E-waste to Wealth through the Circular Economy Route

The Indian economy is growing at a fast rate. With rapid industrialization and development, citizens’ aspirations for a higher standard of living is increasing and so is the demand for latest technologies or gadgets. A recent report shows that there has been an exponential growth in the  utilization of electronic devices  world over. According to the Global E-Waste Monitor 2020, India is producing 3.23 million metric tons of e-waste annually. A further increase in the use of electronic devices is guaranteed to exacerbate this problem in the near future.

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Additionally, as per the goals of Conference of Parties (COP), urgent action is needed to secure global net zero targets by mid-century to keep 1.5 degrees within reach. While most countries have been ambitious to announce targets, real world action is a far cry from what it needs to be. India has made announcements at COP26 to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2070 and reduce carbon emissions by 1 million tons by 2030. However, achieving it may be an uphill battle.

In order to reach the global target and reduce emissions, one of the strategies that is widely embraced, is that of introducing Electric Vehicles (EVs). EVs can be considered as a replacement for conventional hydrocarbon-based transport systems. Moreover, Li-ion batteries (LIBs) play a critical role in the working of EVs. Taking cue from the current trends, it is clear that the demand for LIBs will eventually increase and is likely to outstrip resource supplies in the near future. This is because lithium, which is a major component used in LIBs is a scarce resource is limited in supply. At the other end of the value chain, we have the problem of safe disposal of end of life batteries containing critical raw minerals.  

Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) turn into e-waste once they are discarded by their owner as waste without the intent of reuse. These comprise of a large variety of products and are divided into 54 different product-centric categories. E-waste largely comprises of metals, plastics and glass which, once salvaged, provides precious metals such as copper, iron, tin, nickel, lead, zinc, silver, gold and palladium. The major sources of e-waste are individual consumers, Multi-National Companies (MNCs), public and private enterprises, manufacturing defects and imports.  The World Bank report points out that the world is expected to generate 3.40 billion tons of waste annually as compared to the current generation of 2.01 billion tons. Besides this, proper management from production to disposal of e-waste is crucial for utilization of the precious components that it contains. Given the economic opportunity they represent; these two ends of the supply chain therefore need to be seen as part of a holistic strategy on critical minerals. While the notion of “critical minerals” is relatively new in India compared to other emerging economies, evolving a perspective on the recycling industry is an environmental imperative.

Recently, many nations in Asia such as China, India, Japan, Korea have implemented e-waste legislations in order to regulate e-waste management. In India, the e-waste management is governed by e-waste (Management) Rules 2016, enacted by MoEF&CC, GoI.  The rule also extends its purview to include components, consumables, parts and spares of EEE, along with their products. The objective of the Rules is to channelize the e-waste generated in the country towards authorized dismantlers and recyclers. The Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) mechanism is a mandatory component of the 2016 Rules which is at a nascent stage in the Indian sub-continent. 

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In this regard, following are some actions that could be undertaken:

First, upscaling of informal sectors. The informal sector inevitably plays a crucial role in e-waste management in developing countries. It is responsible for 95% of e-waste recycling in India. Although, informal and formal sectors are interlinked, the former has certain competitive advantages in specific stages of the e-waste recycling chain, namely collection, dismantling and parts of the pre-processing phase. There is an urgent need for mapping the internal dynamics of informal economies.

Second, is the role of circular economy. E-waste generated should be considered an important aspect with respect to circular economy. The presence of hazardous substances and rare or valuable e-waste creates the need for recycling and waste management in an environmentally friendly manner. This will in turn help prevent the release of harmful substances into the environment and avert the loss of natural and economic resources. By improving collection of e-waste and recycling practices, significant amounts of critical raw minerals will re-enter the manufacturing process and will ultimately lead to a reduction in fresh extraction.

