
  • Provide guidance for future research efforts.

Energy Modeling

  • Energy modeling is a pre-construction, whole-building assessment of energy efficiency that uses computer programs for calculations.
  • A model of the entire building is created on a com That model is then run through computer simulations to show energy performance, usually for an entire year based on meteorological information.
  • Energy modeling accounts for all systems within a building and examines how they impact each other.
  • For instance, while a certain lighting system may be extremely bright, it may release excessive heat that the building’s cooling system must offset in the summer months.


  • Building Owners: Energy modeling helps them maximize investment before construction.
  • Building Occupants: Energy modeling helps keep tenants comfortable throughout the year, while also cutting down on their energy bill costs.
  • Engineers: Energy modeling allows engineers to see important data all in one place, without referring to dozens of enormous, unwieldy spreadsheets.
  • Manufacturers: Those who create construction materials love energy modeling because it allows them to showcase their products’ energy efficiency and long-term cost savings prior to construction.
  • Environment: Buildings hog a large portion of our energy expenditure. If every new building was optimized for energy efficiency with energy modeling, we could significantly cut our energy usage and carbon footprint.

Rewa Solar Project

  • Recently, the government inaugurated the 750 MW solar project in the Gurh tehsil of Rewa district , Madhya Pradesh.
  • It is Asia's largest solar power project.
  • The project has also received the World Bank Group President’s Award for innovation and excellence and was included in the book ‘A Book of Innovation: New Beginnings’.

About Rewa Solar Project

  • It comprises three solar generating units of 250 MW each located on a 500 hectare of land situated inside a solar park (total area 1500 hectare).
  • It was developed by the Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMSL), a Joint Venture Company of Madhya Pradesh UrjaVikas Nigam Limited (MPUVN), and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a Central Public Sector Undertaking.
  • This is the country’s first solar project to receive funding from World Bank under its Clean Technology Fund (CTF).


  • Grid Parity Barrier: It is the first solar project in the country to break the grid parity barrier.
  • Payment Risk Reduction: Its payment security mechanism for reducing risks to power developers has been recommended as a model to other states by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
  • Supplying Power to Institutional Customer: It is the first renewable energy project to supply an institutional customer outside the state, i.e. Delhi Metro, which will get 24% of energy from the project with the remaining 76% being supplied to the state DISCOMs of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Carbon Emission Reduction: In terms of environmental impact, the project would avoid 15 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.
  • Achieving 100 GW Solar Capacity: The project also exemplifies India’s commitment to attain the target of 175 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by the year 2022, including 100 GW of Solar installed capacity.


Indian Gas Exchange

  • On 15th June, 2020, the government has launched Indian Gas Exchange (IGX) –first nationwide online delivery-based gas trading platform.


  • Domestically produced natural gas currently accounts for less than half the country’s natural gas consumption; imported Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) accounts for the other half.
  • LNG imports are set to become a larger proportion of domestic gas consumption as India moves to increase the proportion of natural gas in the energy basket from 6.2% in 2018 to 15% by 2030.

About Indian Gas Exchange (IGX)

  • IGX will be a delivery-based trading platform for delivery of natural gas.
  • Incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) - India’s energy market platform, IGX will enable market participants to trade in standardised gas contracts.
  • The platform is fully automated with web-based interface to provide seamless trading experience to the customers.

Mode of Working

  • The IGX will offer six market products beginning from day-ahead market and forward contracts including - Daily, Weekly, Weekday, Fortnightly and Monthly at three physical hubs in Dahej, Hazira in Gujarat and Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh.
  • The gas exchanges are expected to work on the lines of power exchanges, which determines the price based on supply and demand and market forces.
  • The exchange also allows much shorter contracts – for delivery on the next day, and up to a month – while ordinarily contracts for natural gas supply are as long as six months to a year.
  • Imported Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) will be re-gassified and sold to buyers through the exchange, removing the requirement for buyers and sellers to find each other.


  • As the price of domestically produced natural gas is decided by the government, so, it will not be sold on the gas exchange.


  • Through IGX, India's vision on mega investments on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals, gas pipelines, CGD infrastructure and permission for market driven price mechanism will be materialized.


  • IGX will play an instrumental role in transforming India’s gas markets, positioning India as a sustainable economy and enhancing industry’s competitiveness.
  • The exchange will help bring down the price of natural gas through competitive trade, boosting usage in the country that relies heavily on cheaper coal for its energy needs.
  • IGX will drive industrial competitiveness, sustainability, spur investments in the gas value chain, deliver efficient utilisation of the pipeline infrastructure as well as ensure revival of gas-based power plants.
  • It will architect India as a market-based gas economy, whilst also leading to sustainable environmental benefits.
  • It would also help small consumers to get short-term supply of fuel at competitive rates.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

  • LNG is natural gas (predominantly methane, CH4, with some mixture of ethane, C2H6) that has been cooled down to liquid form for ease and safety of non-pressurized storage or transport.
  • To enable maritime transport, the natural gas is cooled down by means of a refrigerated cycle (compression, condensation, expansion, evaporation) that transforms the gas into a liquid form at -160°C: this is known as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
  • The combustion of natural gas primarily emits water vapour and small amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2).
  • This property means that associated CO2 emissions are 30 to 50% lower than those produced by other combustible fuels.
  • Russia has the world's largest supply of natural gas, followed by Iran and Qatar.
  • It is used as a feedstock in the manufacture of fertilizers, plastics and other commercially important organic chemicals as well as used as a fuel for electricity generation, heating purpose in industrial and commercial units.

