Journal of Law & Public Policy Vol-5 (2018) Sustainable Energy: Law and Policy in India
About the Journal :
The Journal of Law and Public Policy, a peer reviewed journal first released in 2014 is published annually by the Centre for Environment Law Education, Research and Advocacy. It touches upon various socio-legal issues in the interface between law and public policy such as human rights, consumer welfare, women rights, socio-economic rights, food security law, access to legal aid, medical law and ethics to name a few. The fourth, fifth and sixth volumes of the Journal have specially dealt with legal and policy issues on the Uniform Civil Code, Sustainable Energy and Sports. In addition to scholarly articles the Journal has also featured case comments and book reviews. JLPP is a peer reviewed journal with an ISSN No. 2350-1200.
“Integration of Energy Efficiency Techniques in Construction of Buildings: Regulatory Constraints and Policy challenges in India”
– Dr. Binu Mole
Dr.Binu Mole analyses the issue of “Integration of Energy Efficiency techniques in the Construction of Building”. The author states that the regulatory framework for integrating energy efficiency techniques in the construction of buildings began with various initiatives such as the enactment of the Energy Conservation Act of 2001 and the Electricity Act of 2003, the establishment of the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency, the Bureau of Emergency Efficiency etc. Over the past decade, the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy, the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change, the Ministry of Power and the Ministry of Urban Development have introduced component which look at sustainability with overarching policy objectives to promote energy conservation in buildings. Despite these efforts, the pace of change towards energy efficiency appears to be very slow in our country. The message of Energy efficiency which led to the policy upsurge in this regard has unfortunately not reached the target groups. Rural areas are still struggling to achieve the desired energy goals. The infrastructure for small conservation projects in households has not been achieved and the need for correlation of climate change issues with energy efficiency policies has remained unheeded under the current scheme. In the backdrop of regulatory efforts and policy initiatives, the author in this article makes an effort to critically analyse the scheme in order to suggest improvements for useful interventions. The Study tries to examine as to how far the mandate under Indian law to achieve “efficient and environmentally benign policies” has progressed.
“Legal frame work of energy security and sustainable development in India- a critical analysis”
-Chandralekha V. and Dr. TR Maruthi
In this article, the authors have analysed the legal framework of energy security and sustainable development in India. The development of a nation is dependent on adequate and continuous supply of energy sources. Energy is crucial for every human being and is considered to be the lifeline of economic development. India’s attempt to shift from the agriculture sector to manufacturing and service sector has in the past resulted in an unexpected demand for energy sources. To achieve parity with the demand, India needs to generate and supply three times more of its current energy generation in the future. India is currently dependent on conventional non-renewable energy sources for its energy needs. But it is very difficult for the country to continue in the same manner and maintain balance with environmental issues, climate change and use of non-renewable energy concurrently. Shifting towards renewable energy sources has the potential to provide solutions to long standing energy problems. No doubt India has taken important steps with regard to renewable energy by increasing the installed capacity, thereby attempting to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, mainly on coal and diesel but there are many hurdles in achieving India’s renewable energy targets. There is an urgent need to develop innovative technology and financial instruments to protect the renewable sector in India. There are several instruments that are currently available in the private market, especially relating to solar and wind energy. But their costs make them unreasonable for developers and inductors to utilize them effectively. Apart from the problems mentioned above, issues relating to location and storage of energy should also be considered by the government. The authors in this paper highlight the problems faced by the renewable energy sector of India, and also deal with how India can achieve energy security, economic development and environment sustainability simultaneously.
