Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

The Technology & Economic Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to Technological and Economic developments in India. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
Vayutuvan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 10417
Joined: 20 Jun 2011 04:36

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Vayutuvan » 14 Jan 2020 00:25

Gyan wrote:India is lucky to have mild climate & short distance for Bus to travel. A city bus needs to do around 200-400km a day. Which can be managed by a single overnight charge.


Let me say once more - CNG/Biogas in an IC or Methane based fuel cells might be better a solution for buses. There was a big push to convert all the city buses in Kolkata to CNG. Tenders were floated, contractors wer selected, and then elections happened. Mamata B. yielded to the union demands and stopped the conversion process.

We were at the receiving end (as we had a large contract and distribution rights for CNG). :-?

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2205
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby sudarshan » 20 Jan 2020 19:31

BS-6 not enough, need scrappage policy

This is true. Until the older polluting vehicles are pulled off the road, pollution won't reduce. If left to market forces alone, it could take 10 to 20 years to replace all the older vehicles with BS-6 ones. At that point, we might be at BS-8, and wait another 20 years for that replacement to happen.

With the scrappage policy, older vehicles are pulled off the road much faster, so the switch should ideally happen in 2 to 3 years. This also helps the auto industry, by boosting demand for newer cars and vehicles as older ones are yanked off the roads.

Looks like the govt. is working on it.

Govt. to push scrappage policy - Gadkari

We were at the receiving end (as we had a large contract and distribution rights for CNG). :-?


OK, so you're telling us you're not unbiased in this :).

But I agree, CNG is a viable option.

Mort Walker
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8122
Joined: 31 May 2004 11:31
Location: The rings around Uranus.

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Mort Walker » 20 Jan 2020 20:15

sudarshan wrote:BS-6 not enough, need scrappage policy

This is true. Until the older polluting vehicles are pulled off the road, pollution won't reduce. If left to market forces alone, it could take 10 to 20 years to replace all the older vehicles with BS-6 ones. At that point, we might be at BS-8, and wait another 20 years for that replacement to happen.

With the scrappage policy, older vehicles are pulled off the road much faster, so the switch should ideally happen in 2 to 3 years. This also helps the auto industry, by boosting demand for newer cars and vehicles as older ones are yanked off the roads.

Looks like the govt. is working on it.

Govt. to push scrappage policy - Gadkari

We were at the receiving end (as we had a large contract and distribution rights for CNG). :-?


OK, so you're telling us you're not unbiased in this :).

But I agree, CNG is a viable option.


No surprise. It was as much predicted about BS-6. Scrapping of older vehicles is a quick way of losing elections come 2024. The too fast implementation of BS-6 caused a manufacturing decline since auto parts manufacturing are a significant export for India.

It is very irresponsible for Gadkari to say such a thing. If you bought a car last year, then the government will make it illegal soon? Sure the automakers will like it, but certainly not the consumer.

There is no BS-8 or such Euro standard, as any further reduction of emissions from diesel are really not possible and would effectively lead to banning diesel fuel. Why not be honest and ban diesel and gasoline like all climate jihadis want? In 20 years we will see fuel cells becoming prominent. The pure EVs will be like the steam or coal external combustion engine (ECE) that was all the rage in the early 1900s.

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2205
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby sudarshan » 20 Jan 2020 20:35

Mort Walker wrote:Scrapping of older vehicles is a quick way of losing elections come 2024.


Like demonetisation was for 2019? I respect this govt. for making potentially unpopular decisions and actually carrying them out. Could we at least wait till the policy is announced, and take a look at its proposals, before criticizing it? This thing about "last year's vehicles becoming illegal" is just an assumption at this point. It depends on whether or not, and how much, the govt. is willing to refund to consumers, to make the scrappage really work. The idea is to pull the worst polluters, 15 to 20 year-old vehicles, off the road within 2 to 3 years. Not that last year's vehicles are going to become obsolete in 3 years - I don't think the govt. is stupid enough to try that, I'll wait for the actual policy to come out before commenting on that further.

Dad was talking about Bangalore, he went to visit recently, and was shocked at the level of pollution. This from somebody who's lived all his life in another pretty polluted Indian city. It was literally "in your face," grime coating the eyes, he was glad to get away from there without a heart attack. People get inured to all this, until it gets to Delhi and Kanpur levels, and then they belatedly freak out and do cosmetic gestures like "outdoor water cannons."

Clean air is not some "first world luxury," that "India doesn't need that right now, the priority is development, clean air can wait." If you can have the development without the degradation, why not?

This govt. has made a lot of disruptive moves, with the long term in mind. For once we have a govt. thinking 20 years ahead. It's true that right now there's a lot of firefighting necessary to fix problems from 20 years ago, but that's because the previous govt.s did zilch.

Mort Walker
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8122
Joined: 31 May 2004 11:31
Location: The rings around Uranus.

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Mort Walker » 20 Jan 2020 20:55

sudarshan wrote:
Mort Walker wrote:Scrapping of older vehicles is a quick way of losing elections come 2024.


