carbon footprint

Clean-Tech ideas that can make India low-carbon

Businesses operating on a low-carbon model can make a huge impact on reducing our footprint as a nation.

India’s carbon dioxide emissions are the fourth highest in the world. According to Global Carbon Project, not only are we one of the biggest contributors to the growing carbon footprint on the planet, but our emission rate has consistently grown in recent years, registering a surge of 6.3% in 2018 alone. Clearly, India could take a leaf out of the books of other countries, organizations and even businesses to implement clean-tech ideas to pave way for a low-carbon economy.

Here are some examples for inspiration:

Encouraging Private Partnerships

A World Bank report reveals how favourable government policies in different countries have encouraged private participation and investment in low carbon infrastructure. The change has been particularly apparent from 2010 onward when the percentage of low-carbon projects went from a mere 3% to 51% in just a few years. Since 2010, 1,915 new PPI-based low-carbon projects have come up across the world.

Incentivize Renewable Energy

Renewable energy, be it solar, hydro or wind, is the poster child of a low-carbon economy. The government can facilitate these renewable sources to truly seep into our energy-generation models by incentivizing their adoption by private players. Some of the examples from other parts of the world are:

  • Feed-in Tariffs: People set up wind or solar power plants and are able to sell all the electricity generated to different grids at lucrative prices, making it a financially viable investment.

  • Net Metering: A popular tool in the US, net metering allows for solar electricity to be compensated at the same retail rate as power generated through other sources, motivating small and private players to foray into the segment of clean energy.

  • Solar Loans: Granting no or low interest loans to individuals for purchase and setting up of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System, facilitating a switch to clean energy for domestic use.

Electric Vehicles

Tesla has changed the discourse around electric cars globally by transforming a segment of small, slow and poor performance vehicles into awesome, powerful, and affordable machines with a mass appeal. These cars are the future of clean transportation that does not choke our air and water resources. As the electric car market around the world booms, India must push for some home-grown solutions on similar lines.

Low Carbon Business Models

Businesses operating on a low-carbon model can make a huge impact on reducing our footprint as a nation. And we don’t need to look far for inspiration. India’s automobile giant Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. adopted a carbon-free program to facilitate quicker adoption of LED lights – known to be more energy-efficient and therefore low of carbon emission – in its manufacturing facilities as well as vehicles. The government can make such transitions a matter of policy more than choice with targeted policies.

Change From Within

Low-carbon economies are a necessity if we hope to put off that impending 2-degree rise in earth’s atmospheric temperature and our impending doom. Such economies can be built by striking a balance between large and small scale initiatives that trickle down to the last person on the grassroots level.