Encouragement for the use of Renewables is the Need of the Hour
Electricity has now become an integral part of the life of humankind. The penalties that the environment has to pay increase proportionately with the rise in demand for conventional sources of energy. Thus, the alternative found was the renewables. These are locally available and have minimum carbon emission. They are available in abundance and cannot be depleted quickly due to human activities. Even though they have so many benefits that come along with them, they are the least preferred source of energy, especially in India. In the second half of the 20th century, the state slowly started to encourage the use of renewables. In 1981, the Commission for Additional Sources of Energy in the Department of Science and Technology was established, and later in 1982, an independent department called the Department of Non-conventional Energy Sources was set up for the same purpose of nurturing renewables. This department developed into the Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Source, which was established in 1992. Since then, there have been various policies that the ministry has come up with to persuade the use of renewable resources.
Climate change is already a global problem that the entire world is combatting with. There is an immediate need to control the increase in the temperature due to greenhouse gases to 2 degree Celsius as agreed in the Paris Convention. The use of renewables is one of the essential technical solutions to the problem of global warming. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 confirms that Human Rights includes the rights of the people to live in safety and under healthy environmental conditions and therefore, the rise in temperature due to the use of fossils will be a violation of the human rights of the people. As per the report of the National Research Council, renewable forms of energy are confirmed to have no externalities on the environment or the climate. Therefore, there must be a strict framework to ensure depletion in the usage of fossil fuels and other conventional sources of energy.
Despite all this, there is no concrete statute to govern the laws regarding the usage of the renewables or the methods that should be adopted. All that we have is a draft National Renewable Energy Act of 2015, which has not passed through the floor test of the Parliament. The purpose of this statute is to promote the use of renewable forms of energy and diminish the usage of fossil fuels. The current framework under various policies of the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Source lacks certain essentials for the effective usage of the renewables. There must be a proper framework or institution to govern all the policy matters in the given area. This institution should be responsible for the evaluation and scrutinization of all the policies and plans. It should be responsible for devising strategies and maintaining the funds for R&D. All of these essentials are provided under the Draft act of 2015. With the effective implementation of this act, the renewables can be used in a more channelized way, and this is the need of the hour for the country at this moment, considering the increase in temperatures and the country’s contribution to global warming.
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