Like demonetisation was for 2019? I respect this govt. for making potentially unpopular decisions and actually carrying them out. Could we at least wait till the policy is announced, and take a look at its proposals, before criticizing it? This thing about "last year's vehicles becoming illegal" is just an assumption at this point. It depends on whether or not, and how much, the govt. is willing to refund to consumers, to make the scrappage really work. The idea is to pull the worst polluters, 15 to 20 year-old vehicles, off the road within 2 to 3 years. Not that last year's vehicles are going to become obsolete in 3 years - I don't think the govt. is stupid enough to try that, I'll wait for the actual policy to come out before commenting on that further.

Dad was talking about Bangalore, he went to visit recently, and was shocked at the level of pollution. This from somebody who's lived all his life in another pretty polluted Indian city. It was literally "in your face," grime coating the eyes, he was glad to get away from there without a heart attack. People get inured to all this, until it gets to Delhi and Kanpur levels, and then they belatedly freak out and do cosmetic gestures like "outdoor water cannons."

Clean air is not some "first world luxury," that "India doesn't need that right now, the priority is development, clean air can wait." If you can have the development without the degradation, why not?

This govt. has made a lot of disruptive moves, with the long term in mind. For once we have a govt. thinking 20 years ahead. It's true that right now there's a lot of firefighting necessary to fix problems from 20 years ago, but that's because the previous govt.s did zilch.


Bad analogy. Honest people did not lose money from demo, they were inconvenienced. Scrapping vehicles will cause consumers to lose lakhs. There are fewer 15-20 year old vehicles on the roads. Clean air to metros will not come if you take all consumer ICE vehicles off the road and replace them with EVs. Trucks, polluting industries, burning of crop stubble and high cost of electric power per capita forces people to use burning of wood/waste are the main culprits. Gasoline ICE in the 800cc to 2.5L engines are less the culprits.

Rishirishi
BRFite
Posts: 1166
Joined: 12 Mar 2005 02:30

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Rishirishi » 21 Jan 2020 05:17

Bangalore;
Bangalore does not need to scrap old vehicles. Vehicles are the the solution to a cities transport problem. Public transport is.
1 Imideately reserve a lane on all important roads for electric buses. Plenty of local feeder buses Give priority to buses on crossings.
2 Bus frequency must be each 4 min.
3 Put a toll tax of Rs 25 00 per month for private cars and taxis.
4 Only allow electric 2 wheelers.
5 Make the city bike and pedistrian friendly.

If 500K opt to use the 25K option then revenue will be 2,5 billion dollars PA. That is sufficient to finance the above (or 50 km metro per year). The option of paying Rs25K will be attractive to a whole lot of people, as it would make it possible to move arround the city very fast. Most of the cars will be gas ubers.

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2205
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby sudarshan » 21 Jan 2020 06:18

Mort Walker wrote:Bad analogy. Honest people did not lose money from demo, they were inconvenienced. Scrapping vehicles will cause consumers to lose lakhs. There are fewer 15-20 year old vehicles on the roads. Clean air to metros will not come if you take all consumer ICE vehicles off the road and replace them with EVs. Trucks, polluting industries, burning of crop stubble and high cost of electric power per capita forces people to use burning of wood/waste are the main culprits. Gasoline ICE in the 800cc to 2.5L engines are less the culprits.


More than losing money vs. plain inconvenience, I think the issue is fundamentally one of trust in the govt. A Congress govt. would not have got away with that (mis)adventure. If the current govt. can find a way to leverage that trust to take action on the pollution front, good for them. Again, it's best to wait and see what kind of scrappage policy they come up with, rather than declaring that it's a bad idea before it even takes birth.

Cleaning up the vehicles is a necessary step. You are arguing that it is not a sufficient step, but that's not the point. All the things you mentioned need to be addressed, but that also includes cleaning up the transport. And BTW, "trucks" are also "ICE vehicles" :).

I agree that petrol ICEs are less the culprits, this is a known fact, BS-VI standards and fuels will have a rather mild effect on the already (relatively) low pollution from petrol ICEs. The main culprits among the transport sector are the two- and three-wheelers, many (or most) of which are still two-stroke carbureted affairs, and also diesel cars and trucks/ buses. Two-stroke ICEs are notorious for subjecting fuel to incomplete combustion, which means the exhaust will be heavy in unburned hydrocarbons. Carburetion amplifies that effect. Four-stroke ICEs with fuel-injection are already a big step up in terms of reducing pollution. With catalytic converters - even better.

Vayutuvan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 10417
Joined: 20 Jun 2011 04:36

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Vayutuvan » 21 Jan 2020 06:23

sudarshan wrote:OK, so you're telling us you're not unbiased in this :).
But I agree, CNG is a viable option.


