Going green on Budget 2023 and India’s net-zero commitment

Why in News? 

  • The Finance Minister’s latest Union Budget 2023-24 has laid emphasis on the government’s commitment to move towards net-zero carbon emission by 2070.


  • According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), India holds the key to hitting global climate change targets given its sizeable and growing energy needs.
  • With the country’s population set to overtake China’s sometime this year, India’s appetite for energy to propel the economy is set to surge exponentially.
  • The transition to green alternatives from the current reliance on fossil fuels is therefore an urgent imperative, as it creates an opportunity to launch new sectors and boost GDP.

 Green Growth:

  • It is one of the 7 priorities (Saptarishi of Amrit Kaal) the Budget. India is implementing many programmes for –
  • Green fuel, green energy, green farming, green mobility, green buildings, green equipment and policies for efficient use of energy across various economic sectors.
  • These green growth efforts help in reducing the carbon intensity of the economy and provide for large-scale green job opportunities.

Electric vehicle (EV):

  • The availability of locally produced lithium-ion batteries has become essential, especially to reduce the cost of EVs.
  • The Budget proposes –
  • To exempt customs duty on the import of capital goods and machinery required to manufacture lithium-ion cells.
  • The establishment of a viability gap funding mechanism to support the creation of battery energy storage systems with a capacity of 4,000 MWh.

Energy storage systems:

  • Battery storage systems help to ensure that the electricity produced at peak output by wind and solar projects is stored and then supplied to match the demand.
  • The Budget set aside a vital 8,300 crore towards a 20,700 crore project for building an inter-State transmission system for the evacuation and grid integration of 13 GW of renewable energy from Ladakh.
  • The transmission line will help address hurdles in setting up solar capacity in the region, given its remoteness from India’s main power grid.

India’s initiatives to promote green growth:

Significance of Green Hydrogen:

  • Green hydrogen energy is vital for India to meet its Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) Targets and ensure regional and national energy security, access and availability.
  • Green Hydrogen can act as an energy storage option, which would be essential to meet intermittencies (of renewable energy) in the future. In terms of mobility, for long distance mobilisations for either urban freight movement within cities and states or for passengers, Green Hydrogen can be used in railways, large ships, buses or trucks, etc.

India’s initiatives at the international stage:

  • International Solar Alliance (ISA):  A treaty-based inter-governmental organisation working to tap the benefits of solar power and promote clean energy applications.
  • Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CRDI): Launched by the PM of India during the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019 in New York, it is a global partnership to promote the resilience of infrastructure to climate and disaster risks.
  • Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT): It gathers countries and companies that are committed to action to achieve the Paris Agreement. It was launched by the governments of Sweden and India at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019 and is supported by the WEF.
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