Opposing Draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020

  • Recently several states like West Bengal, Punjab, Puducherry, Kerala, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have voiced their concerns against the proposed bill.

Why the Bill is being opposed?

  • According to the states, the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill undermines India’s federal structure and attempts to privatise distribution could be the next flashpoint between the government and the Opposition.
  • The amendments will take away the autonomy of state-owned discoms and state electricity regulators.
  • One of the sweeping changes proposed in the Bill is an end to subsidies. All consumers, including farmers, will face a crisis if the subsidy on electricity given to them for irrigation is not continued and thereby, it will affect the production of food grains.
  • The Seventh Schedule of the Constitution provides powers to both the Centre and states to make appropriate laws on matters related to electricity.
  • But the proposed amendments will “centralise power” and make “states weaker in the matters related to power sector.
  • The draft “divests” the States of their power to fix tariff and hands over the task to a Central government-appointed authority.
  • This is discriminatory, since the tariff can be tweaked according to the whims and fancies of the Central government.
  • Further, the proposed provision makes it compulsory for the State power companies to buy a minimum percentage of renewable energy fixed by the Centre. This would be detrimental to the cash- strapped power firms.

About Draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020

Following are major changes that this Amendment proposes to introduce in the Electricity Act, 2003:

Policy Amendments

  • Renewable Energy: It seeks to promote a legal and administrative eco-system which harbours special attention to renewable energy. It delegates the Central Government with the power to prepare and notify a National Renewable Energy Policy “for promotion of generation of electricity from renewable sources”, in consultation with State Governments. It must be noted that the Amendment seeks to give special attention to hydro power.
  • Cross Border Trade: The Central Government has been delegated with the power to prescribe rules and guidelines to allow and facilitate cross border trade of electricity.
  • Electricity Contract Enforcement Authority: The Amendment has inserted a new chapter in the Act which prescribes the creation and functioning of the Electricity Contract Enforcement Authority. The Authority has been proposed to be given sole jurisdiction to adjudicate upon matters on performance of obligations under a contract regarding sale, purchase and transmission of electricity, which exclusion of this specialized authority’s jurisdiction on determination of tariff or any other dispute regarding tariff.

Functional Amendments

  • Payment Security: Lack of payment security mechanism has created a large pool of unpaid dues. To disrupt any future trickle down of such unrealized revenues, this Amendment proposes a mechanism wherein “no electricity shall be scheduled or dispatched under such contract unless adequate security of payment as agreed upon by the parties to the contract has been provided.
  • Constitution of Selection Committee to Recommend Members for Commissions/ Authorities: There are a slew of provisions for the constitution of a Selection Committee for making recommendations of members to the Appellate Tribunal and the Chairperson and Members of Central Commission, Electricity Contract Enforcement Authority, State Commissions and Joint Commissions.
  • Grant of Subsidy Mandated: The benefit of subsidy to be granted directly to the consumer and the licensee shall charge the consumers as per the tariff determined by the Appropriate Commission. The determination of tariffs shall be fixed by the commission without accounting for subsidies. Further, basis the tariff policies, surcharges and cross subsidies shall be progressively reduced.
  • Time Limit for Adoption of Tariff: It has prescribed a period of 60 days to adopt the determined tariffs. Failing such timeline of 60 days, the tariff would be deemed to be accepted. Such deemed acceptance is a good method to not allow red-tapism to impact the functioning of the sector.
  • Inclusion of Distribution Sub-licensee and Franchisee: To ease the burden of distribution licensees and in order to promote some form of demographic specialization, the distribution licensees, can appoint another entity for distribution of electricity on its behalf, within its area of supply.
  • Enhancement of Powers of The Appellate Tribunal of Electricity: APTEL is proposed to have the powers of a High Court to deal with wilful disobedience of persons and entities under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. Additionally, any person can appeal the decisions of the Authority which is introduced by this Amendment in front of the APTEL.
  • Applicable to the Whole of India: It is needless to mention, that in addition to the above mentioned broad themes that the Amendment seeks to cover, the Act shall now be applicable to the territory which was erstwhile exempted from the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Report On Impact Of Energy Efficiency Measures

  • Recently the Ministry of Power and New & Renewable Energy released a report on the Impact of energy efficiency measures for the year 2018-19.
  • The report has been prepared by an Expert agency PWC Ltd, who was engaged by Bureau of Energy efficiency (BEE) for an independent verification.