Yes, a disclaimer of sorts :oops: :wink:

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2205
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby sudarshan » 21 Jan 2020 06:28

Rishirishi wrote:Bangalore;
Bangalore does not need to scrap old vehicles. Vehicles are the the solution to a cities transport problem. Public transport is.
1 Imideately reserve a lane on all important roads for electric buses. Plenty of local feeder buses Give priority to buses on crossings.
2 Bus frequency must be each 4 min.
3 Put a toll tax of Rs 25 00 per month for private cars and taxis.
4 Only allow electric 2 wheelers.
5 Make the city bike and pedistrian friendly.


3, 4 and 5 all imply - scrapping old vehicles. So why the big declaration up front that "no need to scrap old vehicles?"

Do you know of any KA govt. which can make the above utopia work?

If 500K opt to use the 25K option then revenue will be 2,5 billion dollars PA. That is sufficient to finance the above (or 50 km metro per year). The option of paying Rs25K will be attractive to a whole lot of people, as it would make it possible to move arround the city very fast. Most of the cars will be gas ubers.


Sounds like a sure-shot recipe for losing the next election. That "trust factor in the govt." doesn't exist here. Not to mention that just by paying Rs. 25K a month, you are not going to move around that city (or any Indian city) very fast, unless the driving habits of the vast majority of drivers changes to the point that traffic snarls disappear. You're talking of slapping down Rs. 3 lakhs per year, for a privilege (driving around very fast) which depends heavily on non-existent road quality, plus the guaranteed good graces of all the other drivers.

Vayutuvan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 10417
Joined: 20 Jun 2011 04:36

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Vayutuvan » 21 Jan 2020 07:00

sudarshan wrote:Like demonetisation was for 2019? I respect this govt. for making potentially unpopular decisions and actually carrying them out.


Problem is that they have used a lot of political capital in the beginning of this term in measures like abrogation of 370, CAA, making TTT a crime, and of course the big-ticket item, namely RJB.

anti-CAA is still alive and the economy is not picking up yet. On the energy front, there is a strong lobby for Ethanol (which is a losing game even in the US) who, as per my sixth cousins twice removed's boss, are paying off babus in a couple of ministries, to give subsidies to farmers and others to mix Ethanol into Petrol. As one can imagine, the energy sector attracts all kinds of vested interests.

Mort Walker
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8122
Joined: 31 May 2004 11:31
Location: The rings around Uranus.

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Mort Walker » 21 Jan 2020 07:16

Sudharshan,

When the government makes uninformed decisions like the unnecessary fast track implementation of BS-VI by kicking the decision to the courts - they can NOT be trusted, no matter how much we love Modi, Shah and Doval.

Trucks are not consumer vehicles, but rather needed to keep the smooth flow of goods for the economy. All goods move on truck in the final kilometer to market. Polluting trucks can be fined and removed. BS-VI has reduced the efficiency of diesel fuel. If you want a clean air, then go ahead and simply ban diesel. See what happens to the economy. It is far easier to stop burning crop stubble, shut down polluting small scale factories, and outlaw 2-stroke engines, rather than the impediments on transportation.

If tomorrow all ICE vehicles are banned and those who can afford to switch to EVs can, and those who can’t opt for bullock carts, cycle rickshas and tangas, metros across the country would still face enormous air pollution. It’s easy to beat up on the auto industry because they are an organized sector and make real tangible products that people need.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 54175
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby ramana » 21 Jan 2020 20:55

Can be in many threads
ORF report on India and the World

Basically about investment in energy infrastructure.


Rishirishi
BRFite
Posts: 1166
Joined: 12 Mar 2005 02:30

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Rishirishi » 22 Jan 2020 04:32

Sounds like a sure-shot recipe for losing the next election. That "trust factor in the govt." doesn't exist here. Not to mention that just by paying Rs. 25K a month, you are not going to move around that city (or any Indian city) very fast, unless the driving habits of the vast majority of drivers changes to the point that traffic snarls disappear. You're talking of slapping down Rs. 3 lakhs per year, for a privilege (driving around very fast) which depends heavily on non-existent road quality, plus the guaranteed good graces of all the other drivers.


I am not sure they will loose the elections. Demonitisation caused a lot of harm to people. But reportes were strugling to find aggrivate people. Even people who were standing in bank quoue for hours did not want to complain. People are not so dumb. If they see something good happening they will support it.

You have to take a risk. Line up 15 000 AC buses and do a "testrun" for 6 weeks. With clean roads people will see that traveltime reduces dramatically. So does the costs. If it fails, then just sell the buses (or the government can demand manufacturars have to offer them for free for 6 weeks, in return for some benefit)

If you take away 50% of the cars, the traffic will move much faster. a 15 Km trip may be reduced from 1,5 hours to 30 min.

In a place like Mumbai over 90% of the people travel by public transport, but the 10% people who travel by car, use all the space. If you take away 75% of the private cars, then the buses will run faster.

Transport economists can do simulations and fairly accurately predict the results.

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2205
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby sudarshan » 22 Jan 2020 08:31

Rishirishi wrote:I am not sure they will loose the elections. Demonitisation caused a lot of harm to people. But reportes were strugling to find aggrivate people. Even people who were standing in bank quoue for hours did not want to complain. People are not so dumb. If they see something good happening they will support it.