To add to this note is the concept of e-waste EcoPark. It is an area where scientific and environmentally safe recycling, refurbishing, dismantling and manufacturing is carried out. Being an integrated facility, it accommodates various handlers in the ecosystem such as e-waste re-furbishers, dismantlers, recyclers, plastic waste processors and others under the same roof. EcoPark in Hong Kong, China can be taken as an example constituting an area of 140,000 m2. The facility disperses and recycles used electrical appliances and supplies recovered materials to other parts of the electronics supply chain.

In addition, multi-stakeholder engagements could play a key role in the management of e-waste. For instance, building a tangible infrastructure and knowledge base to develop more cost-effective e-waste recycling technologies and the distribution of e-waste solutions to interested parties in partnership with the Government, industry representatives, and academia can empower informal e-waste recyclers in the country.

Most countries do not include the full scope of e-waste management and its implementation suffers from a lack of successive regulations. The integration of the above-mentioned problems provides an overview of the various areas where the legal framework and law enforcement need to be amended.

These aforementioned transitions would gradually have a snowball effect on the economy. Thus, it is important to recognize and reverse the flow of material in the manufacturing system and to transform into a circular economy. In general, G20 countries are responsible for 75% of the  material use and 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, G20 countries are playing a crucial role towards increasing resource efficiency and circularity of materials. With keen involvement of the parties, e-waste generated can be converted to wealth.

(Views expressed are the author’s own and don’t necessarily reflect those of ICRIER.)

Adaptation Finance: Scaling up for Better Preparedness

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Climate financing is a widely discussed necessity and yet a conflicted topic since the climate change debate has begun. Between the right definitions, huge scope, and adequate amount of climate financing needs and requirements, the world has witnessed plethora of finance commitments. Amongst the many aspects of the climate finance debate, one of the critical  factors is the need to adapt, and therefore the need to raise adaptation financing. Climate adaptation plays a pivotal role in determining how climate impacts ultimately manifest and how intense their damaging effects can be.

What is adaptation and what is the chaos about?

Adaptation is the change adopted in ecological, social, or economic systems as a response to actual or even expected climatic changes as well as to their impacts or effects. Adaptation practices and solutions thus form a critical part of countries’ climate change plans in order to be better prepared to deal with past, present or future  impacts of climate change. Thus, while mitigation actions help to reduce or ‘mitigate’ emissions , adaptation entails planning for the future to ‘brace for impact’ due to the irreversible changes already in place.

The strategies for  adaptation will definitely differ for different countries and communities. The common base however, still remains the need for adequate adaptation financing. With increasing intensity of disasters in recent times, building up the adaptation component and capabilities forms an integral part of the global community. Greater challenges are faced by emerging economies that are required to manage their developmental needs while maintaining   sustainable economic growth patterns.

Current adaptation flows

The current climate financing scenario paints a dis-heartening picture with respect to the direction of global climate finance. Trends show that the preferred broader sector destinations of climate finance flows still remains the mitigation sector. Adaptation financing for long, has continued to lag behind. Forming a meagre share of 7.4 per cent in total climate finance for 2019-20, the adaptation agenda continues to be dominantly funded by the public sector. Further, latest estimates with respect to adaptation needs highlight that adaptation costs are rising at a fast pace. Developing countries are facing a widening ‘adaptation gap’ with the costs amounting to be almost five to ten times greater than the current public adaptation finance flows. The persistent focus of global climate finance flows on mitigation sectors therefore is a cause of concern.

The missing share of private sector participation forms a key reason for the lack of adequate financing for adaptation. One of the main reasons for this reluctance at the end of the private sector is perhaps due to the reason that the benefits of adaptation are more local and involve a greater risk appetite, restricting the movement of private players in the sector. The lack of bankability of adaptation projects as well as limited internal capacity at the end of private players to assess, identify, and develop an adaptation activities pipeline serves to widen the adaptation gap further. With the double whammy of smaller share of finance and significant dependence on public sector sources, countries most vulnerable to climate induced changes thus suffer the most.

