Prelims: Current events of national importance, Environmental pollution and degradation(Solar energy, Paris Agreement), PM2.5 etc
- Mains GS Paper III: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation,Solar energy and its use in different sectors particularly agriculture etc.
- Just Energy Transition Partnership (JET-P) is emerging as the key mechanism for multilateral financing by developed countries to support an energy transition in developing countries.
INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE
Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP)
- JETP, an initiative of the rich nations to accelerate phasing out of coal and reducing emissions.
- The JETP initiative is modeled for South Africa, to support South Africa’s decarbonisation efforts.
- It aims to reduce emissions in the energy sector and accelerate the coal phase-out process.
- Funding is made available for this purpose in identified developing countries.
- The JETP was launched at the COP26 in Glasgow with the support of the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US), France, Germany, and the European Union (EU)
- G7 has announced a similar partnership in India, Indonesia, Senegal, and Vietnam.
Issues that concern transitions:
- Energy transitions could give rise to intra-generational, intergenerational, and spatial equity concerns.
- Transitions affect near-term fossil-dependent jobs
- It disrupts forms of future energy access,
- It shrinks the state’s capacity to spend on welfare programmes
- It exacerbates existing economic inequities between coal and other regions.
Existing JET-P deals:
- It pays limited attention to intra-generational inequity, such as job losses resulting from a coal phase-down.
- South Africa’s deal: It mentions a ‘just’ component — funding reskilling and alternative employment opportunities in the coal mining regions.
- Financed as part of the initial $5(eight point five)billion mobilization.
- Other JET-Ps ( Indonesia and Vietnam) are focused on mitigation finance for sector-specific transitions.
- The emphasis by developed countries’ on coal phase-down without adequate attention to country context.
- It disregards the crucial difference in energy transition between industrialized and emerging economies
- Energy transition in the industrialized world involves a natural tapering of energy consumption alongside fuel switching to clean energy sources
Challenges for India:
- India’s transition requires significant simultaneous growth in energy demand.
- The Central Electricity Authority projects a near doubling of electricity demand by 2030
- Achieving cost competitiveness: Indian components are 20% costlier than Chinese components.
- Giving preference to domestic components without addressing cost competitiveness may slow down the pace of deployment.
- India has signaled a commitment to clean energy with ambitious targets like:
- 500GW of non-fossil, including 450 GW renewable energy (RE) capacity addition
- 43% REpurchase obligation by 2030.
- The targets are supported through:
- complementary policy and legislative mandates (Energy Conservation (Amendment) Act)
- missions (National Green Hydrogen Mission)
- Fiscal incentives (production-linked incentives)
- Market mechanisms (upcoming national carbon market).
Paths to accelerate Renewable energy(RE) deployment:
- Shifting energy demand patterns in ways that enable faster RE capacity addition:
- Solarisation of agricultural electricity demand
- Electrification of diesel-powered Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
- Decentralised RE for residential cooking and heating.
- Domestic manufacturing of clean energy as it will;
- sustain a JET
- build energy self-sufficiency
- tap the green jobs promise of 21st century energy.
- Stimulation of energy demand through rural productivity enhancement will further aid RE acceleration
- It will help to address the rural-urban economic divide
- Create rural jobs
- Address inter-generational and spatial inequities.
- There is a case for re-aligning the current use of coal resources to enhance efficiencies until the period of phase-down.
- Optimize use of coal-fired power plants closer to where coal is mined rather than based on energy demand in States.
Impact of optimizing coal-fired power plants:
- It would enable coal to be used more efficiently because transportation of coal is more energy-intensive than transmission of electrons.
- It would also lead to cheaper power, as transportation accounts for one-third of the cost of coal for power plants
- The resultant savings could also help finance much needed emission control retrofits
- It would indirectly reduce emissions due to more efficient use of coal.
Initiatives by India to shift to renewable energy:
- National Solar Mission (NSM): The 100 GW solar ambition at the heart of the world’s largest renewable energy expansion programme
- The Wind Energy Revolution: Leveraging India’s robust wind energy sector to boost clean energy manufacturing and the rural economy
- National Biofuels Policy and SATAT: Building value chains to reduce fuel imports, increase clean energy, manage waste, and create jobs
- Small Hydro Power (SHP): Harnessing the power of water to integrate remote communities into the economic mainstream.
- National Hydrogen Energy Mission (NHEM): Exploring the commercial viability of a versatile clean fuel
- Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme: Integrating India into the global clean energy value chains
- National Biofuels Policy and SAYAY: Building value chains to reduce fuel imports, increase clean energy, manage waste and create jobs.
- JET-P has significance following the insertion of the phrase ‘phase-down’ of coal in the Glasgow Pact.
- After South Africa, Indonesia, and Vietnam, India is considered the next candidate for a JET-Partnership.
- The interventions by India show India’s serious efforts at energy transition, but additional supplementary measures are needed for a coherent JET strategy.
- Negotiate access to markets outside India as part of a JET-Partnership, to reduce the cost gap through economies of scale.
- By using coal more efficiently, this policy shift opens the door to India considering a future cap on coal-powered generation capacity.
- Current generation capacity plus plants in the pipeline are adequate to meet India’s projected requirement in 2030.
- By leading to cheaper and more efficient power, the coal re-alignment proposed helps address energy security concerns, making it possible to consider a future coal-based power capacity cap.
- Any future JET-P deal must consider the broader framework for financing and supporting an energy transition.
- With India holding the G-20 presidency, it has an opportunity at hand to negotiate a deal for itself while also shaping international cooperation on just energy transitions.
QUESTION FOR PRACTICE
Q. Do you think India will meet 50 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy by 2030 ? Justify your answer. How will the shift of subsidies from fossil fuels to renewables help achieve the above objective ? Explain.(UPSC 2022) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)