That was my line against Mort :). That worked at the union govt. level, because of the trust factor. Not sure about state govt. level, maybe in UP, or if Modi were running Gujarat again.

The rest of your points sound good, but too utopian. I don't know if any state govt. in India can make any of those work.

Mort, I get that you feel that BS-6 is totally unnecessary at this point. Your beef with the central govt. is that they pushed this in some "sneaky" way through the SC. I haven't read up on the politics of all this, but it is my impression that the SC has been doing its usual busybody activism with no inputs from GOI.

People who don't agree with your assumption of "BS-6 unnecessary right now" (like me) are not going to feel aggrieved and lose trust in GOI because of this. You feel that auto manufacturing has been shot to bits because of this, my feeling is that it will recover soon, and that BS-6 is actually a hidden opportunity. At this point BS-6 seems like a done deal anyway. We'll see.

Mort Walker
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8122
Joined: 31 May 2004 11:31
Location: The rings around Uranus.

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Mort Walker » 22 Jan 2020 09:34

Sudharshan,

BS-VI implementation was not well thought out. It was a combination of laziness and some stupid ideas given to them by people who are fools. Not a sneaky idea, but incompetence. Giving industry 12 months more would have impacted the auto industry much less, and as was stated earlier, BS-VI has not brought pollution down as fast as thought. NCR has has BS-VI fuel since April 2018, and particulate air pollution is still going up in PPM. The suggestions of banning private vehicles in the metros for reducing air pollution, congestion and fuel consumption is a sure shot way of ruining the economy. Why not simply ban petroleum and all combustion engines?

Rishirishi
BRFite
Posts: 1166
Joined: 12 Mar 2005 02:30

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Rishirishi » 23 Jan 2020 04:09

The rest of your points sound good, but too utopian. I don't know if any state govt. in India can make any of those work.


I have to agree they sound radical. But do not agree they are utopian, because it is doable. It will work, if someone bothers to impliment it.

Congress has a lot to gain from such a move, becase they will be showing, corrage to solve problems. The best thing the congress can do now is to pick up a stand which clearly is in favor of the society, but is also subject to massive protests. It will bring focus on them and they will get sympathy for fighting for a better world.

Bringing relief to the commuters of Mumbai won't go unoticed. Just imagine taking a AC bus from Thane to Bandra in only 30-40 min. The roads are there, you just need to move out the cars (only 10% of the people use the car, rest travel by public transport). The additional 2-3 billion dollars to improve the city will work wonders for the living conditions for all. Even the ones who are paying to drive.

Haresh
BRFite
Posts: 838
Joined: 30 Jun 2009 17:27

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Haresh » 31 Jan 2020 03:53

How Asia’s Smartest Businessman Plans To Power A Clean Planet With Synthetic Biology

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johncumber ... ic-biology

pandyan
BRFite
Posts: 406
Joined: 31 Jul 2006 05:12

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby pandyan » 09 Feb 2020 22:41

Suraj saar - did you ride the tsla wave? I know you were closely following tesla battery tech

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2205
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby sudarshan » 12 Feb 2020 04:51

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/in ... s?from=mdr

Mathura refinery now produces only BS-VI fuel. This is 8 million tons per year, about 4% of India's total refining capacity.

Nikhil T
BRFite
Posts: 1286
Joined: 09 Nov 2008 06:48
Location: RAW HQ, Lodhi Road

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Nikhil T » 15 Feb 2020 04:53

Electric Vehicles penetration to remain under 5% by 2025 :|

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/ec ... 743636.ece

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2205
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby sudarshan » 15 Feb 2020 09:04

Nikhil T wrote:Electric Vehicles penetration to remain under 5% by 2025 :|

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/ec ... 743636.ece


That article is talking about cars and personal vehicles. India is going to have very low market penetration in that segment for a while. But India is making strides in electrifying other transportation segments. Especially the three-wheeler (rickshaw and auto-rickshaw) segment. And also from the other end, the buses and maybe trucks. Two-wheelers might also follow suit. That's a massive chunk of the transportation sector, and the two- and three-wheeler segment is also the most polluting. BS-VI addresses diesel vehicle pollution, petrol vehicles have relatively low pollution to begin with.

You can google for "electric auto-rickshaws." And also "India electric buses." Those are the segments which will see the change to electric first.

So - has anybody here actually ridden in one of these e-auto-rickshaws? How are they, and are they really catching on, as googleshwara would indicate?

A Nandy
BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 384
Joined: 06 Sep 2009 23:39

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby A Nandy » 16 Feb 2020 17:15

Image

Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday inaugurated the first inter-city electric bus service, between Mumbai and Pune. The 43-seater capacity luxury electric bus, manufactured by Mitra Mobility Solution, has a range of 300 kilometre on a single charge and would be operated twice daily between the two cities, the operator Prasanna Purple Mobility Solutions said.

The company, which already has around 1,300 electric buses in operation, is also looking to extend these services in other parts of Maharashtra and adjoining states, its Chairman and Managing Director Prasanna Patwardhan said.

