Happy Monday and welcome to today’s edition of Lights On, with this week’s key stories on energy and climate change in South Asia. For comments and suggestions, reply to this email, and if you are not a subscriber, you can sign up below:
A bright future for solar makers
By 2025 India’s solar module production could rise by 400 percent compared to 2021, adding up to 35GW of module capacity to the current 8GW, according to fresh data from the rating agency CRISIL. Such dramatic growth will be due to a combination of rising demand and the right policies to enable the Indian solar maker to meet it. The agency expects improvements in the energy efficiency and price competitiveness of Indian solar modules, which currently cannot match their imported counterparts.
Towards a fully electric railway
Two government-owned electric locomotive manufacturers have placed orders for key parts worth $25.5 million with Hitachi Energy India, a firm building components and designing systems to enable the energy transition. India’s plan to electrify its vast railway network by 2023, an important element in the country’s net zero targets, is currently full steam ahead with around 70 percent of the world’s fourth largest train network already electrified.
Easier access to rooftop solar
With about 7GW installed against a 2022 target of 40GW, the rooftop segment remains the underdog of India’s solar success story. But things may change as the government is now simplifying the process of equipping roofs with solar panels. New regulations allow consumers to purchase panels from their preferred vendors, instead of from a list of approved manufacturers. Households can also independently install the panels and the distribution companies will have to provide the net meters to sell excess electricity to the main grid within 15 days.
A boost for storage
A new joint venture between India’s largest clean energy company ReNew Power and the American firm Fluence promises to deliver storage solutions for the booming Indian market, projected to reach 108GWh by 2030, from just a few MWh today. The new joint venture aims at bringing global storage solutions to the Indian market. Experts consider the uptake of more efficient and cheaper batteries essential to meeting India’s energy transition goals.
Easing brick kilns’ footprint
All 11,000 traditional brick kilns in the Punjab region have been converted to zigzag technology, in which bricks are arranged to allow hot air to travel in a zigzag pattern that improves the transfer of heat, increasing the brick cooking process’ efficiency and reducing its emissions by about 60 percent. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Climate Change said that the transition in Punjab took six months, and it helped reduce air pollution by about 15 percent. Here’s a video explainer of the zigzag method.
Bangladesh’s dwindling gas reserves and increasingly expensive imports have plunged the country into a fuel crisis which could see bills soar by more than 100 percent. According to industry leaders, the hike could severely damage domestic industries relying on gas to run their factories, already battered by the pandemic. Consumers are also expected to suffer as higher gas rates add to a recent spike in diesel prices.
Kathmandu caught in the trade war
Nepal’s power producers are facing an unexpected roadblock as they prepare to sell electricity on India’s power exchange market, after the much anticipated approval of the new trading route. Multiple businesses in the energy sector have told the Kathmandu Post that in order to access the Indian market, they have been requested to steer clear from including Chinese partners in their hydropower projects.
“The Indian side has been flatly telling us that they won’t buy electricity from projects with Chinese investment and even projects built by Chinese contractors,” an officer told the Nepalese national newspaper on condition of anonymity.
Listen to @aditimukherji of @IWMI_ to understand how #cleanenergy and #waterconservation go hand in hand👇— The India Energy Hour (@tieh_podcast) January 21, 2022
Ep link: https://t.co/64fGGAVSrC
Hosts: @shreya_jai & @Sandeeppaii
Produced by: @tejastj88 #TheIndiaEnergyHourPodcast #EnergyTransition pic.twitter.com/Jc27qYTOXb
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