“Help – replacing Nelp for oil exploration and energy security”
–Pavithra R. and Sincy Wilson
In this article the authors state that energy is of prime focus in our nation and receives wide importance in terms of environment and sustainable development. Oil, natural gas and its exploration are the main resources. This article focuses on the securing energy and the sustainable development. India stands fifth in overall energy consumption and the existing resources of energy production are proving to be insufficient to address the concerns of a large population. Approximately, only thirty percent of the nation’s population has an LPG connection. Currently, India is a rapidly growing market for the energy sector, yet we see that even after the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) was introduced, the required investment in the sector did not come to the country. Looking at the disappointing results of the existing policy, a new policy was brought about by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and was coined as the Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP) which replaced the existing Exploration Licensing Policy. The new policy is supposed to place wide discretion in the hands of explorers and the production industry, which is an attempt to cure the defects of NELP. In the new policy, companies were given the power to choose areas they were interested to invest in and the government would further bid on the same area proposed by the companies, hence making companies proactive agents in the entire process. Given such a scenario, the investors are given the option to make an informed decision which is a desirable feature in such a policy. However, the new policy is not devoid of drawbacks. Hence, the authors in this paper focus on the lacunae of HELP, in particular on the preferences being given to certain companies and with respect to the issue of investment from countries across the world.
“Achieving energy security through development of nuclear energy
– Ritesh R
The author in this article, “attempts to achieve energy security through Nuclear Energy”. The aspiration of a growing population is to have a better quality of life for which energy sufficiency is crucial. Maintaining the balance between conserving the environment and developing the country is always quite a big task. For the conservation of the energy and the process of securing it the country has decided to for the usage of the nuclear energy. Affordable and uninterrupted energy supply is critical to attain development goals. But the disparity in access to energy supply which translates into economic deprivation and an upsurge in poverty levels across the world is a major concern among countries. Statistical figures and facts suggest that 25% of Indian population doesn’t have access to electricity. In the next 20 years, energy is the major requirement to sustain economic growth which India has experienced for more than a decade now. If the percentage of India’s economic growth (8% to 9%) continuous in the future, there will be change in power demand from 220Gwe to 800Gwe. This means that there will be Co2 production of about 3 to 4 billion ton managing which would become an extremely challenging task. Coal will continue to dominate India’s energy mix for the next decade or so (given the low cost of production and abundance in India). But growing environmental pressures will require India to alter its energy mix, making nuclear energy an important fuel source in the future. India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) outlines its intent to scale up the country’s clean-energy capacity and there lies a solution in the form of primary energy sources like solar, wind and nuclear. But to be able to economically exploit nuclear energy in the future, investments have to be made in the present so that a smooth transition could be made from a fossil fuel dominated energy mix, to an energy mix which would not wholly but substantially be dependent on nuclear energy. The author examines the future growth of nuclear power in India and also makes an attempt to explain the fact that nuclear power alone can bring about a feasible solution to the energy crisis in India and the world today. Nuclear energy has a very high capacity factor compared to other alternative sources and the technology is also proven. Government Policy to encourage use of Thorium fuelled nuclear reactors also play a considerable role in the feasibility of Nuclear energy. Considering all the above factors, the author contends that energy security can be achieved through the development of nuclear energy.
“The need for harnessing nature through tidal and geo thermal energy in India”
-Srividya R. Sastry
The author evaluates the role of “Tidal and Geothermal Energy”. The sustainable energy is the process of usage of the renewable energy. This article elaborates on what is tidal energy and the features of it and the benefits achieved from the usage of the tidal energy and the policy concerns. With India’s growing population and energy needs, it is estimated that the country’s main source of energy i.e. Conventional fossil fuels may run out in about next 40 years and even the natural gases may no longer be available in the future to meet the energy needs of the country. The fact that conventional sources of energy have led to severe environmental impacts and global warming has made the country look out for cleaner technology using renewable sources to meet its rising energy demands. Also, considering the fact that renewable sources of energy such as solar power projects, small hydro power projects etc. have benefitted millions of people across the Indian subcontinent, the author contends that it is time for India to explore other renewable sources of energy. Geothermal and Tidal energy are the renewable sources of energy vastly available across the Indian sub-continent. India having a large landmass and long coast line should make attempts in harnessing these sources energy to meet its growing industrial and domestic energy requirements. These sectors have suffered mainly because of high costs and limited availability of sites with sufficient potential. India has the potential to contribute to the Energy industry positively through job creation, energy security, exports and economic growth in the Tidal and Geothermal sector. The author looks into the positive impact, feasibility of adopting these cleaner forms of energy and the regulatory framework of India wherein it provides opportunity for the growth of the industry in an economical and sustainable manner in order to achieve its target of 175GW of renewable energy by the year 2022.
