Standards and Labeling (S&L) is one of the flagship programs of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). BEE estimated that the S&L program saved about 65 billion kWh of electricity in 2019-20. As a result, Indian consumers saved about ₹ 39020 crores in reduced electricity bills. It is critical to have a strong monitoring, verification, and enforcement (MV&E) mechanism to ensure that these benefits to the consumers as well as the multiple societal benefits of energy efficiency are actually realized. In this brief report, we review BEE’s current mechanisms for MV&E under the S&L program, identify the issues involved, and provide recommendations to improve the same.
India’s ambitions of increasing its non-fossil fuel based energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030 are formidable and present a unique set of opportunities and execution challenges. The debt requirement for an additional 340 GW Renewable Energy (RE) target works out to ~ Rs. 14 Lakh Cr over a period of 9 years.
The majority of the current discourse around the Indian RE story has centred around speed and scale of the installed capacity ramp up. The modular nature of executing RE projects puts them on the other end of the construction complexity spectrum as compared to conventional power generation plants. However, there are some unique characteristics of RE projects which puts them in a different class of risk from the financing perspective compared to conventional power plants.
A large amount of direct and indirect public monies will be involved in the future in the RE finance pie, and hence we felt the need for larger discourse on specific nuances of credit risk for RE debt as well as study the current policy responses to RE finance. We hope that these insights feed into policy making for attracting appropriately structured, priced and well monitored RE finance.
Supporting India’s transition to RE capacity calls for a change in the existing framework of RE finance based on the guiding principles of transparent and consistent disclosures, efficient and timely data warehousing, and encouraging public discourse on material changes to existing policy. In this paper, we attempt to present some pathways to achieving these objectives.
It has long been argued that risk contours of debt assistance in the form of long term project finance to the infrastructure sector are considerably different from debt assistance to the industrial sector. That though there may be short term cashflow mismatches (and ensuing delay in debt servicing), the long term economic value proposition of such projects is largely untarnished over a long term given their policy prioritization, the undisputed need for their services, sovereign involvement through special schemes, etc. It is observed that Renewable Energy (RE) projects in India find it challenging to raise finance due to financiers’ taking a shorter time, liquidity based view of the business model and finding the same to be risky.
On these lines, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) introduced the Expected Loss (EL) Rating Scale meant specifically for the infrastructure sector in July 2021. Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) have now been empowered to assign EL ratings based on their assessment of the Probability of Default of a loan facility seen together with scenario-based recoverability of the underlying project’s economic value post such default. Public money funded financing entities such as Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) have reduced their credit rating based investment threshold for the infrastructure sector by factoring in the EL based ratings scale. This move has profound implications on the participation of such large public money funded financiers in the evolving Indian RE story with its vast need for finance.
The EL ratings scale’s attempt to shift the focus from single rupee single day default to a more relaxed stance on default tolerance becoming part of the investment thesis for capital market participants (especially for public insurance companies and pension companies) is an area which needs to be handled with great care and regulatory forethought. This paper attempts to discuss the nuances of the same and carries some recommendations for adding robustness to risk assessment practices for the RE finance debt pool.
A review of Heat and Health research in India: Knowledge gaps in building climate change adaptation responses
It is a foregone conclusion that India will face more frequent, prolonged, and intense heat waves in the immediate future. The health hazards of extreme heat can be significant, especially among vulnerable populations. Adaptation actions to reduce health harms become necessary along with the continued focus on mitigation. The adaptive responses will greatly benefit if backed by ground-level knowledge about the needs as well as effective solutions.
The present review seeks to identify gaps in Indiaspecific research on heat-health impacts and adaptation. It adopts a conceptual framework that considers two thematic domains important for the overall heat-health agenda - A) Research on the burden of heat-related illnesses/ heat mortality and its determinants, and B) Adaptation research, assessed for its potential to create flexible, locally responsive, and community-centric responses. The review provides important insights for prioritizing actions and setting the context for future research.
The Appendices provide a description of reviewed studies.
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