Speaking at the event Gadkari, who is the Minister for Transport, Highways and MSMEs, said his efforts in the last 4-5 years have been to see that electric buses run in large numbers on the country's highways.

He also said various corporations, state government corporations and private operators might order some 10,000 electric buses this year.

"We are also planning to build e-(electric) highways," he said.



https://punemirror.indiatimes.com/pune/ ... 138111.cms

Nikhil T
BRFite
Posts: 1286
Joined: 09 Nov 2008 06:48
Location: RAW HQ, Lodhi Road

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Nikhil T » 18 Feb 2020 02:32

Wall Street Journal: Solar power is beginning to eclipse fossil fuels - India shows the way

BHADLA, India—In a dusty northwest India desert dotted with cows and the occasional camel, a solar-power plant is producing some of the world’s cheapest energy.

Built in 2018 by India’s Acme Solar Holdings Ltd., it can generate 200 megawatts of electricity, enough to power all the homes in a middle-size U.S. town. Acme sells the electricity to distributors for 2.44 rupees (3.4 cents) a kilowatt-hour, a record low for solar power in India, a country that data trackers say has the world’s cheapest solar energy.

More remarkable, the power costs less to generate in India than the cheapest competing fossil fuel—coal—even with subsidies removed and the cost of construction and financing figured in, according to the Indian government and industry trackers.

Price-conscious Indian utilities are eager to snap up that power. “We are infamous for low cost,” says Sandeep Kashyap, Acme’s president.

Solar power has entered a new global era. The industry was long dependent on subsidies and regulatory promotions. Now, technological innovation and falling solar-panel prices have made solar power inexpensive enough to compete on its own with other fuel sources in some regions, when it comes to newly built plants. That could turbocharge growth of renewables in the global energy industry, especially in fast-growing Asian markets where much of the world’s energy infrastructure expansion will take place.

Asia Boost
Solar's biggest growth is expected to come in Asia, where two-thirds of the world's energy-demand growth will be.
Solar capacity growth by country and region

Image

Governments in many solar markets—including China, the biggest—are phasing out or reducing supports. Solar-plant development is going mainstream, with finance provided by global investors like Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Singaporean sovereign-wealth fund GIC and huge Western pension and private-equity funds.

So far, the renewable-energy push hasn’t halted the growth of global energy emissions. But the success of countries like India in feeding their rising power demands with clean energy will still be key to blunting the growth of global challenges like pollution and climate change.

The price declines in solar panels and the power they produce are jolting the industry. In the past decade, solar has grown from less than 1% of the world’s electric-power capacity to an estimated 9% by the end of this year, according to the International Energy Agency, an intergovernmental organization focused on energy policy. By 2040, the IEA expects that to grow to 24%, which would make solar the largest single energy source.

India is at the forefront of the trend, with a cost of building solar capacity that has dropped 84% in eight years, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency, an intergovernmental organization focused on renewable energy. Other countries are close behind, with costs falling fast in Australia and China.

India has increased the amount of solar power it has installed 10-fold in the past five years, to 32 gigawatts, and the government is hoping to triple that in the next few years—one of the fastest paces of growth anywhere. India’s prime minister last year said he wants 450 gigawatts of renewable energy including solar installed by 2030.

If India manages that, which many analysts say is a real stretch, it would account for nearly all the additional electric capacity the country’s Central Electricity Authority has projected it would add by then, and more than the country’s total from all power sources now. India has pledged as a climate goal that 40% of its electric capacity will come from non-fossil fuels by 2030; the latest renewable targets would likely put that percentage at over half.

Cheaper than coal
In 2018, India’s “levelized” cost of solar-power generation—an analysis removing the impact of direct subsidies and figuring in the costs of construction and financing for a new plant—fell to 14% below that of coal, the first time anywhere in the world that generating solar was cheaper than coal on that basis, according to international energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie.

India’s national energy plan doesn’t anticipate construction of new coal power plants for at least several years. Even state-controlled Coal India, one of the world’s largest coal-producing companies, in November said it planned a pilot solar project as it navigated a future with less coal.

Across Asia, a region expected to account for two-thirds of the world’s new power demand during the next two decades, price declines will make wind and solar combined 17% cheaper than coal by 2030 on a levelized basis, says Wood Mackenzie. In India, solar generation will be almost 50% cheaper, it projects.

“This is a revolution in power generation costs,” says Wood Mackenzie analyst Alex Whitmore. “What it means is there will be a lot more solar investment in India, and in countries like India.”

Balance of Power

Image
The cost of building a solar plant has fallen dramatically—especially in India, where solar is now the cheapest source of power.

Sources: International Renewable Energy Agency (install cost); Wood Mackenzie (power cost)
Solar’s big problem: It generates power only when the sun shines. Wind power, similarly, works only with wind. So displacing fossil fuels could require cheaper ways to store energy. And the more renewables in the power-transmission grid, the more the grid will need to be rebuilt to accommodate those special characteristics.