“Energy efficiency interventions on MSMEs: quest towards a sustainable security”
–Dr. Vani Kesari
The author has given the evaluation of “The Role of MSMEs in the Energy Sector”. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) have a significant role in India in terms of not only balanced growth but also its contribution towards employment generation, development of entrepreneur skills and enhancement of rural industrialisation. These industries contribute towards 8.9% of Gross Domestic Product of the country. However, MSMEs have fallen behind global benchmarks in terms of productivity, technology and end use energy efficiency. This may be due to the fact that MSMEs are vulnerable due to the limited resources within which they function as well as constrained operating margins. There have been various legal and policy interventions with regard to energy conservation in the operation of MSMEs. Apart from certain key legislations such as the Electricity Act, 2003, Energy Conservation Act, 2001, Electricity Regulatory Commissions Act, 1998 the government of India has in associations, bilateral/multilateral programmes, national agencies and financial institutions engaged in creating energy efficiency transition in the MSME sector. The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has been working on MSME cluster Development as well as the policy initiatives to be undertaken under both Central and state governments. The principal question that is to be addressed is of what extents the existing laws and policy objectives can effectively intervene in making MSMEs maintain energy efficiency. In India, only very large companies have initiated the practice of sustainable reporting while the MSMEs that are doing so are very minimal. The major lacuna in the regulatory framework is the absence of sector specific regulations and institutional accountability. Investigations in this direction are thus essential to make green growth a reality. Moreover, the author evaluates the extent to which the legal and policy paradigm in India has attempted to incorporate the need to use renewable energy as an alternative source of energy by MSMEs and the stance of the regulatory policies and law in this regard. The improved energy services and the various role of it which helps in developing the sustainability is explained.
“Is renewable energy a viable alternative? An examination of the draft national energy policy, 2017 against the back drop of the German energy policy (Energiewende)”
– Vidya Ann Jacob
The author examines the “Draft National Energy Policy and the question of whether renewable energy is a viable alternative .” Renewable energy has become an important agenda of India’s energy planning process, especially since climate change has taken centre stage in the domestic and international policy arena. It also viewed the adverse effect of the climate change in the society. The essence of the non renewable energy was help up in the first argument of the article. The depletion of energy is spoken. The challenge of meeting energy demand is likely to get more complex since it has to keep pace with the population growth and expanding economy. In fact, experience has proved that access to modern energy is a prerequisite for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. In the backdrop of the ever increasing demand for energy, there are also issues such as excessive dependence on oil imports and mounting deficits in balance of payments, volatility in oil prices, depleting fossil fuel reserves, the threat to energy security and climate change resulting from increasing emissions of greenhouse gases. The growth rate of energy consumption has now exceeded the growth rate of production of energy in the country. India also deals with a vast population and very limited natural resources, especially for meeting its energy requirements. Renewable energy is central from the twin perspectives of energy security and environmental sustainability. India today stands among the top five countries of the world in terms of renewable energy capacity. The author highlights importance and prospects of renewable energy in India and extrapolates the future developments keeping in view the demand, consumption, production and supply of power. She also examines the nature of India’s energy problem, development of renewable energy, potential, investment in renewable energy, and the factors responsible for slow diffusion of renewable energy across the country.