  • To assess the impact of all the energy efficiency schemes/ programmes in India in terms of total energy  saved and reduction in the amount of CO2 emissions in 2018-19.


  • With a total energy consumption of 553.9 Million Tonnes of Oil Equivalent (Mtoe) 1 in 2017-18, India stood the third largest energy consumer in the world after United States of America and China.
  • India also ranks highest in terms of growth rate of energy consumption in the world.
  • India’s energy consumption is expected to grow fastest among global economies and account for 11% of global energy demand by 2040.
  • As India, submitted its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) target to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), intending to reduce emission intensity of its GDP, the role of energy efficiency would be crucial in complying with those targets.

Key Findings

  • Implementation of various energy efficiency schemes have led to total electricity savings to the tune of 113.16 Billion Units in 2018-19, which is 9.39% of the net electricity consumption.
  • Energy savings (electrical + thermal), achieved in the energy consuming sectors (e. Demand Side sectors) is to the tune of 16.54 Mtoe, which is 2.84% of the net total energy consumption in 2018-19.
  • The Energy Intensity of India (at 2011-12 prices) decreased from 65.5 toe per crore  rupees in 2011-12 to 55.8 toe/Cr Rupees in  2017-18.This  decline is attributed to the services sector  having a growing share of the economy, and  deployment of energy efficiency programmes  among other factors.
  • Industry sector has the highest contribution (49.17%) in the total energy savings while domestic sector has contributed to 33.34% of the total savings achieved during FY 18-19.
  • These efforts have also contributed in reducing 151.74 Million Tonnes of CO2 emissions, whereas last year this number was 108 Million Tonnes of CO2.
  • The study focuses on following schemes/programmes, viz. Perform, Achieve and Trade Scheme, Standards & Labeling Programme, UJALA Programme, ECBC – Commercial Buildings Programme, BEE Star rated buildings, Building Energy efficiency Programme, Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE), FAME Scheme, BEE – SME Programme, GEF – UNIDO – BEE Project, GEF – World Bank Project, Agriculture Demand Side Management Programme, and Municipal Demand Side Management Programme.


  • The study assesses the resultant impact of current schemes at national as well as state level for the FY 2018-19 and compares it with a situation where the same were not implemented.

Energy Efficiency in India

  • Government of India has undertaken a two pronged approach to cater to the energy demand of its citizens while ensuring minimum growth in CO2 emissions, so that the global emissions do not lead to an irreversible damage to the earth system.
  • On one hand, in the generation side, the Government is promoting greater use of renewable in the energy mix mainly through solar and wind and at the same time shifting towards supercritical technologies for coal based power plants.
  • On the other side, efforts are being made to efficiently use the energy in the demand side through various innovative policy measures under the overall ambit of Energy Conservation Act 2001.

Towards Energy Efficiency

  • The Energy Conservation Act (EC Act) was enacted in 2001 with the goal of reducing energy intensity of Indian economy.
  • Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) was set up as the statutory body on 1st March 2002 at the central level to facilitate the implementation of the EC Act. The Act provides regulatory mandate for: standards & labeling of equipment and appliances; energy conservation building codes for commercial buildings; and energy consumption norms for energy intensive industries.

Schemes to Promote Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency

Standards and Labeling

  • The Bureau initiated the Standards and Labeling programme for equipment and appliances in 2006 to provide the consumer an informed choice about the energy saving and thereby the cost saving potential of the relevant marketed product.
  • The Corporate Average Fuel Consumption Standards (CAFC) for passenger cars has been notified on 30th January, 2014.

Energy Conservation Building Codes (ECBC)

  • It was developed by Govt. of India for new commercial buildings on 27th May 2007. ECBC sets minimum energy standards for new commercial buildings having a connected load of 100kW or contract demand of 120 KVA and above.
  • Currently, Voluntary Star Labelling programme for 4 categories of buildings (day use office buildings/BPOs/Shopping malls/Hospitals) has been developed and put in public domain.

National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE)

  • It is one of the eight missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). NMEEE aims to strengthen the market for energy efficiency by creating conducive regulatory and policy regime and has envisaged fostering innovative and sustainable business models to the energy efficiency sector.

Perform Achieve and Trade Scheme (PAT)

  • It is a market based mechanism to enhance the cost effectiveness in improving the Energy Efficiency in Energy Intensive industries through certification of energy saving which can be traded.

Bachat Lamp Yojana (BLY)

  • It is a public-private partnership program comprising of BEE, Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) and private investors to accelerate market transformation in energy efficient lighting.

Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA)

  • It was launched in 2015 with a target of replacing 77 crore incandescent lamps with LED bulbs and to nullify the high-cost of LEDs that acted as a barrier previously in the adoption of energy-efficient systems.
  • The objective is to promote efficient lighting, enhance awareness on using efficient equipment that will reduce electricity bills and preserve the environment.
  • It is the world’s largest domestic lighting project.

