Advantages of Clean Energy for the Nation

Advantages of Clean Energy for the Nation

Question: 3 MoUs have recently been signed between the Centre and foreign powers. Provide the advantages of clean energy for the nation.

Clean or renewable energy includes the following:

- Wind
- Solar
- Geothermal
- Hydroelectric

These provide numerous benefits for the nation

- Lowered GHG Emissions

- CO2 and GHG emissions will come down if clean energy is used

- GHG emissions trap heat and increase the planet’s temperature causing an adverse impact on climate, health and environment

- Electricity accounts for a massive percentage of GHG emissions whereas clean energy produces little or no emissions

Life cycle GHG emissions associated with clean energy are minimal at all stages namely:

- Manufacturing
- Installation
- Operation and Maintenance
- Decommissioning and dismantling

Coal emits anywhere between 1.4 to 3.6 points of CO2E/kWh while the following values exist for clean energy:

- Wind: 0.02 to 0.04 pounds of CO2E/kWh,

- Solar: 0.07 to 0.2,

- Geothermal :0.1 to 0.2, and

- Hydroelectric: 0.1 and 0.5.

- Low emission footprint results from use of clean energy

- Enhancing Public Health and Promoting Ecological Conservation

- Generation of power from clean energy rather than fossil fuels offers considerable public health advantages including reduced premature mortality, falling healthcare costs and decrease in the number of lost workdays

- It is estimated that health impact of fossil fuel for many developed nations is between 2.5 to 6 percent of the GDP

- Clean energy is associated with minimal air pollution and total air emissions are lower than coal and natural gas fired power plants

- Forms of renewable energy such as wind and solar also do not require water to operate thereby conserving ecological resources

- Energy Supply which Cannot be Exhausted

- Wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric power provide replenished energy resources supply and have the technical potential to provide electricity many times over for countries

- Renewable energy can be deployed for meeting a significant percentage of electricity needs even after taking the constraints into account

- Economic Benefits

- Use of renewable energy is also good for the economy as it is labour intensive compared to fossil fuel use which is capital intensive

- More jobs are created for every electricity unit generated from renewable sources rather than fossil fuels

- Rising use of renewable energy also has the potential to create more jobs apart from other economic development benefits such as increase in revenue, support for public services and more Stability in Energy Prices

- Renewable energy is also important for stabilising energy prices For instance, average price of solar penal has fallen by 60% since 2011, while cost of generating wind energy has fallen by 20% between 2010 and 2012

- Fossil fuel prices vary considerably and are prone to price swings adversely impacting the global economy

- Diversifying Energy Supply

- Using renewable energy improved competition in the energy sector and diversifies energy supplies.

- More Resilient and Reliable Sources of Energy

- Clean energy is dependable as it is distributed and modular so severe weather conditions cannot cut off power supply to entire regions For example, typhoons and hurricanes can damage fossil fuel based electricity generation and distribution systems in an adverse manner, while there is minimal damage to renewable energy projects

- Reducing extreme weather events through use of clean energy is yet another benefit

Facts and Stats

MoU with the United States

- Union Cabinet has given approval for MoU to establish cooperation for setting up a Pace Setter Fund to support the Promoting Energy Access Through Clean Energy Track of the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy between India and the US

- India US corpus is around INR 500 million drawn on 50:50 sharing basis

MoU Between India and Mongolia

- MoU was signed at Ulan Bator during the visit of the PM to Mongolia

- Signing of the MoU will establish the basis for cooperative institutional relationship for encouraging and promotion of technical bilateral cooperation of renewable energy for benefit of mutual gains and equality as well as reciprocity

MoU Between India and France

- MoU between India and France for cooperative institutional relationship for the encouragement and promotion of technical bilateral cooperation of new and renewable energy themes is in association with mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity

- MoU also sets up a JWG coopting members from scientific institutions, research centres, universities higher educational institutions and other such entities
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