“India – solar panel case at WTO and its impact on Indian renewable energy sector and environment”
–Amit Kumar Akela
The author’s study is on the “Solar Panel case that was before the WTO in 2013” and its impact on Indian renewable energy sector and environment. The world is moving towards renewable energy with great pace and countries are incentivizing and encouraging them by several means as well. But the world has also witnessed quite a few disputes before the WTO Panel based on renewable energy issues. The object of Indian Country is that to be a global leader in the solar energy. The Feed- In – Tarrif (FIT) scheme and its benefits and models were over viewed by the author in this article .The Panel Reports and the Appellate Body ruling in the Indian Solar Panel case which concluded that the country’s power purchase agreements with solar forms and domestic content requirements (DCR) were inconsistent with international norms generated a lot of hue and cry from academics, industries and non-governmental organizations. But there were also some scholars who asked India to abide by the decision, arguing that it went in India’s favour as its renewable energy program was not prohibited and there was no restriction imposed on the import of cheaper solar cells and modules. Based on these lines of arguments, the paper tries to analyse from an Indian perspective, the defences our country advanced to justify its DCR measures. These measures adopted by India were not new, rather many developed and developing countries had used them to strengthen their domestic infant industries in the past. The author looks at the impact of the above on India’s renewable energy program, the domestic renewable industry, job creation and achieving environmental goals.
“Sustainable development through renewable energy: perspectives on enabling mechanisms and recommended policy guidelines”
The author analyses the conventional sources of energy and sustainable development. The energy requirement in India has been growing steadily which is being met both by conventional and non-conventional sources of energy. The author discusses the arguments made on and against the ‘conventional fuel’ v. ‘renewable energy’, ‘climate obligations’ v. ‘sustainable development’, ‘investment on expensive renewable energy technology’ v. ‘expenditure on basic social welfare’ . The importance of usage of renewable and saving the fossil fuels is highlighted. The non-availability of sufficient resources and emission of pollutants from conventional sources has therefore, increased the need for utilization of renewable energy to a great extent. Energy consumption rises with the increase in population and living standards. The need to expand access to energy in new ways is growing and so is the awareness of the environment costs. Economic development has been strongly correlated with increasing use and growth of greenhouse gas emissions. The relationship between renewable energy and sustainable development can be viewed as a hierarchy of goals and constraints that involve both global, regional and local considerations. The “doctrine of absolute liability” and the M.C Mehta cases are quoted. The three pillar concept of sustainable development- economy, ecology and society allows a schematic categorization of developmental goals. Renewable energy offers the opportunity to contribute to a number of important sustainable development goals like social and economic development, energy access, energy security, climate change mitigation and reduction of environment and health impacts. It is important to consider that for the development path to be sustainable over a long period, wealth, resources, and opportunity must be shared so that all citizens have access to minimum standards of security, human rights, and social benefits, such as food, health, education, shelter, and opportunity for self-development. The synergies with local sustainable development goals, conditions for their successful implementation, and trade-off s with the aspect of climatic mitigation have to be discussed. There are many different ways to classify indicators of sustainable development and identify where improvements need to be made. The author highlights the over exploitation and utilization of conventional energy resources in India and the strategy for sustainable utilization of energy resources for social and economic development of the nation. The barriers that retain the growth of the sustainability process and the economic policies and the instruments that helps in the development of the economy are discussed.
“Sustainable energy future in India: policy initiatives to develop tidal and geothermal energy in India”
-Anand Jagmalani & Ambuj Tiwari
The authors have examined issues in the “Growth and Utilisation of Tidal and Geothermal Energy.” While in earlier days, wood and timber were the only sources of energy (biomass), the discovery of fossil fuel which includes coal and oil and natural gas have now replaced those conventional sources. Fossil fuel is an easily available source of energy and the technology for its use is well developed, due to which this particular source is extensively used by all the countries across the globe. Unfortunately, fossil fuel is also unsafe for continued usage since it produces large amounts of carbon dioxide which has led to environmental degradation and global warming. The concept of sustainable energy came up to help meet today’s demand of energy without endangering the future needs. India is well gifted with natural resources and has the potential for alternative energy creation. Tidal energy and geothermal energy are the two forms of energy which can be looked at as viable alternative sources in India. Tidal power, also called tidal energy, is a form of hydropower that converts the energy of tides into useful forms of power. Tidal streams, barrages and tidal lagoons are the three sources from which such energy is created. The use of geothermal energy in India is at a nascent stage. It has been identified that there are about 340 geothermal hot springs in the country. Both these sources of energy are inexhaustible in nature. They are supposed to be highly efficient and environmentally friendly. The authors while contending the benefits of these sources, emphasize the need for the government to take initiatives in advancing them.