That inefficiency is why the IEA forecasts the amount of power solar generates to rise to only 11% of the world’s total by 2040, around half that of coal or natural gas.

In India, which has some of the world’s best conditions for generating solar power, the mismatch is pronounced because demand for electricity swells after people go home and switch on air conditioners in the evening, when solar plants aren’t working.

Meanwhile, countries like India have made massive investments in coal-fired plants they can’t afford to simply scrap. Coal still provides two-thirds of India’s power. Coal shipments also underpin profits at the nation’s biggest employer, the railways.

As Indian solar developers push prices down, the thin margins for many are being pummeled by challenges ranging from an economic slowdown and tighter domestic financing conditions to power distributors that aren’t paying bills and squatters refusing to move off land slated for development.

During the past two years, the pace of solar development in India slowed. Although installations are expected to pick back up this year, many analysts and industry leaders now expect India won’t hit its aggressive solar goals.

‘Low-hanging fruit’
Challenges will likely multiply when solar power in India’s grid rises from the current 9% to around 20% or 30%—a level at which it may start replacing conventional power plants, say experts like Rahul Tongia, a fellow at the India arm of think tank Brookings Institution.

Hot and Cold

The world is expected to install lots of solar-power capacity...

Image

Solar plants produce power only when the sun is shining, not when Indian electricity demand spikes in the evening.

“What happens after that point when the low-hanging fruit is done?” says Mr. Tongia.

India’s solar push started in 2010, when its government outlined plans for a modest boost in capacity during the next decade. Solar was a good fit for India’s growing energy needs. Plants are easy to build—essentially solar panels lined up in racks—and labor is inexpensive. India has big stretches of sparsely populated land and intense sun, good for vast spreads cranking out power.

In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi quintupled the country’s solar target, aiming to install 100 gigawatts of capacity by 2022—roughly half of the world’s 2015 total. At the time, India had less than 3 gigawatts of solar power installed and the plan seemed crazy.

“It was a leap of faith,” says Anand Kumar, a top official in India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. “We got very lucky that the price of solar panels fell.”

China had been cranking out solar panels in massive numbers in a government-subsidized effort to dominate the industry globally. Panel prices, which can account for around half the cost of a solar plant in India, plummeted. Globally, solar-panel prices fell more than 90% during the past decade, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

The Indian government’s system of auctioning out solar projects to developers that offered the cheapest electricity reduced prices there further. Aggressive entrepreneurs elbowed in, figuring the government’s eagerness to boost solar capacity coupled with ever-cheaper panels offered a profit opportunity.

Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., whose chief executive, Masayoshi Son, is a solar proponent, set up an energy unit in Delhi around the same time Mr. Modi announced his ambitious goals. SoftBank snagged its first solar project in half a year. Acme switched its focus to solar from telecom equipment, figuring the industry was poised to repeat telecom’s rapid growth. ReNew Power Ltd., founded in 2011, enlisted a roster of blue-chip investors including Goldman, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

As the government tendered hundreds of megawatts of solar capacity, the price at which solar developers were offering to sell their electricity roughly halved between 2015 and this year, according to Bridge to India, a data tracker.

Developers pushed to squeeze all the profit they could from projects. In the Bhadla solar park, where the Acme plant producing the cheap electricity is located, one problem is dust. The plant has 927,180 panels stretched over desert where sandstorms are common and temperatures can swing from over 120 degrees Fahrenheit in summer to nearly freezing in winter. If panels aren’t cleaned regularly, dust collects and electricity production declines.

Acme had used sprinklers on tractors driven by contractors to wash down the panels, a method letting them clean all panels three times a month. Last year, it rolled out robots that brush the panels down, doubling the monthly cleaning and boosting the maximum amount of energy the plant could produce.

Bottlenecks
As solar prices sank, some projects were delayed by a lack of transmission lines to ship the electricity. Others fell behind because of tussles between villagers, developers and local governments over land—issues dogging development in other countries as well.

Acme and other developers have been hamstrung by a delay in tax and tariff refunds they had counted on. “A lot of equity got stuck, which was planned for new projects,” says Mr. Kashyap, Acme’s president.

ReNew and other companies have been hit by payment delays from India’s struggling power distributors, mainly state-owned companies that buy electricity from producers and sell it to households. India’s Central Electricity Authority estimated that as of Nov. 30, renewable-energy companies were owed some $1.3 billion in overdue bills.

At any one time, distributors in roughly a quarter of the eight or nine states that ReNew Power operates in are behind on payments, says CEO Sumant Sinha. Although ReNew and other developers factor such payment delays into electricity prices they offer when bidding for projects, a miscalculation could hit profits. “Everyone sees delays in payments,” he says.

Some Indian state agencies, hoping solar prices fall lower, have canceled solar auctions when they thought developers were offering to sell power at too high a price.

A coal-fired power plant under construction in India in 2015, left, and a solar-power plant in 2016. PHOTOS: ASSOCIATED PRESS; GETTY IMAGES
Last year, the southern state of Andra Pradesh —which has one of the highest levels of renewable-energy consumption as well as one of the largest unpaid bills—threatened to cancel old solar contracts and renegotiate them at lower prices, sending the industry into an uproar.