First In-depth Review Of India’s Energy Policies

  • On 10th January, 2020, International Energy Agency (IEA), in partnership with NITI Aayog, released the first in-depth review of India’s energy policies.
  • This first in-depth review of India’s energy policies examines the country’s achievements in developing its energy sector as well as the challenges it faces in ensuring a sustainable energy future.
  • The IEA has been conducting in-depth peer reviews of its member countries energy policies since 1976. This is the first review carried out for India, which has been an IEA association country since March 2017.

Key Highlights

Significant Progress towards Affordable Cleaner Energy

  • The IEA report congratulates the Indian government on its outstanding achievements in extending citizens access to electricity, affordable efficient lighting and clean cooking in record time through historic schemes like SAUBHAGYA, UJALA and UJJWALA, while pursuing energy market reforms and the swift deployment of renewable technologies.
  • The report lauded the Indian government’s effort to promote off-grid electrification solutions, including a shift toward using solar photovoltaics (PV) for cooking and charging batteries.

Major Energy Reforms Lead to Greater Efficiency

  • The IEA commends India for its continuous pursuit of market opening and greater use of market-based solutions through ambitious energy sector reforms. It welcomed the government’s decisions to allow private-sector investment in coal mining, and to open up the country’s oil and gas retail markets.
  • India now has the institutional framework it needs to attract more investment for its growing energy needs.
  • The IEA welcomed the reforms proposed by the Central Energy Regulatory Commission (CERC) and progress made to wards improved real-time markets.

India is Making Energy Security a Priority           

  • IEA welcomed Indian government policies designed to conduct large-scale renewable energy auctions, opening up coal mining to private companies, and promoting access to oil and gas markets for foreign investors.
  • The report offers a wide range of recommendations for reforms in support of India’s goal of promoting open and well-functioning energy markets in sectors such as coal, gas and electricity. These include building strong regulators to ensure non-discriminatory access, moving from state allocation to market pricing, and further rationalizing energy subsidies.
  • However, the IEA slammed India’s natural gas pricing policy, saying linking domestic production to very low global reference prices has reduced incentives for producers to raise supplies.

Significant Progress towards Sustainable Development

  • India has made important progress towards meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (Goal 7) on delivering energy access.
  • The report highlights the achievements of India’s energy policies and provides recommendations to support the government’s goals of promoting well-functioning energy markets and boosting deployment of renewables.
  • India has been addressing energy-related environmental pollution including air, water, land, and waste issues.The government has been progressively strengthened rules to combat air pollution, and adopted the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), which focuses on monitoring and enforcement.

Energy Technology and Innovation Enables “Make In India”

  • Energy research, development and deployment (RD&D) can be a strong enabler of India’s energy policy goals while also contributing to broader national priorities such as the “Make in India” manufacturing initiative.
  • The government is strengthening its innovation efforts in a broad range of energy technology areas, including cooling, electric mobility, smart grids and advanced biofuels.
  • There has been a marked increase in clean energy RD&D funding, especially as India works to double its spending over five years under Mission Innovation.
  • However, funding efforts arespread both thinly and widely across the government and its public sector companies.

Key Recommendations for India’s Energy Sector

  • Establish permanent energy policy co-ordination in the central government, with anoverarching national energy policy framework to support the development of a secure, sustainable and affordable energy system.
  • Continue to encourage investment in India’s energy sector by:
    • ensuring full non-discriminatory access to energy transport networks
    • working with the states to implement power sector and tariff policy reforms with afocus on smooth integration of variable renewable energy and power system flexibility
    • moving from government allocation of energy supplies to allocation by market pricing
    • further rationalising subsidies and cross-subsidies.
  • Prioritise actions to foster greater energy security by:
    • reinforcing oil emergency response measures with larger dedicated emergency stocks and improved procedures, including demand-restraint action and proper analysis of risks by using oil disruption scenarios and capitalising on international engagement
    • strengthening the resilience of India’s energy infrastructure, based on a robustanalysis of the water–energy nexus and cooling demand, notably when planning future investment.
  • Improve the collection, consistency, transparency and availability of energy data across the energy system at central and state government levels.
  • Adopt a co-ordinated cross-government strategy for energy RD&D, which enables impact-oriented measurement and dissemination of results.
  • Ensure India’s international energy collaboration continues to be strong and mutually beneficial, highlighting the country’s energy successes and supporting continued opportunities to learn from international best practices.

Significance of Report

  • The report provides insights into the rise of India in global energy markets. It analyses the full breadth of the country’s energy sector and presents recommendations for strengthening energy policies in various areas.
  • This in-depth review aims to assist the government in meeting its energy policy objectives by setting out a range of recommendations in each area, with a focus on energy system transformation, energy security and energy affordability.
  • It also highlights a number of important lessons from the rapid development of India’s energy sector that could help inform the plans of other countries around the world.
  • The report will help India to design implementation strategies to achieve secure and sustainable energy access for its citizens.