“The uncertain future of the middle children of India’s renewable energy family”
-Rhiti C. and Vaitasta Tickoo
The article explains the concept of “Renewable energy: Tidal and geothermal energy” in the paper. The authors point out to research which states that if the trends in ratio of reserves to current rates of production are to be believed, the Earth might run out of traditional energy sources as soon as 2060. Even those who repudiate such speculation hold that the exhaustion of the Earth’s capacity to withstand the harmful by-products of fossil fuel combustion will eventually limit its use. Today, reducing the fossil fuel contribution to the global energy system, and in particular doing so with renewable energy sources, is the greatest challenge for the world community. While the favourites, solar, wind and hydel dominate global renewable energy output, largely due to substantial capital investment in research and development in these sources and lower structural costs; geothermal and tidal energy have shown potential to surpass them in gross energy generation. As India gears up to implement the world’s largest renewable energy expansion programme and reach 175 GW of energy production by 2022, it is now more imperative than ever to tap into these underutilized resources. e authors in their paper examine the quantum of energy output and cost effectiveness of methods of tidal and geothermal energy generation as against more conventional renewable energy sources, with special reference to the rapid scientific advancement in technology in recent years. Further, the article sheds light on the policy initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the lack of legislation and implementation with regard to the aforesaid policies. Having studied the successes of the global giants in the field, the authors present a comprehensive review of the existing policy and legislative measures.
“Revival of JATROPHA bio-diesel production in India – a re-look at drivers and determinants”
–Anwesha Bhattacharyya & Riddhi Mundhra
In an attempt to secure its energy supply, India has inclined towards development of bio-fuel production. The concept of bio-fuel has spurred the interest of policy makers and farmers alike because of “JATROPHA”, an oil-crop which has the potential capacity to grow on degraded soil with fewer inputs. It is a drought resistant crop and grows round-the-year. For developing countries, bio-fuel production meant not only achieving economic growth, but also creating job opportunities/ livelihood for the farmers involved. us, a large-scale government programme was launched for promotion and implementation of JATROPHA cultivation in South India in 2003. In 2010, an interview with 106 JATROPHA farmers revealed that 85% of them have discontinued cultivation of JATROPHA because of (a) ecological problems and economic losses, (b) failure to provide income to the farmer, (c) problems in the development and execution of the government JATROPHA programme, (d) lack of support from authorities to farmers. As the JATROPHA programme was not as successful as expected, the expected positive environmental and socio-economic impact has not been realized. In 2015, reports for replacements to petrol and diesel had generated much hope in JATROPHA seeds, but, JATROPHA proved to be commercially unviable. Surprisingly, JATROPHA’s viability has just begun to be explored in Botswana now.
“Liberalization of nuclear power industry”
The author has emphasised on the usage of nuclear power as source of energy. The author in his article brings forward reports that state that India through its Uday Yojana seeks to connect over 18000 villages in the next 2 years which is approximately 300 million new electricity consumers. It also explained the misconception of the nuclear power and clearly explained the process of the nuclear power and the usage of them. The need for the nuclear power and the process of its usage and the safety mechanism are all explained in the article by the author. He states that the country not only has to account for its future energy needs but also has to provide solutions for current energy accessibility and availably issues. Also, issues such as that of carbon emissions are making countries over the world consider moving away from fossil fuels as a source of energy to alternative sources such as wind, solar, hydel or nuclear power. Finally, the author evaluates whether nuclear power is the best source of alternative energy. He also looks into matters such as privatization of the Indian nuclear industry and legal reforms needed to privatize the industry. The environmental impact is also shown, that the nuclear power has zero emission of the carbon power which causes the major pollution. The alternative sources to the energy and the need for the liberalization of the usage of the nuclear power is elaborated. The legal measures taken for the liberalization of nuclear power is explained. The need for the safety of the nuclear process and the regulatory mechanisms are emphasised. The liabilities and the damage compensation is also explained in the article. The entire process in the nuclear power usage shall be accessed by public and the reforms regarding it are taken into the considerations.