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Do Residential AC Buyers Prioritise Energy Efficiency?

Indian Consumer Perceptions and Purchases

Shikha Bhasin, Apurupa Gorthi, Vaibhav Chaturvedi
September 2020 | Technology, Finance & Trade

 
 
 
 
 

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Agriculture and allied sectors contribute around 16.5 per cent to India’s GDP and employs nearly half of the country’s workforce (PRSIndia 2020). A massive amount of crop residue (~683 million tonnes) is generated during crop production in the net sown area of 140 million hectares across the country. While farmers use crop residue as animal fodder and for roof thatching, a significant portion (178 million tonnes) is left unused ever year (TIFAC and IARI 2018). Further, the unhealthy practice of on-farm burning of agricultural residue to clear land for the next crop, primarily in the north-western states of India, contributes to alarming levels of air pollution in the Indo-Gangetic plains. Farmers in Punjab, where 20 million tonnes of paddy residue is generated every year during the Kharif season (Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare 2018), face an unenviable task of clearing this residue in a short window of 15–20 days. This reduced timeframe is an offshoot of the Punjab Preservation of Subsoil Act (2009), implemented to save groundwater by mandatorily postponing the transplanting of paddy from April–May to beyond 10 June (Jain 2019). In 2018, 65 per cent of paddy residue (nearly 13 million tonnes) was set on fire in the fields of Punjab, choking the air in the entire Indo-Gangetic plains (Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare 2018). The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) estimated that paddy stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana contributed 40–45 per cent to Delhi’s air pollution during peak burning days in 2019 (Press Trust of India 2019). The courts have come down heavily on stubble burning, forcing the state and central governments to initiate measures to clamp down this practice in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. One such effort was through the New and Renewable Sources of Energy (NRSE) policy 2019, wherein the Punjab government encourages setting up of biomass power generation units and production of biofuels (bio-compressed natural gas [CNG], bio-ethanol, and bio-diesel) using biomass (mainly rice straw) as feedstock. As of September 2020, Punjab has 11 operational biomass power plants, with an aggregate capacity of 97.5 MW, in which 0.88 million tonnes of paddy straw are consumed annually (Chaba 2020b). In 2018, the central government reported that 1.10 million tonnes of paddy residue (5.5 per cent of total residue generated) were used in various ex-situ methods such as in paper/cardboard mill and biomass power projects (Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare 2018).

Execcutive Summary

Agriculture and allied sectors contribute around 16.5 per cent to India’s GDP and employs nearly half of the country’s workforce (PRSIndia 2020). A massive amount of crop residue (~683 million tonnes) is generated during crop production in the net sown area of 140 million hectares across the country. While farmers use crop residue as animal fodder and for roof thatching, a significant portion (178 million tonnes) is left unused ever year (TIFAC and IARI 2018). Further, the unhealthy practice of on-farm burning of agricultural residue to clear land for the next crop, primarily in the north-western states of India, contributes to alarming levels of air pollution in the Indo-Gangetic plains. Farmers in Punjab, where 20 million tonnes of paddy residue is generated every year during the Kharif season (Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare 2018), face an unenviable task of clearing this residue in a short window of 15–20 days. This reduced timeframe is an offshoot

of the Punjab Preservation of Subsoil Act (2009), implemented to save groundwater by mandatorily postponing the transplanting of paddy from April–May to beyond 10 June (Jain 2019). In 2018, 65 per cent of paddy residue (nearly 13 million tonnes) was set on fire in the fields of Punjab, choking the air in the entire Indo-Gangetic plains (Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare 2018). The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) estimated that paddy stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana contributed 40–45 per cent to Delhi’s air pollution during peak burning days in 2019 (Press Trust of India 2019). The courts have come down heavily on stubble burning, forcing the state and central governments to initiate measures to clamp down this practice in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. One such effort was through the New and Renewable Sources of Energy (NRSE) policy 2019, wherein the Punjab government encourages setting up of biomass power generation units and production of biofuels (bio-compressed natural gas [CNG], bio-ethanol, and bio-diesel) using biomass (mainly rice straw) as feedstock. As of September 2020, Punjab has 11 operational biomass power plants, with an aggregate capacity of 97.5 MW, in which 0.88 million tonnes of paddy straw are consumed annually (Chaba 2020b). In 2018, the central government reported that 1.10 million tonnes of paddy residue (5.5 per cent of total residue generated) were used in various ex-situ methods such as in paper/cardboard mill and biomass power projects (Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare 2018).

 
 

Citation:

Chaturvedi, Vaibhav. 2021. Peaking and Net-Zero for India’s Energy Sector CO2 Emissions: An Analytical Exposition. New Delhi: Council on Energy, Environment and Water.

Vaibhav is an economist who leads The Council's work on Low-Carbon Pathways. His research focuses on energy and climate change mitigation policy issues, especially those impacting India, within the integrated assessment modelling framework of the Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM).

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