International Energy Agency (IEA)

Headquarters:Paris, France

  • IEA was created on 18th November 1974 by the Agreement on an International Energy Program (IEP Agreement).
  • It is an autonomous body within the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) framework. 
  • The IEA works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its member countries and beyond.
  • The Agency's mandate has broadened to focus on the "3Es" of effectual energy policy: energy security, economic development, and environmental protection.


  • Only the OECD member states can become members of the IEA. Except for Chile, Iceland, Israel, and Slovenia, all OECD member states are members of the IEA.
  • Currently, it has 30 member countries and 8 association countries.

11th Nuclear Energy Conclave

  • Recently, the 11th Nuclear Energy Conclave, organized by the India Energy Forum, under the theme: “Economics of Nuclear Power- Innovation towards Safer & Cost Effective Technologies”

Key Highlights

  • Various achievements were highlighted during the conclave such as joint ventures and increase in budget in nuclear energy sector.
  • Earlier the Atomic power plants were restricted in Southern India, but now thegovernment is setting up the nuclear plants in other parts of the country. A nuclear power plant is to be constructed in Gorakhpur, Haryana.
  • The Department of Atomic Energy is working along with TATA Memorial Centre towards the implementation of flagship programmes of the Government with priority given to shifting towards cashless transactions.
  • A “Hall of Nuclear Energy” was opened in PragatiMaidan in Delhi to educate the students and general public about the applications of nuclear energy.
  • Three technical sessions were also being held on the following  themes:
    • Growth of Nuclear Power for Meeting Base Load Demands-Opportunities & Challenges for Manufacturing Industry
    • Use of Nuclear Energy in Healthcare and Municipal Waste Treatment
    • Emerging Technologies for Economy and Enhanced Safety viz, Small & Medium Size reactors, Passive Safety features, Molten Salt Reactors

India Energy Forum (IEF)

  • Established in 2001, it is an independent, not-for-profit, research organization and represents the energy sector as a whole.
  • All major energy sector players in India such as the NTPC, NHPC, Power Grid, and other private players are members of the Forum.


  • To develop a sustainable and competitive energy sector in India
  • To promote a favourable regulatory framework for the development of the energy sector
  • To establish standards, for reliability and safety within the sector
  • To ensure an equitable deal for consumers, producers and the utilities
  • To encourage efficient and eco-friendly development and use of energy


  • It serves as an independent advocate of the industry promoting practical solutions to problems affecting project development and finance in India.
  • It works with companies and Government (Centre and States) to achieve consensus on such issues as regulatory structures and policies and the role of public organizations.
  • In addition, it closely with multilateral and domestic companies and agencies to ensure that their products and services are responsive to the needs of the project development in India.


  • It acts as a catalyst for the development of a sustainable and competitive energy sector in India.

Issues with Nuclear Sector in India

Land Acquisition Issue

  • One of the most politically contentious issues in recent times has been the government’s right to acquire land for the development of nuclear plants.There has been significant opposition and local protests as seen in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu and Jaitapur in Maharashtra.

Displacement and loss of Livelihoods

  • Land acquisition for the plants comes at the cost of displacement and loss of the livelihoods of entire community involved leading to various other problems.

Safety Issue

  • The biggest challenge in expansion of nuclear sector in India is the safety and security of nuclear power plants. In India, every region falls in seismic zone in some way and most of our nuclear plants are in weak seismic zones but lie in coastal areas. Their structure is earthquake-resistant but they have not been tested against tsunami.
  • A single nuclear accident can cause immense damage of unimaginable consequences to human life and the biodiversity in the surrounding areas, not to mention the sociological, economical and psychological disturbances. Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and in more recent times, Fukushima disasters stand testimonial to this harsh reality.

Nuclear Waste Management Issue

  • Nuclear waste production is an especially large obstacle to the widespread acceptance of nuclear power. Radioactive waste arising from civilian nuclear activities as well as from defence-related nuclear-weapon activities, poses a formidable problem for handling and protecting the environment to be safe to the present and future generations.

Manufacturing Related Issue

  • Nuclear power plants require heavy engineering components: All the nuclear powered countries have their own domestic manufacturing base that covered most of the supply chain of materials required for building a nuclear power plant.WhileIndia's current manufacturing capability only covers the supply chain for 700 MW PHWRs. It is not yet ready to cover other reactors and reactors with capacities of more than 1 GW.
  • As India is not a signatory of NPT and NSG, nuclear supply is severely contained by sanctioned against India.

Fuel Supply Issue

  • India has low reserves of uranium. Currently, a major portion of domestic production of uranium comes from the Jaduguda mines of Jharkhand, which are old and the ore is found at great depths. Moreover, the high extraction cost makes it unviable as compared to imported uranium, the panel noted.

