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OJAANK IAS ACADEMY

Smoke Signals from the Renewable Energy sphere

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Renewable energy sources are natural and self-sustaining, with a minimal or negligible carbon footprint. Renewable energy sources include: Wind power, solar power, bioenergy (organic matter used as a fuel), hydroelectric, including tidal energy are all examples of renewable energy sources.

Solar cooktop: The stove operates in a hybrid mode, meaning it may run on both solar and an auxiliary energy source at the same time. As a result, it is a dependable cooking option in any weather circumstances. Together with biofuels, electric cars, and green hydrogen, it was dubbed a “catalyst in increasing uptake of low-carbon choices” by the Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas.

It would revolutionise cooking patterns and save thousands of crores in LPG and FX costs. Reduce CO2 emissions and generate marketable carbon credits. LPG: The liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) subsidy has been reduced by 99%. (from the 2022-23 revised estimates), Even as worldwide gasoline prices remain high, the 2023 Budget prioritises low-income people.

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) developed a solar cooker in the 1950s, at a period of significant uncertainty in food security and energy self-sufficiency. Problems with solar cookers: It was completely submerged. The cost was expensive, and it cooked slowly.” Better chulhas in national energy strategy in the 1980s: The initiative aimed to reduce deforestation by lowering fuelwood usage while also benefiting women’s health and finances.

It was made available in 23 states and five union territories. An elaborate federated structure was built up, from key State agencies to “self-employed employees”, to accomplish objectives established by the national government. The government subsidised the “enhanced chulhas” by 50%. According to the Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources (later renamed the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy), the chulha has been adopted in over 32 million houses out of a possible 120 million by 2001.

The following factors contributed to the failure: the stove’s construction, high maintenance expenses, and suspected bureaucratic corruption. State governments had little control, had to reach pre-determined benchmarks, and installation workers were underpaid. Several reports: According to a survey conducted by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (10,000 villages), the average yearly dropout rate for new chulhas is 17%. Seventy officials involved in the plot were later suspended.

According to a 2004 research, cooking accounted for 80% of a rural Indian household’s energy use. According to the International Energy Agency, 668 million people in India relied on biomass for cooking and lighting in 2013. India is the world’s largest user of fuelwood for domestic consumption. There are parallels between the federal government’s support for Indian Oil’s solar stove and this history.

After a gasoline crisis, a public-sector invention with allegedly revolutionary implications, A chasm exists between state-subsidized projects and their practical execution. Notwithstanding the association between per-capita income and type of energy use, there is no long-term strategy to boost rural earnings.

Despite the government’s seeming success, enormous fuel price rise and the steady elimination of subsidies have pushed women to rely on the chulha, with all its risks. Formerly, the state and other non-governmental groups led initiatives in the renewable area, which gave superficial solutions to fundamental socioeconomic issues; today, the actual action is elsewhere.

Governmental funds are now being directed into substantially subsidised large-scale private projects that generate green energy primarily for commercial usage. Despite its lofty goals, technical progress in renewable energy policy contributes to cement a severely unequal energy landscape.


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