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India and Renewable Energy

The economic crisis hasn't brought great damage to the Indian economy, which has seen only slow its growth. Indian economy is flourishing as in no other country in the world.

Despite the economic boom, however, in this country, yet many contradictions coexist. Most of the villages (about 40% of the population, about 450 million people) is not yet connected to the electricity grid and for those who benefit from the electricity outages are frequent. This constrains the mass use of technology. Just follow these considerations, the energy minister, Jairam Ramesh, has set the goal of ensuring "current for all." To pursue the development, the country had to pay a high price in terms of air pollution, consistently contributing to overall emissions of CO2 in the atmosphere, ranking fourth in world rankings of emissions of greenhouse gases.

The international community has tried to find solutions, but India has shown itself reluctant to adapt to new demands of the international context, however, refused to participate in the Kyoto Protocol.

Following the Copenhagen Summit, Ramesh revealed that it has finally reached an agreement to make cuts in emissions, which demonstrates the efforts of the country to reduce energy intensity, the ratio between energy use and emissions and GDP of 25%. India is also showing a greater environmental sensitivity to drought and the melting of Himalayan glaciers, raising sea levels, flooding and flooding in recent years that have seriously affected the country.

Today we are facing a historical turning point from the Indian giant, who finally looked to technology for renewables with a series of actions far more significant than in the past.

Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, has announced the establishment of a new carbon tax to fund renewable energy, thus penalizing the energy production from fossil fuels (that generate around 75% of electricity consumption) . The tax of 50 rupees, approximately one dollar per ton of coal-generated by domestic plants or imported, will procure revenue for over 500 million dollars a year and will serve to establish a fund for alternative sources. Unfortunately, these sources will not replace coal plants but place side by side them. However it is a first step towards a more sustainable future for a country that is hungry for energy. To encourage the development of renewable energy, the Energy Ministry has taken measures to support specific to the different sectors have financial instruments, such as the Indian Agency for Development of Renewable Energies, who lavishes aid to finance various projects, such as loans at rates lower than market prices for the installation of wind farms, and grants for the purchase of solar energy systems.

In addition, wind turbines, photovoltaic components and systems will be exempt from taxes on production, while the components for heat pumps will not be subject to import taxes and those for solar power plants will have duties discounted (5% of value).

In this direction are already taking the NIRE (National Institute of Renewable Energy) in Punjab in the field of biofuels and biomass, the C-WET (Centre for Wind Energy Technology) in Chennai which provides assistance to companies that develop projects wind and the SEC (Solar Energy Centre) in applications related to solar thermal and photovoltaic.