2022 budget emphasizes energy transition and increases allocation for renewable and atomic energy | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel
As the world marches towards green solutions to tackle the climate crisis, India, too, is seeking a gradual reduction in fossil fuels and development of cleaner energy sources. From electric vehicles to solar cells, India is ramping up its efforts for “green” and renewable energy sources to reduce its dependence on carbon-intensive sources like coal.
The 2022-2023 budget seems to be another important step in this direction. Among the seven main areas on which the Union’s budget focuses, energy transition and climate action are the two areas that will help the country achieve its carbon emissions targets promised at COP26.
While the allocation from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy saw a marginal increase from 2018 to 2021, the allocation has now increased to ₹6,900.68 crore to the ministry this year.
India bets big on solar power
During Tuesday’s budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also announced an additional allocation of ₹19,500 crore to boost the manufacture of solar modules under the government’s flagship production incentive scheme. She further mentioned that the program has the potential to create 60 lakh new jobs and an additional production of 30 million lakh crore jobs over the next five years.
“To facilitate domestic manufacturing for the ambitious target of 280 GW of installed solar capacity by 2030, an additional allocation of ₹19,500 crore for production-related incentive for high-efficiency module manufacturing, with the priority to fully integrated manufacturing units from polysilicon to solar PV modules, will be manufactured,” she announced.
Electric vehicles in the spotlight
In the budget speech, Nirmala Sitharaman also highlighted that a battery swapping policy will be introduced and interoperability standards will be formulated. The private sector will be encouraged to develop sustainable and innovative business models for “battery or power as a service” to improve the efficiency of the electric vehicle ecosystem.
The government has also pledged to promote a shift towards the use of public transport in urban areas through this budget. “This will be complemented by clean technology and governance solutions, special mobility zones with a zero fossil fuel policy and electric vehicles,” Sitharaman said.
Should nuclear energy replace coal?
In addition to renewable energies, nuclear could also be in the spotlight this year, while opting for green solutions. A huge budget of ₹86,200.65 crore which has been allocated to the Department of Atomic Energy this year in what appears to be an effort to tackle carbon emissions. Globally, the European Union is developing plans to classify nuclear energy as a green investment to help Europe reduce its carbon emissions.
Ongoing attempts to phase out coal
A major coal crisis in October 2021 paved the way for the exploration of green and renewable energy sources in India. However, the dependence on coal would not have diminished if the budgets allocated to the ministry of coal had remained high.
While the 2019 budget surprisingly increased the Ministry of Coal allocation, subsequent years saw a gradual reduction in budget allocations. From ₹933.60 crore in 2019, funding has dropped sharply to ₹393.24 crore in 2022, hinting at a clear drive to reduce dependence on coal.
Overall, the 2022 budget highlighted India’s aspirations to continue its proud history of encouraging renewable energy to meet COP26 commitments and to use new clean energy technologies to phase out the coal in the decades to come.
For weather, science and COVID-19 updates on the go, download The Weather Channel app (on the Android and iOS store). It’s free!