Industry leading think tank The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has proposed Green Stimulus of about Rs 40,00,000 crore (or USD 540 billion), spread over this decade, and six focus areas that can accelerate growth of renewable energy, jobs and improve air quality in the country.
Further, it has released a discussion paper on ‘A Fiscally Responsible Green Stimulus’ to revive Indian economy by creating demand and jobs with policy and regulatory interventions using minimal government spending.
During the launch of discussion paper, Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI, commented, “the focus of India’s stimulus packages has been on enhancing credit availability in the agricultural and small and medium enterprises (SME) sectors so as to stimulate economic growth and create sustainable jobs. We suggest that policy and regulatory measures are used to create demand which can pull private investment into green options – this will make the green economy commercially viable, and accelerate economic growth, job creation and the environmental transition.”
Speaking about the paper, Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), said that, “the paper adopts a holistic approach on issues related to clean energy and environment. It focuses on interventions in areas that are rather neglected such as generating waste to energy or animal waste to energy or agriculture waste to energy. Some of the recommendations are already being acted upon by MNRE such as the PM KUSUM Scheme. We hope to have a framework where domestic solar manufacturing gets impetus. We also have plans for generating energy from surplus biomass.”
On renewable energy performance, the secretary added, “India’s installed renewable energy capacity has grown by 2.5 times in the last 6 years. However, our share in RE electricity generation remains at 12 per cent or 1/10th of overall production. Rapid technological changes in coming years will help us to reduce renewable energy costs and costs associated with integrating RE into grid.”
A few proposals suggested for the Green Stimulus by TERI includes incentivising cleaner transport; subsidise fleet modernization of existing vehicles to BS-VI; producing renewable energy from agricultural residues; creating renewable energy from animal husbandry waste; promoting solar generation in rural India etc.
“Recognizing the fiscal constraints at this juncture and the need for a demand stimulus in the economy, the discussion paper puts together specific proposals that rely on primarily policy and regulatory instruments. These measures would accelerate the use of renewable energy and improve air quality. The investment potential has turned out to be huge,” commented Ajay Shankar, Distinguished Fellow, TERI and the author of the discussion paper.
Dr Rajat Kathuria, Director and Chief Executive, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), said that “India faces a huge social and humanitarian crisis in terms of jobs and productivity. We should not waste this opportunity to put in place sustainable and green reforms. We need to create social security for the large informal sector. India needs to use the market mechanism and price signals much more, through measures such as carbon pricing and feed in tariffs. The private sector should be brought in wherever they can deliver. ”
Endorsing the recommendations of the paper, Simon J. Stolp, Country Lead (India), Energy and Extractives at the World Bank Group, said, “this green stimulus is pragmatic. It has a demand-driven approach. Governments across the world are not in a strong fiscal position, so there is a need to bring in private sector to reduce the burden on public resources. This discussion paper taps the potential of short-term job growth, balancing it well with the long-term goals of climate change and the decarbonisation agenda.”
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