Business Standard

Sunny days ahead for clean energy


Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of initiative­s aimed at bolstering the green energy sectors while presenting the Interim Budget on Thursday. She outlined a comprehens­ive road map for sustained economic growth. The finance minister announced a new scheme for converting biomass into Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) and phased mandatory blending of CBG with natural gas to be used as fuel for vehicles and domestic supplies.

“Phased mandatory blending of CBG in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for transport and Piped Natural Gas (PNG) for domestic purposes will be mandated,” she said.

Sitharaman also announced that a new scheme of bio-manufactur­ing and bio-foundry will be launched. This is expected to produce green products such as biodegrada­ble polymers, bio-pharmaceut­icals and bio-agri inputs.

“This scheme will also help in transformi­ng today’s consumptio­noriented paradigm to one based on regenerati­on,” she said.

The government has increasing­ly focused on the production of compressed biogas in India. It is currently

aiming to set up 5,000 CBG plants by FY25. This is being done through the Sustainabl­e Alternativ­e Towards

Affordable Transport (SATAT) scheme, which has establishe­d more than 46 CBG plants.

Renewable on roofs & oceans

About 10 million Indian households will get rooftop solar unit under a new scheme, she said, adding that they will enjoy free electricit­y from it.

“Through rooftop solarisati­on, one crore households will be enabled to obtain up to 300 units of free electricit­y every month. Saving up to ~15,000-18,000 annually for households and selling the surplus to the distributi­on companies,” Sitharaman said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 22 announced the Pradhanman­tri Suryodaya Yojana scheme to install solar panels on the rooftops of 10 million households. The finance minister also announced a viability gap funding for harnessing India’s vast offshore wind energy potential for an initial capacity of 1 gigawatt. To bring down natural gas imports, she announced coal gasificati­on and liquefacti­on capacity of 100 metric tonnes (MT) to be set up by 2030.

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