Generation Based Incentive for Wind Power being reinstated by Government of India

In the budget of 2013-14, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had promised reinstating the Generation Based Incentive program for Wind Energy in India. The resolution to that effect has been finally passed by the cabinet which met on August 1st. The quick summary of the resolution that has been passed and the benefits to wind industry: Generation Based Incentive (GBI) of 50 paise per kWh (unit) generated by Wind Power. The GBI will be given till a maximum of Rs. 1 crore per MW. That means 20 million units of energy per MW can claim GBI during the entire lifetime of the wind turbine. The claim period for the GBI is between 4 years to 11 years. ie., the developer can claim the entire GBI money of Rs. 1 crore in not less than 4 years and not more than 11 years. The GBI subsidy can be availed with retrospective effect. No confirmation has been provided on reinstating the Accelerated Depreciation. This ruling is significant since it  brings back much needed …

Why should you embrace Sustainability – Part 2 of 2

This blog post is a continuation from the post I had made previously here where I spoke about how the language of Sustainability is changing. In this post, I focus on some cases where Sustainable practices followed by companies are putting them in good stead while in some cases, how lack of sustainability thinking and planning has risked their revenues and reputation. First, we start with some positive stories. CEMEX – The Patrimonio Hoy Program So when you are a giant construction materials group with over $15 billion in revenues, but seeing a 50% drop in revenues, what do you do? Cemex went back to basics, understood that there is a large market at the bottom of the pyramid in poor people constructing their own homes, and decided to work this market. Integrating sustainability into their core business model, Cemex started a financing program called Patrimonio Hoy. It provided poor people access to building materials (not just cement), financing options to purchase material and technical help through CEMEX team comprising …

Facebook reveals its carbon footprint

Source: Guardian.co.uk Facebook has, for the first time, revealed the carbon footprint of its operations and its more than 900m users’ likes, photo albums and status updates. The data, published on Wednesday, shows that despite the social networking‘s rising star, its carbon emissions are still a fraction of internet rival Google. Facebook’s annual emissions were 285,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2011, compared with Google’s 1.5m tons in 2010.   The vast majority of the emissions (72%) come from the company’s data centres in the US. The annual footprint for each user that’s active monthly is 269 grams, or around the equivalent footprint of a cup of coffee, the company calculated.   Facebook also detailed the mix of energy sources that power its data centres. The majority, 27%, comes from coal power, with the rest coming from renewable sources (23%), gas (17%), nuclear (13%) and the remaining 20% uncategorised.   Greenpeace welcomed the move’s transparency and hailed it as an important benchmark. Gary Cook, Greenpeace International’s senior IT analyst, said: “Facebook has committed to …

New Discovery About The Ocean’s Absorption Of Carbon Has Implications For Climate Change

Source: Planetsave An important discovery about how carbon is drawn down from the surface of the Southern Ocean to the deep waters beneath has been made. Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Australia’s national research agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), found that “rather than carbon being absorbed uniformly into the deep ocean in vast areas, it is drawn down and locked away from the atmosphere by plunging currents a thousand kilometres wide.” Localized pathways or funnels carry the carbon to the depths. These paths are made by the “winds, currents and massive whirlpools that carry warm and cold water around the ocean — known as eddies.” Lead author, Dr Jean-Baptiste Sallée from British Antarctic Survey says, “The Southern Ocean is a large window by which the atmosphere connects to the interior of the ocean below. Until now we didn’t know exactly the physical processes of how carbon ends up being stored deep in the ocean. It’s the combination of winds, currents and eddies that …

ONGC gets carbon credits for wind power project

Source: Thehindubusinessline ONGC has received 121,207 carbon credits for its 51 MW wind power project at Bhuj in Gujarat, the company said in a statement. These credit points have been given by the United Nations body on climate change — United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.“This is the first issuance of credits from this project and second overall from the oil major’s cache of six registered environment-improvement projects,” the company said. The project, was registered in March 2010 for 21 years, with an annual accruable certified emission reductions (CER) of 85,762. This is the maiden issuance for the monitoring period from March 2010 to June 2011. ONGC has a cache of six such environment-improvement projects. “We are positioning sustainable development with a key focus on environment management in our recently declared long-term perspective plan 2030,” said Mr Sudhir Vasudeva, Chairman and Managing Director, ONGC. Continue Reading…