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Need of the hour

With an overlap between adaptation and developmental goals, the likelihood of greater public sector involvement is expected. However, the role of the private sector in  channelising  bigger quantum of climate finance cannot be discounted. Public sector can play a pivotal role in ensuring greater private sector flows in the adaptation segment as well. First, there is a need to address the ‘higher risk in adaptation’ concerns by ensuring a full disclosure of localized climate risk and vulnerability data. In addition, there is a need for governments to consciously account for climate risks in capital investment planning. This will serve the twin purpose of not only providing better and credible information to private investors, but also to build up investor confidence by showcasing a prioritised approach of the country towards adaptation planning and investment. Further, once the lack of information is looked after, the next step would be to provide a safety net for reducing investment risks. Since adaptation requires substantial investments in multiple developmental sectors with more localised benefits, providing a set of financial incentives will aid in attracting greater investment and also help boost investor credence. These initiatives may take several forms like risk guarantees, credit enhancements, blended financing with the public sector, etc.

While greater efforts are needed at the national government level, the G20 can prove to play  a supportive role as well. From the early discussions and conversation in the G20 in Turkey on the issue of developing resilience and disaster risk reduction in countries, to the Japanese presidency agreeing on the ‘Action Agenda on Adaptation and Resilience’, adaptation has been accorded importance  at the G20. In order to promote greater investments and bridge the information gap, G20 can stress upon a disclosure agreement on adaptation goals, prioritised sectors, etc. among the member countries. An institutional arrangement can be put in place to serve as an intermediary as well as a facilitator between investors and countries seeking adaptation finance to smoothen the process. Further, there is an overall  need to ensure fulfilment of climate finance commitments and to promote conscious choice of financing in adaptation sectors. Therefore, ensuring greater accountability for the amount financed and at the same time, issuing guidelines to promote the adoption of a diversified portfolio with mitigation as well as adaptation components being financed can form one of the  aspects of climate change negotiations at the G20.

Conclusion

While the criticality of adaptation finance is understood and recognised, the world has still not seen significant adaptation finance streams. In the current aftermath of the pandemic with greater debts and reduced government revenues, not only are the developmental needs at stake but the ability to ensure better preparedness to climate change is also severely restricted owing to the dearth of finance in adaptation.

There is a crucial need to recognise and promote the substantial role of the private sector in raising adaptation finance. Along with country level actions and initiatives, the adaptation finance agenda can benefit to a large extent from support at the G20 platform. There is a need for a global acknowledgment to re-establish the adaptation focus of climate finance. Delays here will not buy the world community more time to deal with climate change, but will only lead to rising adaptation costs and much more severe damages.

(Views expressed are the author’s own and don’t necessarily reflect those of ICRIER.)

Proposing a cool collaboration for G20 countries

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The Earth’s temperature is on a rising trend since the 19th Century with no indications of it going downhill. The reason for this heated climate has been mostly attributed to the anthropogenic activities– fossil fuel burning, the choice of technologies and so on. This heated climate raises demand for cooling technologies with refrigerants like hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that are harmful for the environment and in turn completes the vicious cycle of heated climate. This heated climate and the demand for cooling does not discriminate between the rich and the poor, but the supply of cooling does. This is as true for refrigerators as for air-conditioners (ACs). The Chilling Prospects 2021: Tracking Sustainable Energy for All vividly presents the enormous gaps in access to cooling. It studies each cohort of income-levels within countries and identifies not just the cooling access (demand-supply) gaps but also its repercussions. It identifies three risk spectrums as: High Risk, Medium Risk and Low Risk and determines that 1.09 billion of the rural and urban poor are at high risk in terms of access to cooling and a further 2.34 billion of the lower-middle income group is at medium risk in terms of lack of access to sustainable cooling.

