India can now claim at the Paris Conference that it is doing a lot for climate change and will reduce its emission intensity in the power sector.
It has put carbon tax on petroleum products, on gas and on coal. The tax of Rs 4 a litre on petrol and diesel and Rs 200 a tonne of coal are significant measures.
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The cess of Rs 4 on petrol and diesel will generate about Rs 30,000 crore a year and would help improve transport infrastructure. The coal tax will generate at least Rs 10,000 crore per year and it will be used to promote renewables.
The targets for renewable power have been stepped up to 175,000 Mw by 2022, of which 100,000 Mw would be solar, 60,000 Mw wind, 10,000 Mw biomass and 5000 Mw hydro power.
Nuclear capacity will also be increased. Yet, India will need to add coal capacity by 20,000 Mw through five Ultra Mega Power Plants via competitive auctions. These are going to be super critical boilers with higher efficiency, so that emissions generated per unit is lower.
On the whole, the energy policy is in the right direction.
Chairman, Integrated Research and Action for Development (IRADe)