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Energy Conservation Bill – a step towards de-carbonising India

The current Bill is an amendment to the Energy Conservation Act, 2001 that led to the establishment of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, a government body responsible for the development and implementation of energy conservation policies and programs in India.

Amit Mishra | New Delhi |

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his 76th Independence Day address to the Nation, emphasised the strategies for the 25 years to make India a developed economy. That is a set of strategies called ‘Panch Pran’. A developed India or Aatmanirbhar Bharat (Self-sufficient India) cannot be imagined without the increased share of renewable energy and  achieving our climate change goals. In this trail, Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill is one such step mandated by the Lok Sabha on 8th August 2022 that fulfills the vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

What is the Energy Conservation (Amendment) bill?

The current Bill is an amendment to the Energy Conservation Act, 2001 that led to the establishment of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, a government body responsible for the development and implementation of energy conservation policies and programs in India.

The new amendment bill will replace the earlier one with a new mission of tackling climate change and global warming. That includes the following variants as

  1. The new bill necessitates the use of non-fossil fuels for energy such as green Hydrogen, green Ammonia, biomass, and ethanol.
  2. Another important feature of the bill is that it mandates the creation of a Carbon Credit Market in India. India has created almost 30 million carbon credits, which is the second-highest number of transactions worldwide, according to a study by the Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI).
  3. The amendment bill, in particular, also increases the scope of the Energy Conservation Building Code(ECBC), initially launched in 2007, The Government of India’s first-ever effort to address energy efficiency in the commercial buildings sector.
  4. According to the amendment bill, office and residential structures that fulfill the aforementioned requirements will also be subject to the new energy-saving and sustainable construction code.

India in recent years went through two major conventions on climate change held at Paris and Glasgow (COP 26) which served as a major impetus towards India’s propensity to curb global temperatures.

At 26th UNFCCC at Glasgow in Scotland, also termed COP-26, India promised to fulfill its obligations in limiting the rise of global temperatures to 1.5 degrees through a five-layered agenda named ‘Panchamrit’ or ‘The Five Ambrosia’.

What is ‘Panchamrit’ (The Five Ambrosia’)?

  1. The commitments entailed increasing its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 gigawatts by 2030 that includes 50% of the energy requirement through renewable means by 2030, reducing projected carbon emissions by one billion tons by 2030.
  2. Following the commitments made in the Paris Agreement. The Indian government last year asserted that India’s emissions have decreased by 28% from 2005 levels, against the aim of a 35% reduction by 2030.
  3. Given the speed of energy sector expansion, India is committed to exceeding its NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) obligations well within the agreed-upon time period.
  4. India’s last participation in COP-26 was construed with a bit of incredulity when Prime Minister Modi in his address upgraded some of the goals promised in the Paris convention. The installed power capacity share of renewable sources was marked to 50%(initially 40%), while the emissions intensity reduction objective has been raised to 45%(initially 35%).

Hopefully, India is set to achieve all its climate goals barring one (net zero by 2070) even before 2030, the new bill is reckoned with a catalyzing agent to stimulate India’s progress to tackle the global climate crisis.