IEA 2018 reports that access to cooling demands access to electricity which increases demand for power. This raises concern for an access to clean and efficient technologies for sustainable development, also known as, sustainable cooling. The rural and urban poor have higher risks due to lack of access to electricity. The perishable goods that the farmers produce spoils by the time they reach the market because of the inadequate cooling facilities– both for storage and mobile cooling services during transportation of the perishable items. Reports show that 63% of the food losses in developing economies are due to the lack of cold chains for refrigeration and mobile cooling intended for transportation. The lower middle-income groups because of a dearth of purchasing options end up purchasing cooling devices that are inefficient: high energy consumption devices and high GHG emissions. This lack of access to cold chains for food and medicine storages further damages the lives of the vulnerable sections of the population leading to a vicious cycle of poverty. It is imperative to understand that it is not access to cooling that matters the most, but the access to efficient cooling.

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G20’s role in accelerating the National Cooling Action Plan is crucial given that most of them are in tropical regions and its contribution to the energy demand for cooling is 80% of the global demand. India is the first country in the World to undertake a National-level Cooling Action Plan in a broader scale as this. It aims to reduce refrigerant demand and cooling energy requirements by 2037-38. The India National Cooling Action Plan has over-achieved (44%) the target of 35% reduction in the use of HCFC, set by the Montreal Protocol. India also aims at capacity building by upskilling the stakeholders. However, as identified by the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE), India lacks a macroeconomic model studying the impact of cooling on emissions. An input-output analysis or a Computable General Equilibrium Model (CGE) could help understand the impact across sectors and across states. Across sectors and across States studies provide a robust understanding of the spillover effects of the impact of one action like the reduction in energy reliance or the use of energy-efficient cooling technologies on other sectors and states. This is important as a recent report by AEEE has pointed out the lack of access to cooling in India even when such a broad scale initiative has been undertaken. For this, it is imperative to understand that phasing out energy-inefficient technologies requires time and resources. AEEE is assisting India in its transition towards sustainable and accessible cold-chain infrastructure in rural India working at the grassroots level to understand the challenges involved in the implementation of the efficient cold-chain infrastructure projects.

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The Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold-chain (ACES) strives to address the key challenges in implementation of agricultural cold-chain infrastructure like the capacity building, training and data availability. It tests business models in this line. It shows, because the access to electricity in Rwanda is low it has deployed non-traditional technologies, the off-grid ones like the solar cold storage units. This methodology aims to increase the exports of horticulture products. Through this methodology, it first charts the food value chains to identify the energy loopholes and then adopt suitable energy technologies that can increase market efficiency and output by putting a check on the loss of food due to spoilage. A strategy adopted by the Bisolar Tech Fridge team in Sub-Saharan Africa to use one compressor for multiple applications in off-grid technologies like solar cold storages units can reduce the burden of excess demand for energy and help supply the excess amount for other power usages. These storage units are produced through recycling old cooling appliances and innovating from them which not just caters the efficiency aspect of cooling but also provides employment to the vulnerable sections of the population.

G20 member countries should encourage firms and developmental institutions to learn from such innovative models because without active firm level participation and a sophisticated business model the burden of excess demand for energy will not subside.

The first thing required is ratification of the fast implementation of the 2016 Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)  by all G20 members. It should be kept in mind phasing out requires time and additional resources to support those who will be losing jobs because of this transition. Also, resources will be required to train people to work in new environment.

As mentioned in the priority areas for cool collaboration for the G20 countries, the financial and regulatory institutions should link innovative finances to cooling. A previous blog discusses on the crucial role that the financial institutions play in disbursing funds to the infrastructure firms. It also discusses the related problem of Green Washing, that is, how these firms could pretend to be environment friendly where, in reality, they hardly abide by the sustainability rules. It puts forward different institutional strategies that the G20 countries should take up to avert green washing.