The Andra Pradesh government says paying those higher prices has left its electricity distributors in financial distress, and that it is trying to “persuade” renewable-energy generators to supply power “at a mutually beneficial rate.”

By early 2019, many developers were starting to pass on solar auctions, threatening the country’s aggressive development timetable. Many developers and analysts now say India is likely to fall behind in achieving its renewable-energy goals.

India is working to remove roadblocks, building more transmission lines and tweaking rules governing auction, development deadlines and solar parks to make it easier to build plants. It is holding auctions for projects bundling solar with wind power and electricity-storage capacity to help even out solar generation’s peaks and troughs. ReNew recently won one such contract.

And India is considering projects that bundle existing coal plants with renewable-energy sources, to help smooth the transition from fossil fuels, says Mr. Kumar, the renewable-energy official.

Experts like ReNew’s Mr. Sinha say it will likely be several years before India builds so much solar capacity that the technology’s daytime power surges and nighttime plunges could affect the country’s overall electricity supply. By that time, says Mr. Sinha, other new technologies such as batteries and systems for shipping electricity may be available to smooth out irregularities.

India has already shown it can expand its solar capacity far faster than anyone would have expected, he says: “That is not an achievement to be scoffed at.”

Nikhil T
BRFite
Posts: 1286
Joined: 09 Nov 2008 06:48
Location: RAW HQ, Lodhi Road

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Nikhil T » 18 Feb 2020 02:43

With plenty of sun, cheap labour, and overall lower cost vs. coal, India has the worlds biggest opportunity in solar power. In the next five years, China is adding more solar capacity than the entire world added in the previous five years. However, it's not enough to just add solar capacity on paper; we need to see solar generate massive amounts of electricity (for solar, % contribution in electricity generated lags far behind % contribution in installed power).

We must be at the forefront of developing energy storage solutions, so that solar can become more reliable source of energy for us. China is already secure in energy storage with its massive investments in Lithium mines. We could partner with US to research hydroelectric energy storage - since we have many dams across the country. US is building a $3 billion proof of concept in Hoover Dam - this would be very interesting.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... nergy.html
Last edited by Nikhil T on 18 Feb 2020 02:47, edited 2 times in total.

Nikhil T
BRFite
Posts: 1286
Joined: 09 Nov 2008 06:48
Location: RAW HQ, Lodhi Road

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Nikhil T » 18 Feb 2020 02:45

Self-deleted duplicate post.

Mort Walker
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8122
Joined: 31 May 2004 11:31
Location: The rings around Uranus.

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Mort Walker » 18 Feb 2020 08:31

^^^What you forget is that those low rates of price per unit (KWHr) are based on Chinese solar panels which may not have the life intended by degradation of efficiency. It would be better to have panels made in India.

Solar plants produce power only when the sun is shining, not when Indian electricity demand spikes in the evening.

“What happens after that point when the low-hanging fruit is done?” says Mr. Tongia.

India’s solar push started in 2010, when its government outlined plans for a modest boost in capacity during the next decade. Solar was a good fit for India’s growing energy needs. Plants are easy to build—essentially solar panels lined up in racks—and labor is inexpensive. India has big stretches of sparsely populated land and intense sun, good for vast spreads cranking out power.

In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi quintupled the country’s solar target, aiming to install 100 gigawatts of capacity by 2022—roughly half of the world’s 2015 total. At the time, India had less than 3 gigawatts of solar power installed and the plan seemed crazy.


As of date, installed capacity of solar is 34 GW. Reaching 100 GW by 2025 will be difficult if the price of panels goes up coming from China.

Vayutuvan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 10417
Joined: 20 Jun 2011 04:36

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Vayutuvan » 12 Mar 2020 03:46

Mort Walker wrote:As of date, installed capacity of solar is 34 GW. Reaching 100 GW by 2025 will be difficult if the price of panels goes up coming from China.


That is sure to happen if they are dumping right now (or rather just before this COVID19 hit them). Would they be able to dump going forward once they are out of the COVID crisis is the billion dollar question.

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2205
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby sudarshan » 21 Mar 2020 05:15

Now that the IT wallahs are working from home in Bangalore, the reports I'm getting is that the roads are back to '80s or '90s levels of traffic, pollution is way down, and the city actually feels livable. Poster Rishirishi has a point, if so.

Vayutuvan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 10417
Joined: 20 Jun 2011 04:36

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Vayutuvan » 24 Mar 2020 01:55

sudarshan wrote:Now that the IT wallahs are working from home in Bangalore, the reports I'm getting is that the roads are back to '80s or '90s levels of traffic,


I In Blur for a couple of days back in 1995 or so. It took almost 15 minutes for me to cross the road. Are you saying that now is lot worse than then?!!! B'lur should be abandoned.

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2205
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby sudarshan » 24 Mar 2020 02:19

Vayutuvan wrote:I In Blur for a couple of days back in 1995 or so. It took almost 15 minutes for me to cross the road. Are you saying that now is lot worse than then?!!! B'lur should be abandoned.