Way Forward

  • Nuclear Energy offers both opportunities and challenges for any aspiring countries including India. Without nuclear power, achieving energy security will be much more difficult; and without nuclear security, nuclear power is destined to failure. Nuclear security is an important component of achieving energy security.
  • Although nuclear power accounts for only about two percent of India’s installed power generation capacity, it will continue to play an important role in the overall energy mix of the country. The government has also announced plans to ramp up nuclear power from the present 7 GW to 63 GW by 2032.
  • The government has taken several measures to enable setting up of nuclear power reactors in the country. These include
    • Resolution of issues related to Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act & Creation of Indian Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP).
    • Amendment of the Atomic Energy Act-1962 (as amended from time to time) to enable Joint Ventures of Public Sector Companies to set up nuclear power projects in the country.
    • Enabling agreements with the foreign countries for nuclear power cooperation including supply of fuel.
    • Identification and addressing of the issues in implementation of the projects through Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation “PRAGATI” platform.
  • India’s ambition to overcome poverty and rise will remain a dream unless it has access to adequate sources of power. The importance of nuclear power for India cannot be overstated despite scepticism in some quarters.

Augmenting Nature By Green Affordable New-habitat (ANGAN)

  • On 9th September, 2019, a three day international conference on Augmenting Nature by Green Affordable New-habitat (ANGAN) focused on Energy Efficiency in Building Sector commenced in New Delhi.
  • It is being organised by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) under the aegis of the power ministry in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit(GIZ) under the Indo German Technical Cooperation.


  • It seeks to explore various alternative options and technologies in the field of design and construction of energy efficient commercial as well as residential buildings and will suggest the effective ways in implementing the same through policies and programmes.

Key Highlights

  • Experts from 16 countries will discuss various options and technologies for energy efficient buildings.
  • To discuss and deliberate on the aspects of sustainability in the context of inclusiveness, international cooperation and education.
  • Technologies demonstration in the area of insulation, AAC block, Glass window, Fenestration shooting etc.
  • To provide thrust in this direction so as to address such challenges faced by the stakeholders.
  • Apart from energy savings, the emphasis is also given to other resources like water and other materials that can be saved in building sector.

Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)

  • It is a statutory body under the Ministry of Power, constituted on 1st March 2002 under the provisions of the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
  • It launched the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) in 2007 in order to set energy efficiency standards for the design and construction of buildings.It was revised in 2017.


  • To assist in developing policies and strategies with a thrust on self-regulation and market principles with the primary objective of reducing energy intensity of the Indian economy.
  • BEE co-ordinates with designated consumers, designated agencies and other organizations and recognize, identify and utilize the existing resources and infrastructure, in performing the functions assigned to it under the Energy Conservation Act.

Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), 2017

  • The purpose of the Energy Conservation Building Code (Code) is to provide minimumrequirements for the energy-efficient design and construction of buildings.
  • It also provides two additional sets of incremental requirements for buildings to achieve enhancedlevels of energy efficiency that go beyond the minimum requirements.
  • The Code is applicable to buildings or building complexes that have a connected load of 100kW or greater or a contract demand of 120 kVA or greater and are intended to be used for commercial purposes.

Building components covered by ECBC, 2017

  • Building envelope
  • Mechanical systems, includingHeating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning(HVAC), water heating
  • Lighting
  • Electric power and Renewable energy.
  • Buildings intended for private residential purposes only are not covered by the Code.
  • ECBC 2017 is one of the first building energy codes to recognize beyondcode performance. There are now three levels of energy performance standards in the codes- ECBC, ECBCPlusand SuperECBC.
  • ECBC 2017 is technology neutral. Energy efficiency requirements have been framed to providearchitects and engineers artistic and technical freedom as long as minimum efficiencyrequirements are fulfilled.


  • The International Conference will provide a platform to deliberate on interdependence between organizations, systemic sustainability and feedback loops for better resource efficiency.

Energy Efficiency of Building(EEB)

  • It is the extent to which the energy consumption per square metre of floor area of the building measures up to established energy consumption benchmarks for that particular type of building under defined climatic conditions.

Need for Energy Efficient Building

  • The building sector in India consumes over 32% of the total electricity consumed annually in India making it second only to the industrial sector as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
  • According to the NitiAayog, energy demand from India’s buildings will increase by more than 800 percent by 2047.
  • Under the current standards, the country will face higher energy costs and skyrocketing consumption for decades. At the same time, air pollution will worsen, adding to the impact of climate change.



  • Energy-efficient buildings reduce indoor as well as outdoor air pollution. It helps lowering greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, as well as decrease water use, therefore reducing the impact of global warming.


  • Energy efficient buildings typically have longer lifecycles, lower maintenance fees, and cost less to operate.
  • The incremental capital investment for a green building is recovered with paybacks of one to three years. The cash savings accrued from these green buildings not only compensate for this initial cost increment but provide benefits to the owners/occupants throughout the life time of the building.
  • In addition strong efficiency mandates for new buildings can create markets for jobs, materials and expertise.

Challenges towards Energy Efficient Buildings

Lack of Market Demand

  • There is an apprehension that energy efficiency and business would not go together. Building owners tend to delude energy efficiency during building design and construction due to the presence of a strong first cost bias as developers seem to believe that they don’t directly gain from the initial investments towards energy efficiency.
  • Also financing energy efficiency is not too lucrative for financial institutions due to uncertainty about returns. There is a need for innovative financing schemes to promote energy efficiency in buildings.

