In the bid to reduce the carbon intensity of the Indian economy, meet clean energy targets, and provide large-scale green job opportunities, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of measures for “Green Growth” while presenting the Union Budget on Wednesday, including initiatives related to green fuel, green farming, green mobility, green buildings, and green equipment. Policies for the efficient use of energy across various sectors of the economy are also being implemented.
The Minister listed “Green Growth” as one of the seven priorities of this year’s Budget, citing that India is moving toward net zero carbon emissions by 2070 to usher in usher in green industrial and economic transition.
Ms. Sitharaman highlighted the green initiatives being carried out in line with this priority:
Green Hydrogen: The Minister announced an outlay of ₹19,700 crore for the recently launched National Green Hydrogen Mission, which she said will facilitate the transition of the economy to low carbon intensity, reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports and make the country “assume technology and market leadership in this sunrise sector”. Outlay- ₹19,700 crore. Target- Annual production of 500 MMT (million metric tonnes) of green hydrogen by 2030.
Energy transition: The budget provides ₹35,000 crores for priority capital investment toward energy transition, net zero objectives, and energy security by the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Outlay- ₹35,000 crore.
Battery Storage: To spur sustainable development, the Finance Minister announced viability gap funding for battery energy storage systems with a capacity of 4,000 MWh (megawatt hour). A detailed framework for pumped storage projects will also be formulated.
Renewable energy evacuation: Re-evacuation facilitates generated power to be swiftly evacuated to the power grid for distribution. Ms. Sitharaman announced that an interstate transmission system for evacuation and grid integration of 13 Gigawatt renewable energy from Ladakh will be constructed with an investment of ₹20,700 crore including central support of ₹8,300 crore.
Green Credit Programme: In order to encourage behavioural change, the Minister announced that a Green Credit Programme will be notified under the Environment Protection Act, 1986. This, she said, will incentivise environmentally sustainable and responsive actions by companies, individuals, and local bodies and help mobilise additional resources for such activities.
Vehicle replacement: The Finance Minister noted that replacing old polluting vehicles is an important part of greening our economy. Furthering the Vehicle Scrapping Policy mentioned in Budget 2021-22, the Minister allocated funds to scrap old vehicles of the central government. States will also be supported in replacing old vehicles and old State ambulances.