I haven't been to Bangalore for several years now, but from what I hear from friends and relatives, the situation there is:

a. It will now take you 15 minutes to find the road
b. You can still cross the road, but now you will have to get into a car to do so

Dad went in Jan. and told me that he didn't venture into the city, just stayed in a room in (near?) the station itself. His face and eyes were getting coated in soot, and he was glad to get away without a heart attack from all the pollution.

But at the current moment, with the IT wallahs staying home (chafing at the bit from what I hear), a relative told me he could actually cover an 8 km distance in 20 mins!

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2205
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby sudarshan » 31 Mar 2020 09:46

How is the pollution scene in Indian cities and towns now, with the lock-down in place? Could we have some anecdotes?

This is a question of some moment. If pollution is significantly and visibly down (if there are hard numbers, then even better), that would imply:

a. That vehicles are a major contributor to city pollution
b. BS-VI will have good effect in reducing pollution, since it addresses vehicular pollution

Especially interested in Delhi, where we go back and forth saying - it's all vehicles; no, it's industry, vehicles won't make a whit of difference; it's the stubble-burning. We have an excellent chance now, to estimate the contribution of vehicular pollution to the full mix.

BS-VI transition is in two days :shock: but who's bothered about that right now.


SBajwa
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5296
Joined: 10 Jan 2006 21:35
Location: Attari

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby SBajwa » 03 Apr 2020 20:32

Today! You can see Dhauladhar Himalayan range from Jalandhar itself. All pollution gone!


Avtar Singh
BRFite
Posts: 128
Joined: 22 Jan 2017 02:07

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Avtar Singh » 03 Apr 2020 20:50

^^^^
the last time I saw that view was from the upstairs of my house on visiting in 1975
After that I have been visiting since 2000 and never seen that view.
Cancelled this months trip due fear of getting trapped!

Mort Walker
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8122
Joined: 31 May 2004 11:31
Location: The rings around Uranus.

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Mort Walker » 04 Apr 2020 08:15

^^^From Jalandhar to Dhauladhar is about 200 KM distance.

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2205
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby sudarshan » 04 Apr 2020 21:07

Amaz-iing! All within a week. The article I posted above says 71% reduction in both PM 2.5 and NO2 within a week. Over the course of the lockdown, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw >90% reduction in most pollutants.

So we don't have to go looking for "hidden sources" of pollution, it is the vehicles and industry. What would be interesting is to look at Delhi, where it is said that we also have the effects of stubble burning to contend with. Another interesting thing would be to look at areas of the nation where there is little industry, but a lot of vehicles, as opposed to other areas with fewer vehicles and more industry. That would be a good (though obviously not perfect) estimate of the relative severity of vehicular vs industrial pollution.

This kind of opportunity, to get a glimpse of how the country would have been 50 years ago, comes once in a lifetime, if at all. Now when the old-timers go nostalgic about "in our times, we could see peaks in Himachal Pradesh from Jalandhar," the youngsters will have a reference point to understand that, rather than go "meh!" I myself have distant and hazy memories (confirmed by parents) of certain parts of the country, now totally built over, where in the past, one could see rainstorms moving in from 10's of kms away.

sudarshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2205
Joined: 09 Aug 2008 08:56

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby sudarshan » 05 Apr 2020 09:24

The effect of so many vehicles and industrial sources is overcome within days, and practically the whole country sees major reduction in pollution in that time frame.

So the next time the usual suspects go blaming Deepavali for all the winter pollution, it would be good to point out that the effects of those three days of fire-cracker indulgence are going to dissipate pretty darn fast. It is the vehicles, and if Kejriwal was unable to bring pollution under control using odd-even, that means the scheme was a failure (or scatter-brained and doomed to failure to begin with), not that vehicles are not the source of pollution.

Mort Walker
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8122
Joined: 31 May 2004 11:31
Location: The rings around Uranus.

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby Mort Walker » 05 Apr 2020 09:46

^^^Remember

“Pollution is going down, but we cannot let the suffering of so many human beings be the way to clean the air,” Dahiya said.”We can only use the outbreak of coronavirus as a learning lesson for us.”


Now the key here will be to see if the rivers are getting less polluted due to less industrial waste. The Yamuna would be a good test.

SBajwa
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5296
Joined: 10 Jan 2006 21:35
Location: Attari

Re: Policy Changes in India: Electric Vehicles, Pollution Control, Energy Source Mix, Etc.

Postby SBajwa » 05 Apr 2020 10:21

Mort Walker wrote:^^^Remember

“Pollution is going down, but we cannot let the suffering of so many human beings be the way to clean the air,” Dahiya said.”We can only use the outbreak of coronavirus as a learning lesson for us.”


Now the key here will be to see if the rivers are getting less polluted due to less industrial waste. The Yamuna would be a good test.


Check this video about Yamuna river posted on 2nd April, 2020



Return to “Technology & Economic Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests