Clean energy subsidies swell in India
- 05 September 2011
NEW DELHI: The Government of India has boosted subsidies for clean energy projects as part of its plans to combat climate change and accelerate a Clean Revolution in India.
In a written response to parliament, Dr Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Government of India, has said that working Indian Central Government subsidies for clean energy projects rose 63% to 2.36 billion rupees ($51 million) in the financial year, which ended March 31. It was mentioned that the Government has provided 1 billion rupees in subsidies so far this financial year.
The subsidies are targeted towards supporting low carbon projects, practices and technologies that will cut down India’s carbon footprint and guide the country towards even greater green growth.
The assistance includes favorable interest rates on loans, and higher rates paid to wind farms and similar renewable energy projects, for the considerable clean power they have the ability to generate.
Central Government will also offer support to educational institutes that adopt low carbon energy, paying for half of the costs to install renewable power projects. Taking advantage of this opportunity, several institutions in southern Tamil Nadu have already begun installations, which are being implemented through Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency.
Appreciating the action oriented approach, Aditi Dass, Director of Technology Programmes, The Climate Group India said: “Every new technology needs a policy oriented push from the government and only when that happens can a new entrant be replicated or taken up for larger adoption. It’s an exciting time in India to see the government taking active initiatives to accelerate the process of transition towards a low carbon economy.”
These grants are just one of many steps India is taking to accelerate a low carbon economy. Earlier this year while announcing the key green elements of the 2011-12 Union Budget, a declaration was made about establishing a National Mission in hybrid and electric vehicles.
In 2010, the Government also announced incentives of up to 20% on the ex-factory prices of electric vehicles, which was as high as Rs 1 lakh for an electric car sold in India during the remaining part of the 11th Plan 2010-11 and 2011-12.
LED lights are also one of the clean technologies being promoted by the Government initiatives. The budgetary announcement earlier this year said that the lights will now attract a reduced excise duty of 5%. The lights and light fixtures are now fully exempted from 4% special countervailing duty, and yet another sign that the Clean Revolution is well underway in India.