Growth policies that trigger Green Economy – IV (India)

INDIA: Economic Growth in the Green sector through policy integration

(This article is the last in the 4 part series of Policies for Green economy in USA, Japan, China, India by Rangika, Nathan, Gan and Pankaj at Anaheim Green MBA program. This post looks into the Indian economy and the steps it has taken in that direction)

India has a vast supply of green energy resources, and has a significant program for deploying these resources.

An exclusive ministry for renewable energy called Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNES) has been set up specifically to devise policies around the economic growth in the green energy sector.

The Renewable energy market inIndia is pegged at US$600 million, growing at 15% per annum. The Government’s renewable energy target by 2030 is 200 gigawatts, estimated to require US$200 billion in capital investment. Currently, 3.5% of installed capacity is in the renewable sector, producing 3700 MW. Renewable energy is projected to produce 10,000 MW by 2012. Some of the policies to stimulate economic growth in the green sector can be:

  • Policies around water conservation: As one of the world’s leading crop producers,India has seen a surge in water consumption in the agriculture sector over the years.
  • Policies to protect forestry management: There are numerous benefits to be had with development of community forestry management.
  • Investing in Ecological infrastructure
  • Establishing a rating system for business sector like the recently introduced The Green Rating Project (GRP) to measure energy consumption.
  • Increasing grid connected renewable energy in the deep interiors removed from cities.

The current business climate in the Indian companies is not yet geared towards giving required emphasis on the environmental front, partly because of inadequate enforcement laws in the country and partly because political and industrial leaders have not given enough attention to environmental management.

In the recent budget 2010-11, the Government announced its plans to introduce a National Clean Energy Fund. The budget also introduced some subsidies on green technology such as those on the production of photovoltaic plates for solar lamps and other products. These steps are welcome as they will invite more investment for a green economy.

The demands for energy in India will more than double in 20 years from now. That will have an immediate effect on the resources available such as the forests, grasslands and the agricultural lands. Finding a solution to these challenges, following a course of development while not compromising on the principle of sustainability and promoting a clean and green economy, are the challenges as well as opportunities that India today faces and needs to deal with them on an urgent basis.

In the end

China, India, Japan and the United States all are moving toward greener economic policies. National, provincial/state, and city government economic policies can encourage investment in “green” technologies, help develop new markets that can utilize these same technologies, reduce infrastructure spending from high impact/low return transport, improve planetary health, improve human health, and increase resource conservation.

Coordinating streamlined policy measures among the different levels of government would be greatly beneficial to avoid political and bureaucratic impediments. Use and implementation of greener policies can help reduce the amount of money spent on resources and energy wasted, allowing countries to invest into other goods and services. 

Though the approach of economic policies tends to differ amongst the countries, they all tend to move these countries toward the same goals of departing from fossil fuels, conserving natural resources, and incentivizing green industries.

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