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Budget 2024: Nirmala Sitharaman Introduces New Plans For India To Reach Net Zero Target

The finance minister has allocated significant resources to bolster the green energy sector, with a focus on harnessing India’s vast offshore wind energy potential

 Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman revealed in Budget 2024 a comprehensive plan targeted at reaching the country’s ambitious Net Zero target by 2070 to push India towards a greener future.”Green Growth” was emphasised in the Union Budget 2024, which included the sentence.

“Towards meeting our commitment for ‘net-zero’ by 2070, the following measures will be taken; Viability gap funding will be provided for harnessing offshore wind energy potential for the initial capacity of one giga-watt, coal gasification and liquefaction capacity of 100 MT will be set up by 2030. This will also help in reducing imports of natural gas, methanol, and ammonia,” said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

“Phased mandatory blending of compressed biogas (CBG) in compressed natural gas (CNG) for transport and piped natural gas (PNG) for domestic purposes will be mandated,financial assistance will be provided for procurement of biomass aggregation machinery to support collection,”she added.

With an emphasis on utilising India’s enormous offshore wind energy potential, the finance minister has committed major funding to support the green energy industry. One significant project is funding to close the viability gap for the production of one gigawatt (GW) of offshore wind energy. This is anticipated to be a significant contribution to India’s efforts to diversify its energy sources and lessen its dependency on fossil fuels.The plan also calls for the establishment of coal gasification and liquefaction projects with the capacity to process 100 meteric tonnes of coal by 2030. This measure is expected to promote greener energy sources and reduce India’s reliance on imports of ammonia, methanol, and natural gas.

“The statement of viability gap funding for offshore wind as a measure to meet India’s net-zero commitment is welcome as the sector needs some support to kick start. As per CEEW’s analysis, while 65 per cent of the USD10 trillion of investments required for India to achieve net-zero by 2070 can be mobilised from conventional sources, the balance 35 per cent will need interventions. Further, wind as a generation source is also critical for our nearer-term energy ambitions. In fact, per the CEA’s own assessment, wind capacity would have to grow 1.9x from its current 44.7 GW to 100 GW by 2030 to meet the expected increase in power demand in the country by then,”  said  Gagan Sidhu, Director – CEEW Centre for Energy Finance (CEEW-CEF).

To further reduce carbon emissions, the government plans to mandate the blending of biogas with compressed natural gas (CNG) for transportation and piped natural gas for domestic use. This policy is expected to not only improve air quality but also boost the biogas industry, contributing to the circular economy. Financial assistance will be provided to support the procurement of biomass aggregation, which is essential for the production of bioenergy. This step is likely to encourage farmers to participate in the bioenergy supply chain, thereby creating a sustainable and profitable model for agricultural waste management.

The electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem is set to receive a significant push, with the government’s intention to expand and strengthen manufacturing capabilities and charging infrastructure. This is anticipated to accelerate the adoption of EVs across the country, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector. In an effort to promote the use of electric buses, the government is keen on encouraging their greater adoption, which will contribute to reducing urban pollution and fostering sustainable public transportation.

A new scheme focusing on biomanufacturing and biofoundry is slated to be introduced, aiming to promote green growth and innovation in the biotechnology sector. This initiative is expected to transform the current consumptive manufacturing paradigm into one based on regenerative principles, aligning with global trends towards sustainability. These comprehensive measures are aimed at India’s proactive approach to combating climate change and its dedication to achieving a net-zero carbon footprint by 2070.

” For promoting green growth, a new scheme of bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry will be introduced. This will provide environment friendly alternatives such as biodegradable polymers, bio-plastics, bio-pharmaceuticals and bio-agri-inputs. This scheme will also help in transforming today’s consumptive manufacturing paradigm to the one based on regenerative principles,” said the Finance Minister.


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