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Union Budget 2023: Focusing on Clean Energy

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‘Green Growth’ was one of seven goals mentioned by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget 2023. In an era of:

  • climate change,
  • pollution,
  • global warming, and
  • natural disasters caused by climate change,

It is critical to transition to green, renewable, and clean energy. The statements on research made within this year’s budget mostly focus on environmental protection and efforts to rectify the harm caused and leading to climate change and, thereby, other disasters.

Experts feel that the many programs created to safeguard and repair the environment would assist India in rapidly achieving its goals of:

  • energy transition and
  • emission reduction.

As experts have predicted, green hydrogen might become a trillion-dollar industry in India by the financial year 2030.

As the G20 President, India has committed leadership to transition to the ‘Green Economy’. The budget for this year includes almost $4 billion to develop green hydrogen as the principal fuel source. With a target of:

  • 5 MMT from green hydrogen by the financial year 2030 and
  • a bold initiative to grant green credits to industry (to promote adoption and transition to green hydrogen),

India is laying the groundwork for other countries to follow.

Another expert stated that this would make Green hydrogen become a trillion-dollar business in India by 2030, offering energy security. He/she also added that the overall Budget for 23-24 is:

  • sector-specific, pro-growth, and
  • demonstrates global leadership in addressing the twin challenges and
  • putting India on the path to food and energy security,

making it a ‘promising path’ for the country’s green growth

With significant spending of INR 35,000 crore, the budget has mapped out a promising route for the nation’s green growth. According to industry experts, India is one of the few emerging countries concentrating on green growth while addressing the fundamental demands of the population for power.

Further, it was viewed that the finance minister has made strong efforts to encourage:

  • battery storage and
  • pumped storage projects

To provide steady and round-the-clock supply from renewable resources like:

  • solar and
  • wind electricity.

The focus on DISCOMs, an abbreviation for Distribution Companies, especially in the electricity distribution area, is critical to making meaningful progress in the electricity sector, and the measure of attaching 0.5% of the state deficit to power sector reforms is commendable. This provides an additional incentive for governments to overhaul their DISCOMs. However, a significant incentive and disincentive package for the DISCOMs would also be desirable. Overall, the budget has pushed all the right buttons and is well in line with the country’s macroeconomic goals is what we can observe and say.

Budget Allocation Would Strengthen the Nation’s Energy Transition Journey

By designating Green Growth as one of the seven primary goals in the financial year 2023 budget, India has reiterated India’s commitment to it.

The budgeted commitment of INR 35,000 crore to promote:

  • energy transition and
  • net zero goals.

It will boost India’s path toward energy security as the country attempts to decarbonize its economy. The budget includes initiatives to stabilise renewable energy supply, such as viability gap support for battery energy storage systems.

The budget also includes a thorough structure for pumped storage projects. Both of these initiatives will likely encourage the development of hybrid renewable projects. As industry experts observe, they will undoubtedly increase the percentage of renewable energy in the total energy mix.

The Budget lays a solid foundation for India’s long-term development

The FY24 budget builds a strong platform for sustainable growth of India in the Amrit Kaal. With a budget of INR 35,000 crore, it focuses on:

  • energy transition and
  • economic decarbonization,

To achieve net-zero emissions by 2070. The budget includes a vision for ‘LiFE – Lifestyle for Environment,’ which emphasizes the government’s commitment to addressing the climate catastrophe. Globally, India ranks fourth in installed renewable energy capacity, and the budget will boost capacity additions in areas such as wind and solar.

To encourage green growth, key initiatives such as viability gap funding for:

  • battery storage,
  • renewable energy evacuation,
  • the National Green Hydrogen Mission, and
  • green credit policies are being implemented.

The budget, which includes an investment of INR 10,000 crore, also emphasizes the need to embrace a circular economy through the GOBARdhan initiative. Furthermore, establishing three centres of excellence for artificial intelligence is a welcome step by the government because it bridges the skill gap in the AI (Artificial Intelligence) space and nurtures talent to develop future tech, according to one expert.

Budget 2032 Appears To Usher In A ‘Green Transition’ Phase

The financial year 2023 Budget looks to usher in a ‘green transition’ time, directing the economy towards a sustainable development trajectory. It exhibits a commitment to fostering green growth in the country by concentrating on adopting various efforts to boost energy efficiency and minimize carbon intensity. The proposed budget focuses on creating large-scale green work opportunities to equip young people for climate change mitigation. The INR 19,000 crore investment in the National Green Hydrogen Mission will also promote and contribute to:

  • Green growth and
  • a net zero carbon future.

The funding of INR 35,000 crore for energy transformation and net zero emissions will certainly aid the country in meeting its objective of net zero emissions by the financial year 2070.

Because of the Honourable Prime Minister’s vision for Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE), which will expedite the country’s transition to a:

  • low-carbon economy and
  • reduce reliance on fossil fuels,

India will become a responsible and energy-secure society.

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