Carbon Sequestration’s Got an Earthquake Problem, Too

Source: Cleantechnica Fossil fuels seem to be running out of places to go. Back in March, officials in Ohio put new restrictions on the natural gas drilling method called fracking after seismologists linked it to earthquakes, and last Friday the National Research Council issued a report detailing the impact of conventional gas and oil drilling on seismic events, along with other underground activity including carbon sequestration. Now a whole new report focuses squarely on the risk of earthquakes from underground carbon sequestration. That apparently closes the door on what was supposed to be an effective way to manage greenhouse gas emissions… or does it? Carbon in, carbon out… The new report was prepared by Mark D. Zobackand and Steven M. Gorelick of the departments of Geophysics and Environmental Earth System Science at Stanford University. Aptly titled “Earthquake triggering and large-scale geologic storage of carbon dioxide,” it is a response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which in 2005 proposed underground carbon sequestration as a viable strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from coal-burning power plants …

Leading businesses to disclose greenhouse gas emissions

Source: Defra All businesses listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange will have to report their levels of greenhouse gas emissions from the start of the next financial year under plans announced by the Deputy Prime Minister at the Rio+ 20 Summit today. The UK is the first country to make it compulsory for companies to include emissions data for their entire organisation in their annual reports. The introduction of the reports, following consultations with leading businesses, will enable investors to see which companies are effectively managing the hidden long-term costs of greenhouse gas emissions. The majority of businesses responding to the consultation support the change and government plans are also backed by leading employer and environmental organisations including the CBI and the Aldersgate Group. The new regulations will be introduced from April 2013.  They will be reviewed in 2015, before ministers decide whether to extend the approach to all large companies from 2016. Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane are causing climate …

The Ten Commandments of Green Marketing

Source: Environmentalleader Hold on a second. The New York Times may be giving marketers of green brands a free pass but I’m not going to let them off the hook that easily for their brands’ often uninspiring performance. Yeah, green brands are facing fierce headwinds but there are several actions marketers of sustainable brands can take to goose their brands’ sales. I’ve boiled down my suggestions into Ten Commandments of Green Marketing: I. Thou shalt not assume that all people who want to buy green products are card carrying, latte sipping (or granola munching, etc.) liberals. There are many people out there that live outside so-called politically progressive areas (e.g., Berkeley) that want to green their purchases if only it were easier.  They are worried about the environment but say they are not aware of many green brands and are skeptical about green products’ ability to get the job done at a reasonable price.  Make these folks aware of your brands and convince them they work at a price that doesn’t break the bank.  …

Business leaders need systemic thinking for sustainability

Source: Guardian The economy is in the tank and thousands of people are out of work. At the same time, the planet is dangerously heating up and ecological systems are declining. What are we to make of these troubles? Are they merely the result of poor policies? Or is something more fundamental at play? The roots of our difficulties are simple, yet for many business and political leaders completely hidden from view. The activities of most firms, and the goals and structure of the economy as a whole, have been shaped by fundamental misjudgments about how the planet functions and what it means to live a good life. To resolve today’s challenges, our leaders must overcome the erroneous perspectives that created the predicament. At the most fundamental level, this requires moving from a “linear” way of thinking – where we focus on quickly fixing the most visibly broken parts of what isn’t working – to a “systems” perspective that brings thought and behaviour into line with the natural laws of …

The Business Scorecard from Rio+20

Source: Greenbiz As 130 heads of state began their closing remarks in Rio last Friday, the blame game had already begun, and with it a knee-jerk dismissal of the Rio+20 outcomes as inadequate and not ambitious enough. Trade unions were “bitterly disappointed,” while the environmental community called Rio+20 “a failure,” “a hoax” and “a squandered opportunity.” All this drama ignores the extraordinary effort demonstrated by Brazil to lead the conference to a resolution despite the economic downturn and political headwinds – indeed, it’s rather amazing that the conference took place at all. The knee-jerk overstatements also ignore the vast participation, pledges and funding brought to Rio by non-governmental and public-sector players. The UN reckons those pledges amount to half a trillion dollars. Given the scale of global challenges, more might be needed, but this is a significant starting point. For those who have taken part in previous UN sustainability events — including the original Rio earth summit in 1992 and the Johannesburg summit ten years ago — this is déjà …

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