Additionally, the priority areas discuss the role of private agencies in procurement of products. India has successfully deployed public procurement strategies in case of LED bulbs and ACs. The deployment of private agencies for such purposes could call for discrimination strategies where only the large firms would get the contract over the small firms. Moreover, in presence of such procurement cases and certification agencies, competition is important otherwise there will be a problem of inefficiency and corruption creeping in. Thus, the G20 member countries should collaborate on strategies to resolve the challenges towards easy access to sustainable cooling.

(Views expressed are the author’s own and don’t necessarily reflect those of ICRIER)

    Energizing the Last Mile: Whenever & Wherever its Needed

Energy grids have traditionally been designed in a hub-and-spoke model, with large centralized power-generating plants providing electricity to a vast consumer base connected via long transmission and distribution lines. The idea was that the bigger you build the power plant, the more effective the electricity system will be.

Over a long period, that logic held true. However, now with the urgent need to pursue decarbonization, the increasing  share of intermittent renewable energy on the grid, the expensive nature of energy storage, declining costs of decentralized generation, and the need for greater grid resiliency, the situation has changed.  Decentralized power generation is increasingly being recognized as a vital tool for a country’s energy transition.

Discrete or decentralized power generation takes many forms largely due to the many needs it serves. These include off-grid electricity for countryside and island communities; reliable, high-quality power for remote off-grid industries such as mining; and providing peak power to ensure the stability of grids that have a large share of renewable power generation capacity.

https://ilsr.org/challenge-reconciling-centralized-v-decentralized-electricity-system/

The most common size of decentralized power generation plants is in the 50 MW to 100 MW range that serves either a single manufacturing plant or an industrial park in a remote location. Across the American continent and Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as parts of Asia, these plants are situated in areas without grid access or with low-quality access, or in cases where it is beneficial to have one’s own captive supply of reliable power.

For example in North America, data centers are increasingly using decentralized generation to meet their enormous energy needs, while some customers and communities in North America and beyond are exploring decentralized power generation as a way to enhance the resiliency of power grid infrastructure in the face of hurricanes, floods and fires.

In Southern America, Australia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and parts of Asia, these power plants are often catering to industries such as mining, textile manufacturing, cement manufacturing, and fish processing. The higher capacity  electrical motors and reactive electrical power needs of these manufacturing operators and other off-takers require stable and secured supply.

Decentralization challenges

While some G20 countries, such as Australia and those in Europe, have implemented policies to encourage or mandate hybrid-decentralized generation, most of the world has not. That makes selling lower-carbon solutions more difficult. It’s not always an economical decision to say ‘yes’ to a hybrid or smaller microgrid project, with no long-term proof of service and anticipated losses from being the first mover.

The complexity of decentralization is a challenge for the sector, whether for a large grid with lots of renewable power, conventional plants, and peaking power plants or for small microgrids and the CHP ( Combined Heat and Power) community systems that needs innovative software to manage the multiple supply and demand components. These latest set of systems need tons of software, intelligent algorithms, and smart programs. It can be a test to convince designers and policy makers familiar with single-technology plants that the benefits outweigh the added complexity.

Across the world, centralized energy systems based on fossil fuels have long been supported by large capital projects through state investments and loans from private non-governmental actors. This has led to higher energy prices from increasing demand, a certain misalignment with the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs), and the exposure of countries to Energy Return on Investment Risks (EROI) from conventional energy trajectories.

Also, the centralized, ageing and outdated power grid set-ups are many times not maintained by governments, which in some nations ends up causing frequent blackouts with crippling socio-economic consequences.

Dynamic transition

It’s evident that decentralized power generation is playing a significant role in moving communities large and small toward a more sustainable future, as engineers and researchers develop the technologies that will decarbonize the global economy.

The present technological knowhow is sufficient to drive the next 30 years, and give us sufficient time to develop  more ecologically friendly technologies. There’s no doubt this is an exciting time for the energy sector and decentralized power generation in particular. Solar energy, together with other renewables, is often coined as a clear solution to greening our energy system and the mitigating the CO2 emissions. However, renewables aren’t enough: focusing on energy descent and decentralization is as, or even more important.

