India is already a country with a significant population and has several industries in place to support the livelihood of its inhabitants. Consequently, they also generate a huge electricity demand, offset by traditional energy sources like coal, oil, and natural gas. However, these ingredients also create a huge carbon footprint and resulting pollution. India also has many resources for renewable energy sources – namely, hydro (water), solar, and wind – but utilization comes to only 20% of the total power generation. The Indian government is making substantial efforts through its energy and infrastructure law.
The legislative framework
The primary need for energy is to create electricity to run its citizens’ different industries and homes. The country is slowly reducing its dependence on fossil fuels and gearing towards non-renewable energy, and the below-given examples of Indian energy and infrastructure law are proof of its earnest efforts:
- The Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2018:
This law defines ‘renewable energy’, which the 2003 Electricity Act didn’t have. It requires the setups generating power through coal to establish stations for generating power from renewable energy sources, which would attract a penalty upon failure to comply. This proposal also paves the way for a National Renewable Energy Policy.
- The draft Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (draft)
This bill states about resolving disagreements about buying, selling, and transmitting contracts related to electricity and enforcing the decisions made.
- The Renewable Energy Act, 2015 (draft)
The Ministry concerned with New and Renewable Energy presented the draft Renewable Energy Act in 2015 to develop inter-ministerial coordination and ensure access to expert help. It recommends forming the National Renewable Energy Advisory Group and National Renewable Energy Committee to complete the job.
In light of these new legislatures, keeping well-versed legal help in energy and infrastructure law on your team as a business owner is worthwhile.
The federal actions
The Indian government also started to work on providing its masses with electricity from renewable resources, along with working out the kinks in its energy and infrastructure law drafts. Here are some examples of their efforts:
- Far-away villages in out-of-the-way parts of the country require more infrastructure to support grid electricity. The Indian government has pledged to provide houses under its Saubhagya Yojana across the country with solar photovoltaic-based systems that will function independently in such areas.
- India is a major solar energy market player and a member of the Solar Alliance. The Union government has launched a three-part scheme to utilize such potential towards accomplishing effective electricity accessibility for all and improved rural electrification, namely;
- The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) – for providing solar pumps to farmers.
- Plans for solar study lamps and power packs.
- The Atal Jyoti Yojana (AJAY)is for solar light installation on the streets.
These government schemes reflect the positive and ongoing efforts to shift towards renewable energy.
The huge population made it natural for the Indian infrastructure to have a high demand for energy consumption. However, the government is slowly making renewable energy electricity available to its citizens. Implementing different energy and infrastructure laws and necessary action has resulted in the 26th rank (from the 73rd) in the World Bank’s electricity accessibility ranking, 2017.