Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2022

Feb 28, 2022

Current Affair 1:
Financial constraints in India achieving its 2030 ‘Clean Energy’ targets


As of 31 December 2021, the government announced that India has achieved its NDC’s target as committed at COP21.

However, as highlighted by the parliamentary standing committee recently, financial constraints remain a challenge in India achieving ‘Clean Energy’ targets set for 2030.

In 2015, India had decided that by 2022, 175 GW of renewable energy capacity would be installed in the country, including 100 GW from solar energy, 60 GW from wind energy, 10 GW from biomass, and the remaining 5 GW from small hydropower. Later, in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that India’s renewable energy capacity would be increased to much beyond 175 GW and eventually to 450 GW. In the recently concluded COP26, he announced that the government is committed to achieving 500 GW of installed electricity capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by the year 2030.

Recently, the parliamentary standing committee on energy tabled a report on the ‘Financial Constraints in Renewable Energy Sector‘ in which the committee has put forth a list of recommendations for the government to explore innovative ways to deal with the issue of financial constraints in the sector.

India is on track to achieve the 2022 targets

As of 31 January 2022, with about 11 months left to achieve the target of 175 GW renewable energy capacity by 2022, 105.42 GW has been achieved. That is, about 60% of the target has been achieved.

USD 8407 million FDI inflow into the sector in 10 years

Between 2010-11 and 2019-20, the Ministry stated that there was a total FDI equity inflow of USD 8,407.38 million in the non-conventional energy sector. 100% FDI under automatic route has been permitted in the renewable energy sector.

IREDA should be given a special window for borrowing from RBI at the repo rate

The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) is the only dedicated public sector financial institution for financing renewable energy projects in India.

  1. As of 31 March 2021, IREDA had financed 2800 renewable energy projects with cumulative loan sanctions of Rs. 96,250 crores and disbursement of Rs. 63,158 crores supporting green power capacity addition of more than 16,165 MW.
  2. The committee noted that as per RBI’s guidelines, IREDA had to maintain a minimum capital-to-risk weighted assets ratio (CRAR) of 15%. But, its CRAR had dropped from 23.1% in 2014-15 to 14.3% in 2019-20 limiting the window for borrowings. There was a slight improvement to 17.1% in 2020-21.
  3. Additionally, IREDA has planned to come up with an IPO for enabling more financing. Noting the pivotal role of IREDA, the committee suggested that IREDA should be given a special window for borrowing from RBI at a repo rate in line with other specialized financial institutions like NHB, SIDBI, and NABARD, to ensure the availability of low-cost financial resources for the sector.

Ministry has been asked to pursue DISCOMS and states to clear dues

To avoid delay in disposal of tariff adoption applications by the electricity regulatory commissions, the committee suggested that amendments be made in the Electricity Act to fix a maximum period for according approvals/disposing of petitions by the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions. Furthermore, it called for proper implementation of the Electricity (Late Payment Surcharge) Rules, 2021 so that the developers get compensated for delays caused by Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) in payment of dues.

The government is promoting PLI Scheme to reduce dependence on China for solar PV Modules

Through the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Schemes, the government aims to incentivize foreign investors to set up manufacturing units in India and push local manufacturers to expand their units which would also boost employment. In the renewable energy sector, the Cabinet in 2021 approved a PLI ‘National Programme on High-Efficiency Solar PV Modules’, with an outlay of Rs. 4,500 crores to promote manufacturing of high-efficiency solar PV modules in India and in turn reduce import dependence in the Renewable Energy sector.

Current Affair 2:
New tool enables early detection of cyanobacterial blooms in India’s waterbodies

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Harmful algal blooms in freshwater and marine environments caused by cyanobacteria — microscopic Organisms also known as blue-green algae — can threaten ecosystem services leading to poor water quality, fish kills, animal deaths and economic losses. Early detection of harmful algal blooms could enable swift action to prevent aquatic, environmental and health hazards.  

Now, researchers have developed a novel interactive cloud-based dashboard called “CyanoKhoj” in the Google Earth Engine, using satellite data, to monitor harmful algal blooms in Indian inland waterbodies, as an early warning system. CyanoKhoj is derived from the term meaning “search for cyanobacteria” in Hindi.

Capable of near-real-time monitoring, CyanoKhoj is an open-source tool that can be used for global waterbodies, state the researchers. Available as a user-friendly web app, users can access it with a browser and Internet connection on their computer or smartphone.

This app can be used by water managers to constantly keep an eye on target waterbodies for any ongoing or potential Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (CyanoHABs) and take water quality and water management decisions accordingly.

Current Affair 3:
Gender into Urban Climate Change Initiative (GUCCI)



Effective climate policy requires gender mainstreaming and increased participation of women in planning and implementing climate protection strategies. The project involves cooperation with experienced women's organisations in four partner countries to integrate social issues and gender justice into municipal climate programmes.

Current Affair 4:
Circular Bioeconomy


The bioeconomy is an economic model based on the consumption of biological resources for the production of food and feed, products and energy. In a circular bioeconomy, biological resources are renewable, sustainably managed, recovered and reused as much as possible. This economic model is gaining momentum as a way to deliver society’s needs while responding to sustainability issues.

A circular bioeconomy offers a conceptual framework for using renewable natural capital to transform and manage our land, food, health and industrial systems, with the goal of achieving sustainable wellbeing in harmony with nature.

While the circular bioeconomy needs advanced technology and innovation as well as traditional knowledge to succeed, it ultimately relies on biodiversity as its true engine. This is because biodiversity determines the capacity of biological systems to adapt and evolve in a changing environment, and therefore is crucial for ensuring the resilience and sustainability of our biological resources.

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