Avoid-Shift-Improve (A-S-I) needs to be our mantra for achieving our climate targets. Firstly, we need to stop believing in technological fixes (current or yet to be discovered) that will solve environmental problems while believing we won’t have to change anything in the way we live. There is a strong argument that could be built that states that climate goals can’t be achieved without substantially modifying consumer behavior. Hence, the biggest reduction in our energy impact needs to come from reducing the energy we need.

The second part of the mantra is something that we are already working towards, i.e., shifting our fuel dependency from fossil fuel to renewable energy sources. However, rather than thinking of solutions in a piecemeal fashion, it might be useful to think of them as bundles. There are multiple technologies with high degrees of complementarity that needs to be ‘bundled’ together to form a feasible solution. For decentralized energy solutions, it may be off-grid RE systems, advanced batteries, BMS (Building Management System) etc.  

Lastly, it needs to be understood that energy systems are ever-evolving. The theme of energy decentralization is a very important piece of the larger puzzle of what our energy transition strategy should comprise of. With improvements in technologies, not only will energy efficiency and service provision rates improve; but over time with anticipated technology disruptions, the aforementioned face of the puzzle may change altogether.

https://www.survalent.com/the-rise-of-ders-and-the-decentralized-grid/

From the G20 perspective, it is important that member countries move from centralized, capital-intensive mega projects to decentralized and smart small-scale energy production projects. With a consumption of 80% of global energy, the G20 should increase its efforts in energy resilience while modernizing the energy market to align with the low carbon system.  Indonesia’s G20 should leverage previous G20 legacies, such as the International Monetary Fund’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust, which specifically looks at support for vulnerable countries. This can help decentralize the power grids thereby giving energy a reach to the farthest population.

               (Views expressed are the author’s own and don’t necessarily reflect those of ICRIER.)

Role of Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST) Technology in Decarbonizing Industrial Sector

India, from the early 2000s, have realized the importance of climate mitigation actions and energy generation through renewable power sources. In 2010, Govt. of India launched National Solar Mission (NSM) under National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) to reduce its carbon footprint and upscale the penetration of solar technology in the country. Since 2014, India has come a long way in the installation of renewable energy (RE) wherein, the solar alone has grown by 20 times. Realizing the significant market potential for solar and clean energy transition, MNRE has also supported the uptake of heating and cooling applications through the use of concentrated solar thermal (CST) technology across various sectors via the implementation of off-grid and decentralized CST scheme.

India had set of itself an ambitious national target of 175 GW installed capacity by 2022 through renewable energy (RE) sources, which was further enhanced to 500 GW by 2030. As of May, 2022, India has achieved a total cumulative installed capacity of 113 GW (57 GW from solar, 41 GW from wind, 10.20 GW from biomass, 4.88 GW from Small hydro, and 0.47 GW from waste to energy) from RE sources. It is estimated that out of the total 57 GW solar, India has added a cumulative capacity of 10 GW from solar based power projects in FY 2021 in comparison to 3.2 GW in FY 2020 with a momentous growth rate of 210% respectively. Also, as per long-term vision of MNRE, cumulative target of implementing 15 million m2 by 2017 and 20 million m2 of CST by 2022 is envisaged and as on March, 2018, only 39 MWth of projects has been installed.

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As per MNRE estimation, there is an overall potential of 140 million m2 through solar thermal collectors in India. Over the last 10 years, the market of CST technology has flourished and picked up the pace owing to the capital subsidies and ambitious targets set by India. Particularly, the process heating accounts for 56%, 33% for community cooking and 11% for cooling applications respectively. Hence, the CST technology offers a substantial potential of industrial decarbonization in terms of direct or indirect process heating and space cooling applications.