Lack of Awareness

  • Lack of information to building owners and residents on energysavings potential in buildings is also one of the major challenges faced by this sector.

Lack of Materials and Related Technology

  • Situations of non-availability of energy-efficient equipment/materials in the local marketplace as most energy-efficient equipment and materials are imported, often ends up with the imposition of high cost mark-ups and duties.

Lack of Technical Expertise

  • Inadequate technical expertise and supply chains make it difficult for implementation agencies to embed the ECBC into building bye-laws, as compliance by the industry and the government’s ability to enforce needs to go hand in hand.

Way Forward

  • Energy efficiency has become a pillar of the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs recognize the cross-cutting importance of buildings and cities in achieving global objectives related to sustainable energy and infrastructure. Better buildings can also make significant contributions to addressing climate change, one of the other SDGs.
  • By investing in them today, cities can yield “triple bottom line” benefits-including economic, social and environmental opportunities-long into the future.

Ocean Energy Now Declared As Renewable Energy

  • Recently, in a decision that would give boost to the ocean energy in India, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) approved a proposal to declare ocean energy as Renewable Energy.
  • Accordingly, the Ministry has clarified to all the stakeholders that energy produced using various forms of ocean energy such as tidal, wave, ocean thermal energy conversion shall be considered as Renewable Energy and shall be eligible for meeting the non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO).


  • To accelerate and enhance support for the resource assessment and deployment of ocean energy in the country
  • To harness ocean energy for power generation and to overcome the barriers.
Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO)
  • It refers to the obligation either to buy electricity generated by specified green sources, or buy, in lieu of that, renewable energy certificates (RECs) from the market.
  • The ‘obligated entities’ are mostly electricity distribution companies and large consumers of power.
 Renewable Energy Certificate
  • REC mechanism is a market based instrument to promote renewable energy and facilitate compliance of renewable purchase obligations (RPO). It is aimed at addressing the mismatch between availability of RE resources in state and the requirement of the obligated entities to meet the renewable purchase obligation (RPO).
  • One REC is treated as equivalent to 1 megawatt hour.

Ocean Energy

Oceans cover 70 percent of the earth’s surface and represent an enormous amount of energy in the form of wave, tidal, marine current and thermal gradient.

Tidal Energy:

  • The tidal cycle takes place every 12 hours due to the gravitational force of the moon. The difference in water height from low tide and high tide is potential energy. Similar to traditional hydropower generated from dams, tidal water can be captured in a barrage across an estuary during high tide and forced through a hydro-turbine during low tide.

Issues with Tidal Energy:

  • The capital cost for tidal energy power plants is very high due to high civil construction and high power purchase tariff.
  • To trapenough power from the tidal energy potential, the height of high tide must be at least five meters (16 feet) greater than low tide.
  • Environmental concernsare also associated with it since it completely changes environment in this area and affects life of many ecosystems, especially for birds that rely on the tide uncovering the mud flats so that they can found food.

 Wave Energy:

  • Regular disturbances on the surface of the water are called waves. The wave energy is a form of kinetic energy. This is used to power a turbine. Wave energy is captured from the directly from the surface of the waves produced in the oceans.

Issue with Wave Energy:

  • The main problem with wave energy is the fact that this energy source isn’t the same in all parts of the world, since it varies significantly from place to place. This is the reason why wave energy can’t be exploited in all parts of the world but there are many researches that work on solutions of how to solve this variability problem.

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC):

  • OTEC uses ocean temperature differences from the surface to depths lower than 1,000 meters, to extract energy. A temperature difference of only 20°C can yield usable energy.
  • The concept was first introduced by French engineer Jacques D’Arsonval in year 1881.

Issues with OTEC:

  • OTEC works best when the difference in temperature between the warm top layer and cold deep layer of the sea is around 20 °C (36 °F). This condition commonly exists in tropical coastal areas, therefore limiting its operation area.
  • There are several logistical issues that have prevented ocean thermal energy from really taking off. Apart, the cost of a conversion plant is enormous as the plants require an expensive, large-diameter intake pipe submerged to more than a mile into the ocean to bring cold water to the surface.

India’s Ocean Energy Potential

  • According to MNRE, the total identified potential of tidal energy is about 12,455 MW, with potential locations identified at Khambat & Kutch regions, and large backwaters, where barrage technology could be used.
  • The total theoretical potential of wave energy in India along the country’s coast is estimated to be about 40,000 MW – these are preliminary estimates. This energy is however less intensive than what is available in more northern and southern latitudes.
  • OTEC has a theoretical potential of 180,000 MW in India subject to suitable technological evolution.