It is assessed that 74% (~85 EJ) of the process heating requirement comes from industrial sector, out of which 48%, 30% and 22%  is used for high, low and medium temperature heating respectively. Taking into account the dynamics, it has been estimated that there is a market potential of 6.45 GWth CST in the industrial sector. The various pilot studies conducted under GEF-UNIDO project have also indicated that there is a simple payback period of 5-6 years which provides an economically viable option to offset the GHG emissions.

The CST is growing at increasing rates, but despite of its huge potential, only 1% of its potential has been realized till date. The following challenges and barriers are creating a hinderance for its mass uptake namely, (a) low or non-availability of technology and handholding support between domestic partners, financial institutions and international investors, (b) lack of research and awareness about the sector, which includes standardization of overall system performance parameters, (c) techno-economic viability of integrating CST with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) (d) non-availability of robust business models causing fewer investments, (e) non-scalability of operations and limited availability of system integrators, skilled installers, and resources, (f) limited supply chain access and lack of customized/ innovative financing to cater to higher upfront CAPEX, (g) lack of concerted action for  mandating CST technology as in case of solar water heaters, and (h) space constraint for installing concentrated solar.

Keeping the tab on rising GHG emissions and climate change impacts, role and accelerated usage of renewable energy technologies becomes even more critical to transit from fossil-fuel based energy consumption as fast as possible. In light of this, G20 has always been at the forefront urging member countries and international organizations to reduce their conventional energy consumption and shifting their focus towards increasing share of RE in their overall energy mix. It is certain that as the Indian economy is growing, the industrial growth will further increase and it will pave the way to deploy the CST technologies in industrial sector more aggressively.

In context of the above, the G20 countries should draw a vigorous and detailed roadmap incorporating the components of technology development, capacity building, accelerating the supplier’s capacity on CST, R&D collaboration, strengthening policy and institutional framework, innovative financing and business models and market development for scaling up the technology etc. To start with, the roadmap should initially focus on technology demonstration and its mandatory implementation in some of the priority sectors or high potential areas. It should outline the focus towards technology improvement by creating benchmark standards and best practices guidelines on its integration in the industrial arrangement. The concerned stakeholders should be mapped along with actions outlined against each activity and associated timeline.

Moving forward, the next component in the action plan should be towards raising the global awareness on CST technologies, its application and estimated savings potential, since majority of the focus is centered only on solar PV. The effort should be through the engagement of B20 community to enhance the deployment of solar thermal technologies. It will help in creation of green jobs, and promises the promotion of system integrators, creation of industrial and stakeholder associations, developing international collaborations and conducting global events for inviting the foreign investors and technical players in knowledge sharing experience with the domestic OEMs/ vendors. In the nutshell, B20 community will help in establishing an inter and intra national partnership across the ecosystem of concentrated solar thermal technology.

To scale up and build the confidence, financial assistance/ funding support by G20 member countries, through the execution of assessment studies across various sectors followed by the demonstration projects with the replication scope should be proposed and implemented on a larger scale. For instance, to promote sustainable development in the industrial sector in line with SDG-9, one such program has executed by MNRE in association with GEF-UNIDO (2017-21) for scaling up the CST technology regarding process heating and cooling applications in manufacturing SMEs.

To promote the usage of CST, G20 alley should establish and mandate state specific targets industries to reduce their GHG emissions by a certain number. Additionally, a separate state level corpus fund should be created on the lines of green fund for financing CST technologies and to showcase the annual energy savings potential across the entire chain. The long-term trajectory targeting the high potential sites / sectors of CST technology should also be rolled out by the G20 working group for the creation of sustained demand, rolling out regulatory procedures for the promotion and incentivization of innovative designs, technology specifications and compliances. It should be backed by the formation of standardized EM&V manual/ guidelines so that the competitiveness and performance of solar thermal technologies shall be replicated at a global level.

Views expressed are the author’s own and don’t necessarily reflect those of ICRIER.