Benefits of Ocean Energy

  • Renewable Energy Source: Wave energy and tidal energy both use the natural dynamics of the abundant ocean, and do not use any non-renewable fuels to generate electricity.
  • Clean Energy Source: They do not produce greenhouse gases or other pollution while operating, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. There are no waste products created by ocean power generation.
  • Predictable Energy Source:Ocean energy for ex. tidal energy can be predicted with great regularity what the tidal tables are going to be. The same cannot be said of wind or solar energy, which can be disrupted due to simple weather changes.
  • Abundant Energy Source: As wave and tidal power generators are built along coastlines, there is huge potential, particularly in countries that have long coastlines. For ex. India
  • Low Running Costs: Though the initial set up cost is very high for these plants but once an ocean energy plant starts operating, it is anticipated that it’s running costs are quite low, especially compared to more dominant forms of power generation such as oil and coal plants, as well as nuclear power.

Way Forward

  • The government needs to look over the horizon at development of new technology in harnessing ocean energy and considers the various options available to support its deployment. Though deployment is currently limited but the sector has the potential to grow, fuelling economic growth, reducing carbon footprint and creating jobs not only along the coasts but also inland along its supply chains.
  • It is time for the government to create a clear roadmap for promotion of tidal energy as individual and hybrid technologies and like solar energy;ocean energy needs to be incentivized for its better and sustainable utilization.

National Gas Grid

Why is it in News?

The Government of India is constructing the National Gas Grid to increase the share of gas in the energy mix of the economy.

About National Gas Grid & its Significance:

  • National Gas Grid will comprise the gas pipelines, regasified liquefied natural gas pipeline & city gas distribution network.
  • The government has decided to increase the share of gas mix in the Indian economy by 15% (at present it is 6%) by 2025.
  • The National Gas Grid together with providing gas connections to households will provide better infrastructure for automobiles using gas networks.
  • The National Gas Grid will also aid in renewing of the fertilizer sector and also give a boost to the power sector which are gas based (eg.- Rajahmundry Power Plant of GMR group is not running due to non-availability of gas).
  • Gas based combustion produces less particulate matters and polluting gases, so the National Grid Mission is a way towards sustainable development.
  • The National Gas Grid Mission will complement the development of cross national pipelines like- TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline.
  • The National Grid Mission is in line with the SDG goal no. 7 which deals with access to affordable energy for all.

Who is the Authorizing Agency of National Gas Grid?

Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) is the authority to grant authorization for the National Gas Grid Mission.

What is the Current Status of the Project?

At present about 16,788 km of the natural gas pipeline is operational and about 14,239 km gas pipelines are being developed to increase the availability of natural gas across the country.

About TAPI Pipeline:

  • TAPI pipeline was first proposed in 1995 with an aim to transport natural gas from energy rich Caspian Sea (Galkynysh gas field: fourth largest in the world) in Turkmenistan to India through Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • The project will supply both India and Pakistan about 38 mmscmd of natural gas whereas Afghanistan will get 14 mmscmd supply.
  • Asian Development Bank is the lead sponsor of the TAPI Project.


Source: TH

Wind Energy & Related Issues

Why is it in News?

From 5,500 MW in 2016-17, capacity addition has plunged to 1600 MW in 2018-19 which have impacted 4000 SMEs that supply components to turbine makers.

About Wind Power Generation:

  • When the wind, a natural form of energy, is capable of creating electricity or a mechanical force, it is referred to as wind power.
  • The speed of the wind rotates the blades of a rotor (between 10 and 25 rpm), producing kinetic energy. The rotor then drives a generator that converts the mechanical energy into electricity.

How are Issues related to Wind Power different from Solar Power Generation?

  • Unlike solar, wind power plants cannot be put up anywhere but only in locations where winds blow strong.
  • In India, there are eight states where it is economically viable to put up wind turbines -Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

What is the Government’s Target vis-à-vis Renewable Energy?

The Government has set a target of generating 175 GW of Renewable Energy by 2022of which the break-up is as follows:

  • Solar- 100GW
  • Wind- 60GW
  • Biomass & Small Hydro- 15GW

Why did the Capacity Addition drop in 2018-19?

Earlier, wind power generators used to sign agreement with the windy states (called as Feed in Tariff or FiT) for long term period (around 25 years), but recently the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) changed the model and started buying from the different wind power generators and selling it to the non windy states which led to a huge competition and prices fell drastically below the FiT. This made the windy states wonder as to why they should buy electricity at higher prices when it is available at lower prices through SECI. Thus, they terminated the Agreements and the windy states market vanished.

What is wrong with the SECI Model?

As the best sites like Tamil Nadu & Gujarat were taken, the price of the electricity quoted by developers started to rise in the next round of bidding and due to initial low quoting of price the agreements were also terminated in windy states. The whole process led to crashing of the market in windy states and thus the demand of wind power crashed too.

Which were the Sectors most hit by this Mess?

The worst sufferers in the mess are the 4,000 SMEs who supply components to turbine manufacturers and their two million employees.

About Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI):

  • Solar Energy Corporation of India is a CPSU under the administrative control of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
  • SECI does not only look after solar energy but it also looks after wind, geothermal etc. Keeping this in mind it was renamed as Renewable Energy Corporation of India.

Source: TH